Category Archives: Random Thoughts

29th Annual Legendary Mt Baker Banked Slalom


It seems like there’s been a lot of negativity around snowboarding lately: the constant navel-gazing about the state of the industry and it’s current stagnant growth, the judging and course conditions at the Olympics, the social media bashing of Shaun White (which I will admit to being a part of) and even the lack of winter in British Columbia’s Coastal Range had left a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth. What better way to hit the reset button then to head to one of the true soul spots and original contests in all of snowboarding; the Mt Baker Legendary Banked Slalom (LBS). Racing in the LBS had been fairly high up on my bucket list, so when I scored a coveted lottery spot back in November the anticipation for the weekend had been building to a boiling point. It had been a long time since I’d been to Mt Baker and on my first chair ride up I instantly remembered what a classic snowboard-friendly mountain it is; rolling terrain with side hits in every direction you look. While the course conditions were far from ideal (many longtime racers calling it the gnarliest course ever), but the vibe was incredible. From the Next Generation to the Pro Men’s and Pro Women’s, everyone was there for the same reason: for the pure stoke of sliding down the side of a mountain standing sideways on a piece of wood. It’s taken me several days to try to convey the awesomeness of the weekend and I still don’t think I have the words to describe everything, but I know I want to make the trek to the LBS an annual tradition from here on out. Enjoy the photos (click if you want to see larger versions).

Many thanks to Gwyn, Amy and the rest of the LBS crew for their incredible work to put this event on.


The start shack at the LBS is an institution itself.


Whistler local and LBS veteran Wes Makepeace about to drop in.


Temple Cummins flowing through the treacherous Corner 5.


DCP nailing down his qualifying run on Saturday afternoon


Marie France Roy on her way to taking her first Gold Duct Tape LBS trophy


Lucas Debari taking the fast line through the bottom section of the course.


The man, the myth, the legend; Terje Haakonsen arcing a toe-side carve through the fast section of the LBS course.


(Left to right) Frequency publisher Jeff Galbraith, Jamie Lynn and Gwyn Howat about to present the Craig Kelly Thunderbird Award to the Debari family


Next Generation winner, Jadyn Chomlack, with his first Gold Duct tape. At 11 years old, his Sunday final time was 4 seconds faster than mine (cough, cough).


Pro Men’s winners top to bottom, Harry Kearny, Sylvain Duclos, Seth Westcott

Haakonsen photo

I felt I had to get a picture with my longtime snowboard idol, Terje Haakosen. Who says you can’t have a fanboy moment when you’re 40 years old?


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The Best of 2011

2011 has been one of my better years in recent memory when in comes to photography. That being said, I still find it somewhat embarrassing how few photos I manage to shoot over the course of a year. It’s also somewhat surprising that I’ve never compiled a year end best-of collection before considering it’s all the rage as we move closer and closer to New Year’s. So here’s a bunch of shots I was happy with from this past year; there’s a bit of a mix and obviously a bunch of wakeboarding photos (it is my “real” job afterall). If you want to take a closer look at any of the shots, click on the image to see a larger version. Here’s to shooting more photos in 2012.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s

Inukshuk, Whistler, BC

Black Tusk, Garibaldi Park, BC

Sun and Shade, Whistler, BC

The Ice Station, Whistler, BC

Trees underneath Peak 2 Peak gondola, Whistler, BC

The Tantalus Range, Squamish, BC

Collin Harrington, Orlando, FL

Dean Smith, Orlando, FL

Shawn Watson, Orlando, FL

Steel Lafferty, Clermont, FL

Kevin Henshaw, Clermont, FL

Aaron Rathy, Windermere, FL (SBC Wakeboard Magazine cover Vol 13, Iss 2)

Whistler Peak 2 Peak station, Whistler, BC

Stand-up Paddleboarder, Georgian Bay, ON

Muskoka sunset, Torrance, ON

Wakeboard boat from the air, Haliburton, ON

Raph Derome, The Projects, FL

Tanner Champion, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Waterfall, Whistler, BC

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Just a Stroll Through The Neighbourhood

In an ongoing effort to actually use my camera(s) instead of them just taking up space in bags in my closets, I recently went for a photo walk around Bayshores after a heavy snow storm. I’ve always loved the way snow loads the branches of evergreen trees; it creates such a unique texture. Considering we had hardly any snow in the valley last year, the November snow is a nice change.

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November was a good month

As a huge fan of self-deprecating humour, I have to say that November could have been my best month ever. I decided to take the Movember challenge and grow a stache for the whole month. Hopefully the collage of Mo photos above will brighten your day at my expense.

It all started when I came up with the idea of a stache growing contest for my work website. I thought it would be a good way to get our readers participating and checking back with our site to increase page views. Since I’ve never tried to grow any serious facial hair other than a raggedy-ass goatee during the grunge era (also highly comical) I thought I would lead by example. But if I was going to sacrifice my lip (and any romance with my wife for an entire month), I might as well go the extra mile and create a Movember team to raise some money. I enlisted a great mustache growing team and we set out growing and asking for donations. I’ve had several relatives affected with prostate cancer, which provided extra motivation.

In the end my team raised just over $4000, which is way more than I expected. But most of all I  garnered lots of strange looks and made a lot of friends laugh out loud at the furry creature that was taking form on my face. Now that the Mo is gone, I kind of miss it; especially the way snow would stick to it when I was up the mountain.

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First Peak Lap of The Season

Pretty epic day on Whistler. My first hike up Peak of the season in perfect conditions: -10 C, bluebird and 50 cm’s of fresh from a recent storm cycle. I went up for a second lap but the batteries on my GoPro died.

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Run of the Day, Nov 26th, 2010

I got a late start after 25 cm’s fell the previous night. This was a quick lap off Pika’s Traverse down through the Harmony Zone on Whistler. Music by The Craft Economy.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Without a doubt the most highly anticipated day of the year in a ski town is the day the lifts start spinning and the hill opens for business. Giddy would be the one word that overcomes all skiers and snowboarders in the valley as the time approaches. Many have some kind of ritual; I used to dress head-to-toe in all my gear and even strap into my board in some cases and stand in front of the mirror. Sounds crazy, I know, but it’s part of the mania that many go  through in the build up.

It’s been years since I’ve played Mr. Shred dress-up, but with the Whistler opening a week early and the P.R. department conjuring up over a foot of fresh snow a few days before opening, I actually surprised myself how stoked I was to get up the hill. I pulled myself out of bed early and got to the Creekside gondola around 6:45 AM. Waiting in line is kind of like a big family reunion, bumping into friends you haven’t seen all summer. One thing that stuck out to me as I waited in line was the diversity of crowd. It ranged from the fresh off the boat seasonal employee,  grizzled long-time locals, super-pro snowboarders and skiers and even a few weekend warriors thrown into the mix. All there for one reason; to go play in the snow. Awesome.

The details of the day aren’t all that important. I had some great runs with some great people and it was a good start to the season. A big thanks to Snowboard Canada Magazine photo editor, John Scarth for snapping this photo of me and making me look like a hero.


I also put together this quick video edit from my GoPro HD camera. All shots were handheld. I plan on making a bunch more of these edits throughout the season; stay tuned.

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November 22, 2010 · 4:51 am