Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JP in the Tahoe Backcountry 2013

Posted by peaches On June - 22 - 2013

Around this time of year there is a lot of reflecting on the winter that has just been put to rest. Recently in conversations with people from back home or friends in the area who I haven’t seen in a while, I find myself referring to the winter of 2012-2013 as another bust. A total of 326 inches (at Squaw which averages 450) this past season was less then the 355 that fell in the season that almost wasn’t in 2012. It’s easy to feel cheated when thinking about these two seasons but that’s a lot like feeling you got the shaft because you only got to hook-up with 3 varsity cheerleaders at some insane fantasy school where the average is 4 pairs of pom-poms on your bedroom floor. It’s really not that bad, especially when I remember that just 4 years ago I was still in school in Upstate New York and spent the majority of my winter on the frozen slopes of Southern Vermont. If I showed this edit to that former self and managed to utter a complaint about this past winter I would probably get a “are you fucking kidding me?” death stare and punch to the right hip (because this would be me punching me and I know how much it hurts when I get hit right hip).

So I am not going to complain about this the 2013 winter. In fact I’m going to be thankful that my first year with a snowmobile had a deep base for most of the season and not much fresh snow after that. I can only imagine how many tree wells would have provided a nice resting spot for my sled and it’s eager to learn but thoroughly incompetent pilot. It was considered an ideal winter by experienced slednecks yet I still managed to send my sled tomahawking down a 1,500ft chute which will be hard to dethrone as the most vivid, adrenaline filled moment of life.

Oh yeah and the days at Squaw in December, which I have no footage of, were by far the deepest of the season. I might even go as far as to say one of the deepest days I have ever had. (Anyone who opted for Far East on one of those mornings can back me up.)

I don’t think this past winter requires any more analysis, I could go on for a couple thousand words just describing the various new terrain I was fortunate enough to ride and probably write twice as much about the terrain I saw but never got the opportunity to shred. Just listen to the “bro-speak” interview at the beginning of the video. If you think I sound like an idiot you are not alone, I cringed through the entire editing experience.

JP’s 2013 Backcountry Reel from JANKYfilms on Vimeo.

A recap of my first Tahoe winter

Posted by keenan On June - 16 - 2013

Living in a ski town, it’s easy to forget how unique it is that all of your ski-bum friends are competent backcountry skiing, winter hiking by moonlight, or simply to shredding steep slopes inbounds. After two winters in school back in Vermont, it was great to go exploring again with my Janky brethren.

Timmy K – Donner Lake Run:

"The Lake Run" is a classic backcountry run above Donner Lake.  Timmy still finds some fresh after it hadn't snowed in several weeks.

“The Lake Run” is a classic backcountry run above Donner Lake. Timmy still finds some fresh after it hadn’t snowed in several weeks.

Ian N., lower Lake Run:

Nimmo, lower Lake Run.

Nimmo, lower Lake Run.

The snowmobiles added a whole new dimension to serious winter exploring.

First, the snowmobiles were much more difficult to ride in deep snow than imagined. After watching a few Slednecks videos, we figured we’d be blasting to the top of steep pillow zones in no time. No such luck. Instead, the sleds were getting stuck all over the place, rolled down steep chutes, and bucking us off without mercy when we tried to double up hills. On two occasions, I was doubling on a sled that cross-rutted and rolled on a steep hill, bucking the driver and I off, and leaving us scrambling to prevent the snowmobile from rolling like a log to the bottom of the hill.

Hazen and his Ski-Doo 800, JP’s RMK 800 in the background:

Hazen and his 800 Ski-doo, with JP's 800 Polaris in the background

Hazen and his 800 Ski-doo, with JP’s 800 Polaris in the background

Second, the sleds were machines, and required maintenance. Between Hazen, JP, Tyler and I, we had a limited basket of tools from which to work. Literally, a woven Easter-type basket served as our toolbox. And we had no garage. Hazen used a large multi-colored umbrella as his garage. Tyler and I used an old shed at my house, and left the ass-end of the sled hanging out into the elements. Unfortunately, the sled that Tyler and I had, a 2001 Polaris RMK 700, blew up the top end – the parts of the pistons on the exhaust side broke off. Over several nights in the shed, accompanied by freezing fingers and lots of cursing, we executed a rebuild.

The shed setup:

The shed

You can see the broken edge on the left-hand, close edge of the piston

You can see the broken edge on the left-hand, close edge of the piston

When I did get out on the snowmobiles with Hazen and JP, I took some of the best runs of my life. Tahoe is much steeper than Alta and the terrain is much more technical, which makes for the type of skiing that can give you serious jollies. Next winter, with the sled situation more dialed in, I think Janky will be able to consistently access world-class skiing. Jollies forcast? An all time high.

Hazen dropped me off at the top of this chute in Blackwood, so tasty:

Hazen dropped me off at the top of this untracked line in Blackwood Canyon - so tasty.

Hazen dropped me off at the top of this untracked line in Blackwood Canyon – so tasty.

Aside from the backcountry, I had some great inbounds days at Squaw and Alpine. There is lots to explore between the two ski areas and the accompanying side country.

Tyler S., atop a cornice on Squaw closing day 2013:

Tyler S., atop a cornice at Squaw, closing day 2013.

Tyler S., atop a cornice at Squaw, closing day 2013.

It’s June, and I couldn’t be more excited for my next Tahoe winter with Janky.

The Road… Shasta

Posted by hazen On May - 5 - 2013

JP, Timmy and Hazen checking in from the road. We just finished up 4 incredible days on Mount Shasta, where the locals are weird and the hikes are long. Timmy and Ingrid found a great camping spot on the first night below snow level that was warmer and more sheltered and we established a solid base camp. Each of the four days we toiled up 2,500′ vert to our jump spots and dug. And dug. Our first jump:



Our next spot we were determined to build a step-up, regardless of build-time. JP standing at the top of the lip-



Timmy whistlin’ as he works.




The sun sets over 14,000 foot Shasta in fine form as our adventure here comes to a close.




The camper in full effect under the stars.




As soon as we finished our second jump session we packed everything up and drove through the night, sad to leave the beautiful Shasta Wilderness but gripped by excitement to discover what Mount Hood holds for us. More to come…

Shred Ready Park Laps

Posted by hazen On April - 26 - 2013

It is officially spring here in the Tahoe area… which of course means the parks are soft and ready to be slayed. Keenan and Hazen spent a few days filming around Boreal, Alpine Meadows and Squaw to put together something quick to showcase the Forty 4, Shred Ready‘s new helmet.


Posted by timmyp On February - 13 - 2013

No skiing for TimmyP thus far.  In lieu, I have been in Bali, Indonesia since September.  Here are some stories:


Early January, a couple friends and I traveled to Aceh, the northernmost province on the island of Sumatra.  Get a map out!  Aceh claims itself as, “The gateway of Islam to Indonesia” – ergo, devoutly Muslim.  Sharia law is imposed.  On Friday afternoons, when all men are to be praying at mosque and women at home, the Islamic Police — Muslim equivalent of nuns – patrol the streets, with megaphones and all.  No beer as well.  Historically the province is fiercely independent.  The Aech rebels (GAM) fought the Indonesian military since the 70s.  The fighting more or less ended with the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 in which 60000 people in the capital city of Banda Aceh were killed.


Despite its history and appearances, the place is pretty laid back.  Its citizens are extremely hospitable and friendly.  Sharia is not all that enforced.  Friends joked around about hiding out of view from the Islamic Police.  I only saw two burkas.  Uncharacteristic for Indonesia, Banda Aceh is clean and organized, and traffic flows smoothly.   And we did find beer


Our friend and guide in town, Riva often played on his Blackberry, and said “Oh Fuck Shit Man!” as his go-to exclamation.  But he did have to pray five times a day.   Here, he gets us some coconuts from a lady with a machete.


Wave-wise, there was not a whole lot to choose from.  With small swell surfing was limited Lhoknga Beach.  There was a small reef right and reef left.  But most of the time was spent on a punchy A-frame.  With a small take-off zone and a handful of local kids with the place dialed, I inevitably cut off a few people.






Cross Country Travels

Posted by keenan On June - 4 - 2012

Lawdog school ended in early March. I packed up my skis, tent, and bike, and was quickly on the road to Tahoe. Some things to note:
1) A quarter mile off I-80 in Iowa City, on Dubuque Street is a decent concrete park. Its a great way to break up the drive. The transitions are a bit lumpy, but its still better than almost every modular park on the East Coast.

Dubuque Street Park, 1/4 mile South of I-80 in Iowa City

2) For skiiers from the East Coast and Mid-West, driving across Nebraska on I-80 is a rite of passage. The seven hour traverse across Nebraska is dreaded, eye-opening, and at times, strangely enjoyable.

Big trucks and big farms - I-80 in Nebraska

Hung out with the Ft. Collins crew (Tyler, Toby, and A White) for a night, then drove to Salt Lake for a reunion with some of GMD homies. Apparently their landlord is very relaxed because the crew has installed a sketchy ladder leading to the second story roof. It made for a great view while I enjoyed a few beers.

Seth Orton & Bros. Apparently Seth had an old person slip-and-fall and broke his ankle.


Two out of three North sisters!

Finally, onto Squaw Valley and skiing. The Lake Tahoe area has had a “bad” winter but that sort of thing is all relative. It still snowed ~350 inches in North Lake Tahoe. With freezing mountainous nights, there has been more than enough snow to ski various jumps, jibs, and chutes into June.

I live down there in a tent! Olympic Valley, Squaw Valley ski area is to the right over the ridge.


JP on Mt. Rose, late May.

After a May 26-28 snowstorm, Tarca and Timmy K on top of Slide Mountain Chutes.

JP and Hazen put the finishing touches on a triage of Donner Pass jibs, May 29th.


Tarca on top of Alpine Bowl, May 31. We skinned from the parking lot.


Lower right, Tarca drops a cliff on the way down Alpine Bowl, Memorial Day.

That’s it for now. Look for video footage of our late spring skiing in webisodes from JankyFilms out this summer! And keep on skiing, there’s still plenty of snow out there that kids from the East Coast would kill to ride.

The Stoke Report: Castle Peak

Posted by peaches On April - 17 - 2012



To say this winter got off to a slow start is most deffineitely an understatement, it almost didn’t show up. The last month however has provided us with some big storms and a more winter-like experience here in Tahoe. It was hard to pry oursleves away from the resorts seeing as some of the most infamous lines and zones have just recently filled in and become ridable after months of leaving such things to our imaginations.

The first week of April started out with some significant snowfall and the end of that first week remained sunny and cold, that combined with some serious wind events gave us the hunch that conditions would at least be decent and allow for some good backcountry exploration. Castle peak was first on the list. It was a zone I have been thinking about all season. The ease of access combined with the featuresque terrain I had seen in photos made it an easy choice for one of our first true tours of the 2012 season. The Castle did not disappoint. Rising over the ridge from the south face we came up on AK style chutes and spines that were untouched. It took a second to realize that all the tracks at the base of the north face were from sleds and not skiers, a foreign sight after spending a couple winters in Little Cottonwood. The conditions were good, better than expected but still variable, thin cover right off the top but better once you got deeper into your line. We squeezed in a couple laps by noon unfortunately I was supposed to be at work around that same time so the ride back down to Boreal was a bit hectic but if your day doesn’t end with a sprint down I 80 in all your gear you may not have sent it as hard as you could have.

Castle Peak made made such a great impression on us that we went back just a couple days ago this time with a bigger crew, the JANKYcam2, and damn near hero snow that was gifted to us this past week. That footage is classified for now but the POV’s from our first jaunt should tie you over.

Three weeks . . . and one day.

Posted by keenan On April - 13 - 2012

In three weeks, and one day, I could be done. Done with year two of law school. It has been a wacky time since I left Tahoe in August. Things kicked off with Hurricane Irene right when I got back to Vermont:

Then I sat on my ass, did three months of work straight, and got the most out-of-shape (and best grades) since I drank beers all day in college. The jury is still out on whether the trade-off is worth it:

Next, Vermont had the warmest winter ever recorded, coupled with one of the lowest snowfalls ever. My housemate Jim took this photo of me on the highway embankment behind my apartment in January:

six inches!

In March, an incredible two-plus week, 70-80 degree heat wave melted all the snow, and I had my “last day” on March 23, racking up a grand total of 31 ski days.

Obligatory shot of the bros - Samuel and Andrew. Non-bro Jimmy on the way left.


Mud season lasted about a week. April 8th, I hiked up Killington, from the base of Bear Mountain, through both melted out parks, to the peak.

Mud season lasted about a week. April 8th, I hiked up Killington, from the base of Bear Mountain, through both melted out parks, to the peak.

From the tip-top of Killington

Then boom! EAST COAST POW DAY! Scratch 31 days, make that 32! On April 9th, 18 inches stacked up on Killington. It was easily my best non-park day all season. We got two completely untracked runs. I got this shot of Jim after a 20-minute hike:

Definitely boot deep - you can't even see those boots.

With the late season storm, I’ll go out a few more times here on the East Coast. But in three weeks and one day, I’m done. Then it’s back to Tahoe to build some late and great spring jumps. Can’t wait.

Forgetting About Winter… Kind of

Posted by peaches On February - 4 - 2012

Living the way we do, working full time and trying to make a movie, traveling is usually reserved for the shoulder season usually occurring in April and May. But when there is little snow to ride and no work to be had getting out of town seemed like the only way to stay sane. It took just one fall in the firm Squaw park  for me to realize I needed to take a little vacation from the ice crust and 45 degree days that have been theme of Tahoe so far this season. So I loaded up Legacy (pronouced with Italian accent) and pointed it towards the coast.  The trip was not so much about finding fresh snow as it was about regaining some of the positive spirit that has been slowly slipping away over the last three months. The eventual goal was Vancouver, BC but I would end up settling for a couple days on the North Coast of California and a day of riding at Mount Hood Meadows.

The after a couple wrong turns around Sacramento I cruised over the foothills past Clear Lake and arrived in Fort Bragg (not to be confused with Fort Brag, NC the large military base where the US Special Forces are trained) After dollar tacos at North Coast Brewery and car camping in the 24 hour Safeway parking lot, the first night was in the books. The early morning clouds were starting to give way as I started up HWY1 to the 101.

The therapeutic qualities of getting on the road were evident right away. The winter that wasn’t was out of mind, that space was now taken up by the mind blowing scenery of the California Coast and the Redwoods which put most other trees to shame.

The trip provided ample “GTS” opportunities. Watching the sunset from Redwood National Park, not a person to be seen in any direction. Once the sun had set there was no choice but to drive through the night in order to be in Government Camp by morning. Mount Hood had been receiving storms all all week and 8 inches that day. Combined with the 100 inch base it was the only logical move. I can only pretend there is no winter for so long, apparently two days is the limit.

 Sunrise on HWY26 heading towards Mount Hood. It had been well over a year since I had been to Hood and it was the first time being there in the winter. It was a comforting sight and evidence that winter could be found, a tale I would have to tactfully relay back in Tahoe.

I had never ridden Meadows before but that didn’t matter, it seemed like every pass holder I rode the lift with wanted to tell me about the “sickest zone” on the mountain. At first I barely said anything as they started to spill about the goods for fear that one word could set them off into a realization of what they were doing. After a couple DEEP pillowy runs in the woods out the gates of Heather Canyon I started to take more liberties with the locals who, upon an initial profiling, I determined might know where to go.  By the end of the day I soaked up enough knowledge to call the day the best of the season so far. Not that there was much competition.


Possibly the most exciting thing I have ever seen in a ski area cafeteria. This was a sign that it would be a great day. If you don’t know you should find out.


Breakfast and a good ten minute scope of the terrain Mount Hood has to offer. It was time to ride. There will be some POV to accompany this post as soon as I free up some computer space. Footage or it never happened right?

Unable to get my shift covered for the following night combined with the fact that Northwest resorts to not give discount tickets to employees of California resorts even with a letterhead (though mine was out of date to boot) I decided call the trip and head back to Tahoe, hoping that during the 11 hour drive the forecast would change to three weeks of storms (no such luck). Hood to Tahoe takes you right through Bend so it made sense that I end the trip the same way I started it… with a brewery. Deschutes is the most renown of the many breweries in Bend and I had never been, so it was an easy decision. The perfect spot to get a little loose before the long drive home.

3 to 4 ft of snow… Equivalent rain

Posted by peaches On January - 21 - 2012


The storm here in Tahoe turned out to be a true bust. Forecasts were originally calling for up 10 inches during the day yesterday and up to 25 inches over night. What actually happened? It rained, a lot, for a long time. The cold air mass took its time coming down south and didn’t show up until early this morning. It was reported that the rain did not change to snow until 1 am at 8,700ft , the summit of Squaw is 9,050. Not good. If the forecasts are on track now we could receive about a foot and a half in the next couple days, but not the 5 feet that was being talked about at the beginning of the week.


The question is now, who in Utah, Jackson, or the PNW proper has some floor space and needs some dishes washed?