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Lake Tahoe, CA

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Squaw Alpine

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Interview

Where do you guide backcountry snowboarding?
It varies from year to year. This year I am starting my season in Antarctica, then heading to Lake Tahoe to guide for Alpenglow Expeditions. In January I'll be in Japan guiding for Black Diamond tours, then back to Tahoe, then over to the Himalaya in the spring.
Favorite Jones boards:
The Carbon Solution 162W and the Hovercraft Split 160 are my go to boards. If it snowed more than a foot, I'm grabbing my Hovercraft.
2017 Season Highlight:
On a trip to Japan in January, riding off the summit crater of Mt Yotei in full sun, cold temps and blower snow was an all time high point for the season.
What's your first advice for aspiring backcountry riders?
Pre-planning your intended tour from a warm dry place before you get to the trailhead can help you make safer decisions once out in the elements. It's also important to remember that who you go into the backcountry with is as important as when and where you decide to go.
How do you deal with 'spooky moderate' days?
I ride on days with variable avalanche hazards by closely managing terrain choices. Usually that means seeking out the least complex and lowest angle terrain. I'll pass along the saying that, "if the snowpack is the problem, your terrain choice is the answer."
What's your dream line?
My dream line starts at the top of the mountain with a big roll over drop in, butterflies in the stomach like I am riding off of the earth, which rolls into the most amazing powder playground with spines, hips, bowls, lots of options to air over this, or get slotted in that. After 3 thousand feet of powder-slay and method-tweak-madness the run ends at the ocean which happens to be in front of a firing right hand point break.