For those of you who don't know, Utah has had a crazy season so far. We're just a day out from February, and honesty, only the most arrogant and selfish shredders in the Wasatch have really had any legit turns in the backcountry. Those of you who know me understand that I seriously live for bottomless turns. In fact, it's really the only thing that'll get me off the couch for days on end–if the pow is good, I'll be up before the sun waiting in line for the LCC gates to go up, and I'll be running to the tram from my car. In fact, I'll probably get my boots and my goggles on while I'm still waiting in line in my car. This year, though, we haven't really had that option. We basically had a drought until two weeks ago, and then we suddenly received, in some places, as much as 80 inches of snow in a very short span, which drastically overloaded the weak pre-existing snowpack. Major avalanches have been occurring naturally, and as the result we haven't been able to go safely into the backcountry to session some of our most favorite terrain. So, instead, we've been doing this:
Now, don't get me wrong, I think urban snowboarding is seriously next-level. Nothing scares me more than a big street rail (except maybe a gnarly avalanche cycle), and the crew that I've been roaming around with has been killing it. Episode Two will definitely have some stuff that will turn heads, but it's just that time of year where I really would like to get some sweet nipple-deep turns on Cardiff or Flagstaff, or spend a night hiking in the Twin Lakes pass area so I can get some bottomless slashes at sunrise. I've included a few photos from the Utah Avalanche Center reporting just in case there's some crazy people out there who think they're smarter than MN (Mother Nature). She'll get ya if you don't have your guard up, and so the advice from me and the rest of the Wasatch boys, as well as the Utah Avalanche Center is to stay out of the backcountry. And that includes all you fools who think it's cool to hike up over Ninety-Nine 90 and go into Squaretop and various other aspects. Don't be a moron, and give it some time. That nipple-deep champaign is waiting for us, but for right now, we need to be patient. And in the meantime, enjoy some urban shots, and my little experiment from the GoPro.
Mary Ellen 1/28/2010 in American Fork Canyon
Rock Bowl and Big Cornice in Logan. Natural Avalanches.
West Monitor Bowl, triggered by a split boarder
That's how far the run-out was for the Monitor slide
Snowmobile track disappearing into a massive slide that left him in critical condition, but alive.
So, for those of you who need a blatant reminder, STAY OUT OF THE BACKCOUNTRY, at least for the time being. You're going to make yourself and your loved ones a lot happier, and you'll allow the current snowpack to settle down a bit and not exacerbate the situation. In the meantime, go ride the park, as shown in Episode One "Reestablishment" of Wasatch: The Official Production Podcast, or get creative and go make your own park, like we did in the video below:
GoPro Wide Angle SD Hero from Parker Alec Cross on Vimeo.
Derek and I were desperately trying to make the rhythm section work, and we kept failing. Just couldn't make the speed work after the first jump, and since I was totally idiotic and left my HD camera at home (shoot me now), we threw on his helmet cam for a quickie.


The Little Run-In That Could

Sometimes snowboarding is the most entertaining and rewarding experience you could ever ask for, and other times it's so unbelievably frustrating that you want to rip your head off and send it to your closest relatives so they can also experience the horror of what you just went through. Today was one of those days where you get a little taste of both. JP Sokolowski, Andy Earl, Keola and I went over to the Park City BMX park right by the firestation for a little mini back-flip session. What was supposed to be a quick build-and-destroy turned into a three hour try-to-get-to-the-end-of-the-run-in-without-dying extravaganza. After twenty-five thousand hits, several faceplants, a near double cork (in your face, Shawn White), and lots of uncontrollable laughter, JP laid out one of the sickest backies I've ever witnessed in person, and I actually managed to capture it on video. Here's a couple lifestyle photos of our little adventure, and stay tuned for the footage.

Project X Afterparty

Ah, Sundance Film Festival season. Not only do we get all the kooks from L.A., but we also get the LDS Film Festival, Slam Dance, and X-Dance all at the same time, so kooks and rad folks from all different walks of life, locations, and backgrounds. Monday night was the world premier of Red Bull Energy Drink's new film "Project X" starring Shawn White (the man, the myth, the legend), and it was actually really good. Saw the film, and I dig it. Shawn definitely has the right sponsors helping him stay on-top of the half-pipe shred scene. It was rad because it was Nick Hyne's last night in town, so we had an opportunity to go out. I was pretty hung-over sleepy the next morning because I had two whole Red Bulls, but I'm sure Nick was feeling a little worse than me, considering it was a private party with an open bar. Well done, sir. Stoked that Angel, Tyson?, Jordan, and Danielle were able to come out and hang out with me while I shot some photos, as well as the fact that I saw most of my friends that live in the SLC area at the party. Thanks for making it a blast.

My boss Jordan Schweizer and the Wiiings Team

Angel and Danielle showing some branded love
J-Dilla doing what he does best

Hyne doing what HE does best

Dani P and I cheesing it up


201 Reestablishment

2-01 Reestablishment - Wasatch: The Official Production Podcast from Parker Alec Cross on Vimeo.

Check it out on iTunes by clicking on the following link:

More Samples

Later this afternoon will mark the launch of Wasatch: The Official Production Podcast, but before the video goes live, check out some sample images from EPW in Bountiful, UT. This feature was gnarly and scary, and mad props to Daryl for nailing it first try. His knee is a little jacked up after knuckling on the top of the horribly scary gap second and third hit, but we still love him bunches. Thanks Daryl and EPW for making it happen.


Coming soon...

Tomorrow marks the start of Season Two of Wasatch: The Official Production Podcast. Here are a couple of screenshots from the episode, as well as images of the iTunes store where you subscribe for the podcast. Don't forget to hit the "subscribe" button in iTunes, otherwise you won't get the automatic updates. I'm super stoked on this first episode, and I think everyone else will be as well. We have riding from Hamish Martin, Nick Hyne, Ozzy Henning, JP Sokolowski, Andy Earl, Jordan Rehrer, Brett Wilson, Chris Green, Benji Oppan, Daryl Young, Steven Grimes, Beau Day, Oakley Hill, Dallin Twilligear, Eric Long, and Elijah P. Whitney, as well as a cameo hug from Torah Bright. Less than 24 hours, people!!


Elijah P. Whitney's Black Sorcery

This was probably one of the more fun sessions I've been a part of recently. Most of the shred kids in SLC know about the Rail Garden on 4500 South, and most of us have had several sessions on the many features there, so I thought it would be super fun to see how many tricks we could hammer out in sixty minutes. Eight riders, plus sixty minutes, plus ten stairs and a handrail equals about 35 different tricks. I'm pretty stoked on everyone that came out the shred with us. We had some new faces, as well as some classic Wasatch Podcast shred heads. Possibly my favorite part, however, was the wizardry of Elijah P. Whitney, whom I had never before met, but who was invited to the session to shoot some photos by my buddy Daryl. All these photos are property of that young man and his Nikon weapon. I'm pretty stoked on all these photos, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I. EPW doesn't have a website at present, but feel free to call him to shoot your wedding or family get-together anytime: 801-450-2432. Photos of Daryl, Oakley, and Chris. Video included in Episode 1, coming January 19.


Nick Hyne + Borrowed PW's = Magic

Sometimes I'm the best person in the world to lend your stuff to. I'm super respectful, punctual, and responsible. Occasionally though, life finds a way to really put a wrench in my reputation by keeping me from returning borrowed items to my friends. Let me explain: Three weeks ago I borrowed a set of Pocket Wizard radio flash triggers and a speedlight from my buddy Blake. I had every intention of returning said items the next day, and hooking Blakey up with some mula for letting me borrow the equipment in a pinch. As of today, I still have the items, and don't know when I'm returning them. Hopefully today or tomorrow (just in case Blake reads this). So, my reputation it totally tarnished, but on the plus side, while we were setting up the basketball hoop two nights past (video to come very soon), Nick Hyne, my buddy from NZ, spotted a little park bench and thought it would be magical to slide the backrest and the seat simultaneously. I also thought this was a pretty good idea, and since I've been terribly irresponsible of late, I happened to have a handy set of Pocket Wizards and a flash just chilling safely in my camera bag. Five tries and several exposures later, we came away with some pretty cool photos. Thanks Blake. Sorry I'm a slacker.

Nick Cheesing it up for the camera

Sick frontside lipslide


Season Two Teaser

We've started principal cinematography for Episode One of Season Two of Wasatch: The Official Production Podcast, and spirits are very high. We have a super legit group of kids that are consistently coming out to kill it everyday. Yesterday we shot at Park City Mountain Resort, and then at a basketball hoop in Silver Summit, then tonight we went back to the basketball hoop to get some additional shots. Everything turned out super sick and all the kids stomped hammers that will definitely make it into the first episode. Embedded below is a sample of what the first episode will contain, with professional snowboarder Nick Hyne from NZ showing better style on his first run of the day than most shreds do all season. Best of luck in China, Nick, and we'll catch you again in March. Check out Nick's blog by clicking here: nickhyne.blogspot.com. Get stoked!