A longstanding hope of mine was reached by having an image grace the cover of Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine. I still remember the first time I saw an issue of KMC at the Fairy Meadows hut 5 years ago with a Kari Medig image sitting on its cover. Flipping through the pages and finding such an honest blend of political, environmental and outdoor adventure essays was very eye opening to me. This photo of Wyatt Caldwell is one of my absolute favorites from last winter while shooting the 13/14 marketing for Eddie Bauer at Eagle Pass Heliskiing. We completely lucked out with a great crew of people and bluebird conditions giving us ample opportunity to make the most of it!
Excerpt from the Daily Pow by Leslie Anthony:
This is what I see: The monkeys keeping their distance. Plodding through the snow in single-file silence, soldiers in winter. Soon they’re mere shadows in the forest, hunched gray phantoms glimpsed between trees. And we’re alone again on our skis.
That’s how Japan comes to you: in pictures snapped through windows and goggles, scenes so foreign to the senses that they are engraved instantly, with no clear context, to be sorted out later.
It starts in Tokyo, where everything opens your eyes. It’s like landing in an arcade called Future, sights and sounds out of time, overwhelming. Before you even have time to absorb anything you’re looking for a way out. A bus, a train, maybe a van full of skiers you happen to know. Then the laborious process of exiting Tokyo, face pressed to the window, the nighttime madness of districts like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Rapongi flashing by like giant video games.
Waiting, waiting. It’s what you do here. Patience is a virtue. You let your mind take pictures. You have no choice and begin to understand how Zen works: you will eventually arrive where you’re going and find what you came for. Snow.
Photo: Garrett Grove
I had the main part of the ski area to myself, and made several more satisfying runs down steep tree lines that plunged in all directions, aiming always for the more northerly aspects. Though I had never been here, I knew there was more out there, up there, an alpine siren taunting from behind billowing curtains. I could wait her out.
During a break at a makeshift lodge, I sat by the window, staring deep into the storm as if I were still outside or trying to wrest a different perspective. How much of my life had I spent watching it snow like this? Marveling at the swirl and pulse of flakes against the trees, or watching waves curl from the eaves of an ancient stone building in some distant aerie? Not enough to tire of the enchantment, obviously.
I decided I liked windows. They put you out there even when you weren’t. They made snowfalls paintings. And when the storm cleared, as it eventually would, they always framed a diorama of desire.
Photo: Garrett Grove, Sentry Lodge, Esplandes, BC
Words: Leslie Anthony taken from the Daily Pow report on AJ.
Winter hit Washington way to abruptly, ready for an Indian Summer before winters full grasp. Neah Bay, Washington. Photo: Garrett Grove
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
The fall is here which always leads me to thinking about spending time in the SW desert with this guy, Alf Randell. Every year for the last 5 he has been a staple as consistent as the desert itself. No pilgrimage to Indian Creek would be what it is without him there to send some difficult obscure climbs, offer his opinion on many a controversial issue and eat any leftovers around. Photo: Garrett Grove
"It’s important to be cultivated. In my opinion, reading and considering great literature is the best way to do this, but there are many ways to deepen your understandings and your capacity to feel and notice. If you are cultivating yourself, the chances are greater that the work you end up doing will be worth doing as far as others are concerned. It’s best not to ask how your work will be received by the world or how it might boost your reputation. Just stay close to your own guidance and see what comes. Be authentic and natural – it sounds easy enough but it actually takes some discipline and courage. If you are able to quiet yourself and be honest with yourself, then it will be easier for you to embark on a project that truly excites you and rewards you."
-Mark Steinmetz, on how to start a project"
Nat Geo is honoring 125 years of photography with their “Proof” project. Some absolute heroes are interviewed with pure words and photos throughout.
"It is an addiction to being in the presence of powerful human emotion, to see the incredible beauty and desperate circumstances that people are able to survive and to see the heroic nature of humanity"
"You have to care, you really have to care. It sounds simple but I even get emotional sometimes when I talk about it, but you cannot do superior work if you are indifferent"
"It makes me feel alive, connected to the world and maybe for a brief little moment I feel like I understand something about the world"
Double duty for Jay Beyer and myself on this Patagonia ad featuring Carston Oliver. Jay has the oh so awesome action shot from the Tordrillos, AK complimented by a photo of mine taken while Carston and Mako were trying to figure out how to get back to the van safely during a whiteout and some high avy danger in Japan.
A few tears from one of the highlights of last winter is out in print via The Ski Journal, a coffee table, quarterly publication that always hones in and picks out great stories and tributes to the skiing culture. The story was written by fellow traveler, professional skier and wordsmith Eliel Hindert. Couldn’t be happier to have this adventure etched in ink to refresh my memories right as winter approaches. Once again a huge thanks goes to Yuki Miyazaki, Makoto Takeishi, Ryuta Asashi, Kenjiro Matsuo, Kazushi Yamauchi, Carston Oliver, Eliel Hindert, Toyota HiAce Van and Patagonia for backing the trip. Go look for it on the shelves and get the whole story!
Philippines color set. We arrived in the Philippines pretty naive of what the country would really be like, so when we headed into Manilla and wandered its streets alongside the 17 million residents I was a bit shellshocked. People drove like mad, honked all the more and lived in conditions I didn’t think were possible. Their day in day out living would probably have me sick, lost or dead within a few weeks yet they manage it year round. I am not much of a city person, preferring the quiet sanctuaries of wilderness, but I was enthralled with this place and its people. Much of our time in Manilla was spent aimlessly exploring the streets, markets and slums. The next part of our journey was quite the opposite; villages replaced slums and open expanses of water engulfed the traffic jammed highways. We took a plane, cab and ferry to make it to the small Island of Malapascua, a sleepy dive island well known for its almost guaranteed encounters with Thresher Sharks. 3 days of dive classes, a day spent circumnavigating the island on foot, talking with the locals and having our fair share of Rum/Coke had us in a state of nirvana. The local hospitality was incredible. We were even invited to watch a families butchering of a pig in preparations for the village birthday pig roast that evening. The final leg of our adventure took us via overnight freight boat, ferry and scooter to Siargao Island. One of the eastern most islands in the Philippines which claims the best surf in the country. With a small bungalow, scooter and surfboards we were set. July is typically the smallest swell of the year so it kept us contained primarily to Cloud 9, the most well known break on the island. Luckily, due to the small swell crowds weren’t over bearing and it left the other breaks nearly vacant. We had heard rumors about hiring a small fishing boat that would you out a few miles to reef breaks which were completely empty. So on the last night a local approached us and offered to captain us out to the empty breaks for a final sunset session. Sure enough it was the best surf of the week and not a sole was in site. A nearly perfect ending until our boats engine flooded and wouldn’t start leaving our mechanically minded friend Tucker to try and save the day as we drifted in closer to the break. After 45 minutes of rowing, using planks the were originally our seats, another boat kindly towed us in to shore just before dark. Photos: Garrett Grove
See more photos here: http://www.sidetracked.co.uk/philippines-photo-journal/
Philippines in black & white, the country is so full of color that sometimes removing it lets you focus in on the people and story with more clarity. Slowly digesting photos from this trip and letting it all sink in. Photos: Garrett Grove
Chris Rubens_RevelstokeBC_April2012. Part of a personal project from a few years ago with a goal of capturing some of the key figures in the small but strong ski community in Revelstoke through the viewfinders of a Rolleiflex and Hasselblad. Photo: Garrett Grove
Slivers of winter have been creeping into my head, not long now, not long at all. Photo: Garrett Grove
This 4FRNT ad has been popping up in the recent issues of Powder and Backcountry magazine. Having the opportunity to ski and shoot with Eric Hjorleifson for a couple weeks in some of his favorite terrain was a highlight of last winter. 14 days at the Meadows and Sentry huts watching his unmistakeable style navigate complex terrain is something I never thought I would see in person. Thanks Eric, Golden Alpine Holidays, Sweetgrass Productions, Dynafit and 4FRNT Skis! What a trip.
Back home and digesting imagery from the last few weeks. This aerial of the Whistler Blackcomb infrastructure still stands out amongst the rest. Photo: Garrett Grove