Over the past five seasons, Burton and I have collaborated on hundreds of soft goods pieces, moving photography from digital and print purposes to tech tees, gloves, face masks, t-shirts and beyond, it’s been an awesome run, I can’t thank the great minds at Burton enough for their vision and dedication in making these products happen.
Now, for the 2017 product line, the fine folks in the Hard Goods Division selected an entire collection of ‘snowy tree’ images that adorn the base side of these fine Burton shredding machines. Over the next few weeks, in anticipation of the upcoming winter season, I’ll break down the photograph on each snowboard, giving you the backstory on when and where the image was captured and how it lives within my snowboarding life. For the product specs, sizing charts and so on, I’ll leave that to the Burton website, as they have any and everything you need to know about the board, bindings, boots and everything else for your riding style. Burton.com, click ‘size chart’ once you select a product you’re interested in.
First up is the 2017 Family Tree Landlord Splitboard featuring an image from Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado, captured a couple seasons ago while on a shredding mission with the Arizona posse.
Growing up riding at the Arizona Snowbowl, we were treated with heavy snowfall on a mountain sitting 9,500 feet (2895 m) at the base and 11,550 feet (3505 m) top of chairlift, that’s one heck of a peak sitting in a state widely known as a desert! That was OK with us because our crew had endless tree runs and backcountry possibilities any time a storm was passing through, and for many days after. There were times when it wouldn’t quit snowing, powder days seemed to out number the groomer days, we took full advantage and rode anytime the chairs were running, road lapped the south side, hiked the north side and beyond. It was quite the place to learn snowboarding, adapt to mountain elevation, begin our education about the backcountry and of course make new friends.
As with any skateboarder or snowboarder, the sense of adventure called and we wanted to explore beyond our home turf, meet other crews, see mountain ranges around the southwest. One of those places that became a second home was Wolf Creek, a small family run resort that caught the same storms we enjoyed in northern Arizona, with the advantage of landing any low pressure systems that swung north of Flagstaff. This wonderful resort sits in the southwest corner of Colorado, twenty-four miles east of Pagosa Springs, has a few chairlifts, minimal crowds and maximum fun.
Wolf Creek has this pension for great early season conditions, they only need a couple feet of snow to get the chairlifts cranking and the trails open, which is soon followed by more snow and guess what? More snow! They boast ‘The Most Snow in Colorado’ and by all means it’s a fact, sitting on 430 natural inches (annual average) (1092 cm) that provide a pleasureful ride each and every time.
A couple seasons ago in late November, the Arizona posse got together and decided on a pre-Thanksgiving shred mission because we really needed to ride and a perfectly crafted storm was brewing which would get us 24 inches (60 cm) of new at the very least. Plans came together, the road trip started and some hours later we found ourselves waxing up the snowboards down in Pagosa Springs in anticipation of what was to come. Headed east on Highway 160 the next morning the storm started to crack, pockets of sun here and there, the glisten of fresh snow flying around in the air, followed by another storm cloud. We were the first in lift line per usual, waiting for the ‘go’ signal, and I’ll clue you in on something here, there’s really never any lift lines at Wolf Creek (aside from Christmas break) …shhh!
Not only was the Arizona posse in attendance, an APB went out to the Colorado locals who were more than happy to join us and detail a few of their favorite lines. We rode, hiked, explored and chilled for three days, making this one of heck of an early season powder stoke. When not on the slopes we made our way back down to Pagosa Springs to enjoy the hot springs, hence how this rad little town got its name.
Riding Wolf all these years later offers me the same feeling it always has, slashing powder with your friends will never get old and neither do the hoots and hollering while doing so. Wolf Creek isn’t this ‘secret place,’ but rather a small little nugget sitting in the corner of the state welcoming all, and now an image from my second home has found its way onto the Landlord split, enjoy. Blotto
All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto