Tim and Colter’s month-long tour of the West was one for the books. They climbed iconic walls in Moab, shredded unnamed couloirs in the High Sierra, and did their best to surf Pacific swells.
Tim and Colter set off from Jackson with some vague ideas about skiing and climbing around the West in the 2019 Ford Ranger. Both firm believers in the powers of fate and serendipity, the duo didn’t want rigid plans to get in their way. While such an unscripted trip might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it worked out perfectly for our intrepid road-trippers.
There's not much better than a bluebird day of spring skiing at Snowbird. Eric Parker photo.
We sat down with cinematographer Walter Wood to chat about his time on the road with Tim and Colter. Logically, we started out by discussing their first week, during which the crew went skiing, climbing, indoor surfing, and indoor skydiving in the Salt Lake City area. “The first week was all about getting comfortable: We warmed up our legs shredding corn at Snowbird and our arms climbing in Little Cottonwood,” reminisced Wood. “The surfing was less of a warm up and more of a disaster, but a good time nonetheless.”
Colter sits at ease perched atop on of Moab's most iconic features. Eric Parker photo.
After a week of warming up and getting comfortable, week two was far more ambitious. The team did some roadside cragging in the Utah desert and climbed and skied Mt. Tukuhnikivatz. “We got the best of Moab,” claimed Wood. “We climbed Wall Street and went skiing on Mt. Tuk. After a relatively mellow week one, we really wanted to get after it, and I think we were successful.”
The team celebrates some well-earned R&R in Vegas. Tim Durtschi photo.
Getting after it during week two took a toll on the team’s energy levels, and it was decided that a trip to Vegas during week 3 was essential for everyone’s continued mental and physical wellbeing. “We were worked after Mt. Tuk,” recalled Wood. “We thought we would just spend a day relaxing in Vegas, but it turned out that Tim has some connections in Vegas. We ended up going to a Victoria’s Secret pool party and seeing a Cirque du Soleil show. It was an unexpected but very welcome surprise.” Fully recharged, the team continued west, stopping for some climbing in New Jack City, California, before finally making it to the Pacific. They tried surfing some Californian swells, which ended up being a valuable lesson in humility, and a fun learning experience.
The couloir looks wide enough to make turns in...barely. Eric Parker photo.
After a valiant though ultimately unsuccessful attempt to channel their inner Kelly Slaters, Tim and Colter were ready to head back to their comfort zone in the mountains. The peaks of the Sierra Nevada stood between them and Jackson, so stopping there during the trip’s final week was a given. “We were really focused on nailing this couloir,” said Wood. “We wanted to do it right, so we waited for the weather and snow conditions to line up before heading up there.” The team’s patience and preparation paid off in spades, as their descent went off nearly without a hitch. “There was one sketchy moment where a falling rock almost took them out, but otherwise it went perfectly,” recalled Wood with a laugh.
Believe it or not, Tim actually smelled better after mud-skiing than before. Eric Parker photo.
From there, it was a straight shot back to Jackson...at least that was the plan. But, as we’ve already said, Tim and Colter aren’t big believers in adhering to plans. Upon seeing a mostly-dry lakebed, the team decided to make one more stop. It turned out to be a good idea, and the team captured some surreal mud-skiing footage—though rumor has it that Tim is still muddy to this day.