Sawtooths & Cheap Tequila

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of journeying up to the Sawtooth Range in Idaho for a week of living in a hut and backcountry skiing. I departed Colorado with a group of friends old & new, aiming to explore the steep scars of the Idaho granite and maybe even ski a few of them.

Our first day on trail was admittedly one of the harder days of skiing, if you can call it that, that I've ever had. For roughly five miles we trudged up a mellow climb in pairs of two, each pair hauling an expedition sled full of the groups gear. Beers exploded, sleds emptied themselves onto icy slopes, and we got worked. 

For the rest of the week we skied all around the hut, having our fair share of some amazing spring conditions. If I only took away one thing from our trip, it was that the Sawtooth Range has some of the hands down best skiing terrain in the United States. Also... and this should be something to remember, you can drink as much cheap tequila as you wish as long as there is a wood sauna. You'll never have to worry about hangovers in the morning if you play your cards right. 

The rest of the story can be told through some photos.

 Drew Herder takes a break after the death haul up on the first day.

Drew Herder takes a break after the death haul up on the first day.

 Mt. Heyburn looms over you most of the day. 

Mt. Heyburn looms over you most of the day. 

 The views were alright.

The views were alright.

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 Drew Herder making the FA of La Pissor WI 4

Drew Herder making the FA of La Pissor WI 4

February In Indian Creek

Indian Creek in the middle is February is absolutely awful. I highly advise not coming to the land of the splitters and definitely don't bring your stoked friends. The weather is never good and you'll be left with an empty feeling upon returning to society.

 

Ouray Ice Park

This past weekend I spent some time climbing ice for the first time and photographing some of my buddies as well. Psyched to dive into the world of ice climbing a little bit more in the future.

A Year in Review: 2017

Well that went by pretty damn quick… It feels like just yesterday I was putting my touring skins on the wrong way and falling over on the skin track for the first time. This year was the catalyst for some of the best memories I’ve ever made. I’ll go out on a limb here and even say that this has been the best year of my existence (so far). This is mostly due to the overwhelming amount of amazing friends made, walls climbed, lines skied, and trails run. Oh and how can I forget the numerous times I got left in the dust during these pursuits by my inspiring and insanely driven friends? Good work friends, I’ll catch up to you next year.

This past January, I started my second semester as a sophomore at The University of Colorado as an environmental studies major with a minor in geography and journalism. Going on from that, I just finished my junior year fall semester as of a few weeks ago. Ended up writing a senior thesis a year early so that I can hopefully get more days skiing, climbing, and running trails than of class my senior year at CU. If you’re interested in the effects of climate change on Arctic energy and transportation development, feel free to shoot me a line and I’ll email you the paper. This is also the first year that I made the transition into skiing uphill to access all of the amazing backcountry skiing that Colorado has to offer. I’d say that has to be one of the better decisions I’ve made so far. Also discovered that running doesn’t suck if you run trails and lots of mountains.

This was by far the most exciting year for the whole photography thing. I met tons of wonderful people through the lens of my picture making box. From photographing some wild places, to getting a few shots published in magazines, and to gaining a dream client or two, I’d give this year two thumbs-up.

Having said that, I’m particularly stoked for this coming year.

Enough ranting, here are some of my favorite photos & events (January → December).

Lets start with some of my first experiences ski touring

When the snow wasn't great, some spring climbing was in order.

Then a stint in Idaho for a week of touring, getting smelly in a yurt, and drinking plenty of costco whiskey

On to photos from spring to end of summer

Some photos from my first real multi day commercial shoot

And fall semester of my junior year.