I made it to the Tumalo Mountain Trailhead just in time for three and a half hours of sleep before a day in the backcountry with some friends from G5. It snowed over a foot last night so it was not that hard to get energized and stoked for the day ahead.
We spent the day shredding bottomless pow, laughing and got to catch up with each other. What a perfect day. Amazing how less than 24 hours earlier I was headed to Squaw Valley feeling sick to my stomach. The tides had turned.
The very next day I returned to the same zone on snowmobile with my friend Rex. We were welcomed with radically different snow conditions and higher avy dangers as a result of the rising temperatures. Conditions change fast in the mountains.
My post from today’s adventure:
Skiing this zone yesterday was a humbling experience. We received a small reminder of the power of nature and how conditions can change in seconds out here. Grateful my buddy and I skied away to shred another day. Be safe out there friends.
Rex’s post from today’s adventure:
Really fun day in the backcountry with @skiclimb! We were on the same wavelength. Scott and I both stayed up late the night before, hanging with friends and needed to sleep in. So, naturally a noon start felt organic.
However, we encountered a rapid rise in temperature that affected the snow conditions adversely as the day progressed. We dug a snow pit at the top of the zone and the stability appeared to be good. There was no propagation or explosive energy in the snowpack. But halfway down our line we realized it wasn't so stable.
Luckily, we skied only 100ft at a time, kept each other in sight and managed our risks effectively. One of the ski cuts we performed consequently set off a significant slide on the top 6 inches of snow. Had we not picked our way down this steep terrain we may have potentially gone for a hazardous ride.
This experience reminded me of an avalanche I was partially buried up to my nipples in 2014 and gave me a returned feeling of post traumatic stress.
Even if you do everything right in terms of analyzing the snow pack, that analyzation is only valid in that specific time, location, elevation and aspect. One can ski 300 feet down the snow covered slope and encounter completely different snow conditions!
Nature never ceases to blow my mind and expand my perspective in this mountainous environment. Be careful out there everyone! ❄️🗻⛷🚀😎
Rex and I returned home safe this day. Neither of us got even partially buried, but we did kick off three noticeable slides while navigating down some expert ski terrain in the Three Sisters Wilderness.
The next day I connected with my buddy Blair. We were going to ski Tumalo Mountain and the back bowl if avy conditions permitted. En-route to the top we crossed paths with Mike for Central Oregon Avy. He gave us a professional run down to the snow conditions. After our conversation and analysis we were convinced skiing anything beyond low angle tree runs was suicide.
Blair and I did summit Tumalo, we dug a pit in a slightly dangerous area and the results were pretty mind opening. Our snow pit column test resulted in a fracture at 30cm, 60cm and 120cm. Basically, if we were to ski the bowl and trigger a slide then burial was a probable outcome.
As the conditions in the mountains worsened my mind shifted from pow skiing to work mode. Yes, I still work, however my relationship to work has changed radically. It is no longer my life, rather a means to live the life I want to live. The rest of my week in Bend was spent meeting with some of my amazing customers that I am truly honored to serve, spending time with my best friend and preparing for my return home.
Continue Reading - It’s Still All Hood - Welcome Back to Mt. Hood, Oregon --->
I spent the next few days in Mammoth working on website and digital marketing projects, resting and reflecting as I waited for the next storm cycle that would drop over four feet of snow in the Sierras. I slept in my deck bed, showered at the RV village, worked at the library and met some new friends, one of which welcomed me into his home for a few nights stay. It was far from a five star adventure, but it was life and I was striving to maximize each moment.
As the storm rolled in I met new friends, got an invite to ski one day in the backcountry and skied one epic resort day followed by some of the heaviest powder skiing ever.
My journal entry from a day skiing in the backcountry….
"I love mountains and that will never change. All the sacrifices for these experiences have undeniably been worth it. My respect and love for the mountains only continues to grow the deeper and further I go. It is truly amazing how variable mountains are, how one simple turn may yield pow on Northern aspects and sun baked avy danger on others."
Final Day..... The adventure evolves.
"Later Mammoth. Thanks for the pow turns and new adventures."
As I turned my car onto 395N with my GPS and mind set for Squaw Valley, something started to change. Another 2-4 feet of snow was forecasted, I had friends from Central Oregon to link up with, projects to complete that would create cash flow on the road and a place to stay in Squaw at no cost. Everything seemed perfect.
I felt like I was living in fairy tale, after three weeks on the road, pow skiing in three different states and experiences that make me smile. Was this real life? Did I need to slow down? Was something bad about to happen? Was the forecast true for Squaw? What was the temperature going to be?
As I moved closer and closer to the resort, I repeatedly checked the forecast for Squaw Valley. I probably checked three different forecast networks five times each, as if they were going to change. My internal communication system began telling me to turn around, to head back to Oregon. I fought this battle between my subconscious mind which wanted to experience Squaw Valley on a powder day and my conscious which telling me that something very bad was going to happen if I continued. My gut started to turn, I felt sick as if I was going to puke in the middle of the pass. The closer I got, the sicker I got.
Then my internal voice told me to call my good friend Lucas who I had not connected with for months. I dialed. He answered.
Me: Lucas, Whats up brotha? How you been?
Lucas: Good Scott great to hear from you. You’ve been getting after it man. Where you at?
Me: Actually, heading to Squaw, but it does not feel right. How about you?
Lucas: Chilling in Bend, getting ready for Sun Valley.
Me: Epic man. I do not know why Squaw does not feel right. The cards are stacked perfectly, but I feel like something bad is going to happen.
Lucas: Well, I can’t decide for you, but just know that your gut knows best.
Me: You are right man. Might head to Bend, Sun Valley or home to Hood. Who knows, but this is not right.
Lucas: Yeah boy. Hope to shred with you soon.
Me: Me too brotha. Talk soon.
Lucas: Peace Scott.
After my conversation with Lucas I completed a U-Turn not 20 miles from Squaw and changed my destiny to to Bend, Oregon. I instantly began feeling better, and in the moment knew that I’d made the right decision. Maybe it saved my life or someone else's. I will never truly know.
Lessons from the Sierras:
The Adventure Continues - Central Oregon - Backcountry Skiing in The Three Sisters Wilderness and Digital Marketing Meetings --->
In the week that follows I would listen to Joe McQueen (aka Joe Lee McQueen play the saxophone, ski Snowbasin, Alta and the Wasatch Backcountry. This experience had more lessons in store, more stories to be written and powder turns that I had dreamed of as a kid.
A Chairlift Reflection
I was sitting alone on the chairlift yesterday reflecting on my past week. Thinking about how present I have been, how I have managed to reach a state of peace and happiness and how I could truly not ask for more out of life right now. I literally have everything I need, yet what I have is so minimal to the point of which I almost feel naked. As I contemplated what I would do with my next day my mind started drifting into the Wasatch Backcountry. It was as though the force of Mother Nature was pulling me into the wild unknown.
The next day, I spent my morning commute to Snowbird from Sandy, Utah contemplating just what I would do with my day. Would I ski the resort, go on a mellow tour, or both? As my car crept closer and closer to the the Bird I could feel the mountains pulling me into the backcountry, a place I rarely journey solo. Today, would become one of those rare occasions.
I parked my car at Alta Lodge, booted up, checked my gear and made one HUGE mistake. I took my stove out of my pack. A decision that I would later regret and will never do again.
As the morning set in, I slipped into a calm state of meditation. I slowly scaled what appeared to be the safest route for the morning. When I reached the top I was overwhelmed with the number of directions I could go. It was now very clear to me why so many people call the Wasatch home. It was steep, beautiful and full of endless possibilities.
My first inclination was to take a run right back to my car, but the mountains were filled with what every skier dreams of. Powder and sunny skies. The perfect recipe for disaster or some of the most amazing experiences one might have in life.
I ended up spending the entire day alone in the backcountry. Ascending over 6000 vertical and skiing some of the most mind opening lines of my life. I was surrounded by other backcountry goers; some in groups and some alone. I was wild and free. I was connected to the mountains.
Lessons from Skiing in Utah:
The Adventure Continues - Mammoth Mountain, California - Alone is Not Always Lonely --->
The Adventure Continues - Mammoth Mountain, California - Alone is Not Always Lonely --->
How do I even summarize Jackson Hole, Wyoming through my lens? The place is huge, enlightening and spiritual. It is filled with so much energy, stoke, passion and excitement for the sport of skiing, that I just felt at the right place. The next week in Jackson would prove to be full of life lessons, excitement and epic times with some of my best friends.
Life Lessons From Jackson Hole:
I left Jackson Hole a different person. While, I have always loved the mountains, I never felt so connected, enlightened, energized and stoked on skiing. Jackson, you have not seen the last of me.
Thank you to all my friends that shared the Jackson Hole powder experience with me. Don, Drew, Johnny G, Sam, Brian and the epic people I met.
My itinerary was open. The next storm cycle was bound to hit the Wasatch Range. Utah here I come.
This adventure has just started. Continue Reading -
Utah - Saxophones and Skiing--->
This is a story about 4000 miles full of adventure, family, friends, powder skiing, life lessons and making dreams a reality. I hope you enjoy, I hope you are inspired and I hope you find the courage to live your dreams too.
“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”
I did it.
2:00 PM strikes. My job duties are complete and for the last time, I walk out of Dakine. I am leaving the stability and support of an amazing organization for freedom, adventure and an opportunity to really build out my digital marketing business. I've undeniably been inspired by the simple fact that we have one life to live and one story to write. I want my next chapter to be filled with powder days, months on the trail and abroad, search and rescue missions that change people’s lives and experiences I can look back on with a smile.
But, why am I doing all this?
Some would call me crazy, some would call this chaos and those closest to me would start to worry. I guess my Adventure Deficit Disorder (ADD) kicked in again and I was in need of a major dose of adventure to combat it. I was in need of new experiences and opportunities. I needed change.
I have opted on many accounts to trade the mundane of stability, societal norms and the same routine every day for uncertainty, adventure and challenges. This time, I have decided to leave home with nothing more than my car, the bed deck I built in the back for sleeping, a Mountain Collective ski pass and burning desire to shred as much pow as possible. This is scary. This is humbling. This is me and always will be.
My simple plan is to spend the next year working remote while I ski, climb, backpack, run marathons and do what I do. I believe this will lead to adventures into the unknown and stories that will last a lifetime. I believe it will inspire you to live the life of your dreams.
I did not take a walk down the easy path to reach this split in the trail. In fact it was rocky, had many hills and was incredibly frustrating at times. Like the days I was stuck behind a glass window knowing there were powder turns to be had. Knowing there was something more to my life than what I was doing.
So let's begin.
My next chapter starts today. I am off to Jackson Hole and the unknown open road. I want to thank everyone for the love, support and motivation to live my dreams instead of just letting them be dreams.
Continue Reading --- Jackson Hole, WY - Enlightened in the Mountains --->
Much gratitude for this Japow experience with my friends. As you say in Japanese ---> Sugoi yuki desu! = It's great snow.🇯🇵❄️🇯🇵
Meditation creates free mind space for our accent and decent strategies. Both are critical components to a safe and successful journey.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends." - Dumbledoor - Harry Potter
Mother nature dropped barrel loads of snow in the mountains over the past few days. Today was refreshing and cleansing. I am so grateful for experiences like this.
Welcome to Scott's Adventure Blog!