Burton Girls Splitboarding Mission

Head over to Burton Girls (click HERE) to see my splitboarding adventure with Possum Torr last week in Mammoth Lakes, California. This region has seen over six hundred inches of snowfall over the course of the 2017 winter, so we set out to take advantage of beautiful spring conditions over at the Tele Bowls on the Sherwin Range.

The mission was certainly enhanced with the inclusion of Possum’s lively husky dog named Ryder, along with a couple of friends and their husky pups. It was a darn good time witnessing the canines ascend and descend the mountain with ease, they have endless energy and that was passed right along to us.

Have a read, enjoy the images and check out the product we were using for the day trip. Thanks for following! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Vids Drawings Stories

I’ve taken quite a liking to the new Instagram story function where after video and photo capture you can add your own personal touch with a deluxe pallet of brush tools, colors and effects, then deliver immediately to your followers. In accordance with my photo capturing responsibilities at the 2017 US Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail, I was filling in the blanks via ‘stories’ with some BTS moments, posting to my Instagram, followed by a collection of clips over at Flipagram (click HERE to see the round-up).

Great times hustling still images with the insane amount of action happening and the giant shot list myself and the talented squad of photographers, filmers and managers at Burton were handling each and every day. Can’t thank the Events Crew, PR, Content, the Riders, Fans, the Spectators and everyone else for putting on and supporting another EPIC US Open event, it was fantastic! If you haven’t attended, you should think about making plans for the 2018 version, it won’t disappoint. Click HERE to see the collection of imagery, video and results from last week’s show. Blotto

All images, video and art work ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

One Jump Bunch of Pics

While filming for Burton’s ’13’ movie we visited the wonderful folks at Heavenly Resort to spend a few days in the High Roller Terrain Park. The feature we settled on for the majority of the filming was a beautifully assembled Step-Down Tabletop with adequate pop, trajectory and landing angles, all situated with Lake Tahoe in the background. With all of these factors in place it was a win-win scenario as the Burton squad crushed the opportunity with a bevy of freestyle maneuvers, providing excellent film clips and still photos. GOOD TIMES! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto

Best of US Open Vail

A few of my favs from the past couple of years at the US Open of Snowboarding Championships in Vail, Colorado. Slopestyle, halfpipe, amazing snowboarders showing good style and technique. GO! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto

Snowbowl Wednesday

Carlos Daniel and I got back out on the splitboards for another tour on the San Francisco Peaks, selecting a route on the opposite side of the mountain from our prior day’s mission. Our goal was to find some soft snow and rip a few pow turns to satisfy the soul while working around potential avalanche hazards due to the recent snowfall and a couple of wind events thereafter.

After submitting our route and plan to friends not on the mission we headed up the Arizona Snowbowl chairlift system, disembarking at 10,200 feet (3108 meters), switching over into touring mode and beginning the 1,500 (457 meters) vertical foot ascent to our destination. Around the 11,000 foot (3352 meters) mark we encountered some B24 airplane wreckage, landing gear sticking straight out of the snow, something you don’t see everyday! We thanked those who served then continued up through the trees before breaking out onto a ridge, greeted by significant wind speed. We knew going into the mission winds would be picking up throughout the day so we skinned up as far as it was comfortable and safe and started a snow assessment at the 11,700 foot mark (3566 meters).

‘Digging a Pit‘ is the common term in seeing what the snow layers are up to on any given slope you plan to descend, ours being a 32-degree pitch, rider’s left of a known slide path. Aside from assessing the snow and the layers through a series of tests, common sense plays a big part in not being greedy, like dropping in on a convex roll next to a known slide path just because “the snow looks so good!” This is never the approach any of us take while in the backcountry, it’s not worth it, please remember that.

After completing our test, we knew avy danger was low on our selected route, so we felt good in descending for some quality turns, which we did successfully and safely. The remainder of the run concluded with variable conditions through the trees back into the resort and a solid high-five for another successful tour in the Arizona backcountry.

The next move was switching out the backcountry gear for the twintip board and ripping chairlift laps for the remainder of the day through the various terrain parks and natural features around the mountain. Overall another fine day on the The San Francisco Peaks for outdoor enthusiasts like you and I, it’s hard to beat a split tour in the morning and groomers in the afternoon! Blotto

Please visit Kachinapeaks.org for up to date snowpack conditions, weather forecast, education and training opportunities. Don’t go into the backcountry unprepared, get your friends together and take your avalanche courses, aight!

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Snowbowl Tuesday

Great day on the Arizona Snowbowl slopes with Yosh, Ryan, Carlos, Alfie and the other rad locals I met along the way. After some fresh groomer laps on the Grand Canyon Express chair we headed up Agassiz Chairlift as the Upper Bowl hike had just opened (patrol was running through avalanche safety procedures prior), so we scored some left-over powder that was sitting there asking to be slashed.

After enjoying the beautiful views of the incoming weather at 11,800 feet (3596 meters) we handled a few runs over on the Humphrey’s Chair, taking advantage of the newly constructed Daydreamer Progression Park, the third and newest terrain park our main man Yosh and his park staff are creating and maintaining.

Not to let the day slip away without additional powder riding, Carlos Daniel invited me up for a splitboard mission in the area of Agassiz peak, so we grabbed the safety equipment, the Burton Family Tree splitboards, let our friends know where we were headed and caught last chair up. Much to our chagrin, the weather had moved in something fierce, making visibility not that rad. Not to be discouraged we charged up to our predetermined location anyway in hopes for a break in the cold dark wind, reassembled the outfits into snowboard mode and waited it out. After an hour kicking it in a protected area, we decided to shred the gnar in the conditions Mother Nature was offering us and we fully enjoyed the ten turns of soft snow, making the mission one-hundred percent worth it.

Overall an epic day of riding the San Francisco Peaks that included everything from corduroy to park features to pow slashing…all things Snowbowl. If you’re in Arizona, get up to the Bowl, you deserve it. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto

Arizona Desert Snow

When the big storms roll through Arizona it’s a given the northern and eastern sections of the state will receive significant snowfall, but when the temps drop just enough the desert mountains on the east side of Phoenix get their share. It’s a beautiful sight witnessing the Superstition Mountains, Weaver’s Needle, Mazatzal Range and beyond receive Mother Nature’s frozen precipitation, blanketing a region that’s widely known as a hot and dry desert climate. These images were from New Years Day 2015 as a serious cold front moved through the region, so I hopped in the car and shot around Highway 87 and 60 grabbing as many frames as possible during the event.

If you’re in Arizona right now, enjoy this current round of moisture hammering the area and you should consider heading up to Flagstaff to enjoy another weekend of epic powder riding! It’s been really really good at Snowbowl all season long. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto

Blue Mountain Tones

Over the past couple of days I’ve been posting images from Haines, Alaska, a truly special region of the world in the Southeast portion of the 49th state. The blue tones produced in the months of March and April is something else and capturing that with the contrast of the snow is a dreamy photographic situation. In addition to the scenic photographs, I’m often treated to some amazing snowboarding on these very same slopes, that my friends, is a good time. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto