This trip to Japan was monumental. Kai’s first International trip and my first time competing in the Freeride World Tour! Our team was ecstatic and excited to be traveling to the land of Powder. We had our camera crew and we were ready to see if Kai could tunnel his way through the deep snow of Japan. Kai already scored some deep days at his home resort of Targhee but would it prepare him for the deepest snow in the world? We would soon find out.
Kai and I showed up in Tokyo and geared up and headed to Shibuya crossing. Tokyo is a lot to take in for anyone, let alone a couple of kids from the mountains.
Kai was blown away by the fast pace of the city, the different foods, and the vastness of the urban landscape. Our friend and guide Shin greeted us and drove us into the heart of Tokyo.
Skiing in Tokyo?
Little guy Big world!
Colter joined the party halfway through the trip and started getting after it on our film days. He brought his knowledge of Hakuba and love for tree skiing on the big island. Colter had big dreams of skiing Up high on Hakuba on some dream lines but the weather did not cooperate this year. The truth was that the snow level was below average and that was also going to be a problem for the planners of the Freeride World Tour. Fortunately, the FWT crew is versatile and comfortable changing plans and finding new venues.
I was a fan of the venue they chose! It was a bit lower elevation than the venue used last season but still had good line options. I had a great run and ended up placing 8th!
Kicker session with Hakuba backdrop.
Our patience paid off and we were lucky to hit a big storm at the end of our trip. Our guides aptly named the Good Guides, gave us weather reports every day and our positivity made even the most grim conditions bearable. There were sites to see around Hakuba and Kai was on the lookout for Snow Monkeys everywhere we went. Thanks to our guide Pete for taking us on adventures to the goods!
Fast food jibbing!
The Lodge Motoi was our humble home and had the most amazing staff. The staff is family, they all ski and love to welcome fellow snow enthusiasts into their lovely lodge. I will always look back fondly on this trip. The experience of a trip like this is remembered in the small intimate moments shared with friends in a foreign land. Weather reports and snow totals do not define the good times we had!
Card games in the lodge waiting for snow!
This week in 'Women in the Mountains' we sat down with Wild Barn Coffee’s Jenny Verrochi who masterminded an underground women’s naked ski event. Sounds cheeky and chilly! Will Beihoffer photo. On March 20th, you could see a full moon on top of Bluebird Backcountry’s West Bowl. Well, 22 full moons to be exact. It was all part of a women's event focused on one beautiful, singular goal: skiing butt naked in the backcountry. The cheeky idea came from Jenny Verrochi, who’s based in Boulder,
Earlier this month, Santiago Vega completed the first-known disabled ski descent of the Grand Teton with IFMGA guide Mark Smiley via the Ford-Stettner Couloir, one of the 50 Classic Ski Descents on North America. Vega was born with Fibular Hemimelia on his right leg and Poly-syndactyly on right hand. At 5 months old, Santi and his family began traveling from Santiago, Chile to Salt Lake City once a year medical treatment at Shiners Hospital. In Utah, Vega started ski racing at age 14 and
John Collinson’s upbringing was a little different than most pro skiers. He grew up in a closet in Snowbird employee housing with his older sister Angel, and didn’t do many things that most kids do. However, what he did experience was unfathomable, like summiting Rainier at 4 years old, summiting Everest at 17, and so much more. On the podcast, Mike Powell and Collinson talk about how he went from the closet to his sister's shadow, to pro skier, to social media influencer known for his