by Axel Peterson
This early season in Montana was amazing. Tons of snow and stable conditions made for some unbelievable skiing. We poked around the Bridgers for a few weeks in early November, skiing ‘The Great One’ twice as well as smaller couloirs that were nice and filled in thanks to the wind.
On November 12th, 51 Inches of pow brought us to the Little Cottonwood Canyon. Leaving from the bars in Bozeman at 11 PM, myself, Randy Evans, and Reid Morth arrived in SLC just in time to eat a hearty breakfast and head into the Wasatch. We met up with Dylan Crossman and Colter Brehmer and had two awesome days of touring. It felt great to ski some ‘bigger’ lines.
We sent it over to Sun Valley for Turkey Day. Rob, myself, and local shredder Jeremy Lato had two amazing days of skiing 1-2 feet of fresh on Galena Pass. Completely stoked on two days of amazing powder, Rob wanted to end the day with a nice speed flight. Grabbing his wing from my truck, Rob sent it for the top of Red Devil. Sometimes things don’t work out, and for Rob this was his day. Landing weird on a pile of rocks, he dislocated and broke his ankle. Requiring surgery that night, Rob took a huge blow to his season. Rob is a champ, and will be back stronger than ever in a few months!
After returning to Bozeman from SV, myself, Max Lowe, and Ryan Walters loaded the sleds and set sail for Cooke City. We met up with ‘Cooke City Locals’ Pat Cowan and Sean Fithian, and had some fun romping in the new snow. It snowed nonstop the four days we were there, restricting us from venturing to high, so we had some fun hitting smaller cliffs and skiing long pow runs in the trees off Woody Ridge. We have a tradition that every time someone gets their sled stuck they have to shotgun a beer….We ran out of beer the third day.
Getting back into cell phone range, on our way home from Cooke, I had a message from Reid Morth saying we have tickets to Red Mountain for their opening weekend. I jumped on the opportunity and within 12 hours of getting home I was on the road again traveling North to Rossland, BC. Kyle Taylor, Micha Hoogeveen, Reid, and myself had quite the adventure. Hitting black ice an hour north of Spokane, we rolled KT’s car. At first I accepted our trip was over and that the car was totaled. However, after 5 hours of repairs and duct tape, the car was running and we were on our last stretch towards Red. Arriving in Rossland at 3:30 AM, we had just enough time to catch a few hours of sleep before heading to the hill in hopes of catching first chair. A crew of young guns beat us to the punch by pitching a tent in line, so we had to settle for second chair. We started the morning off right with a nice 300 Gnar Points for cooking breakfast in line. The bacon, eggs, coffee, and whiskey fueled us for a long day of shredding. Despite having one of the deepest bases in record for opening weekend, Red was plagued with a solid rain crust on most aspects. We still made the most of what we had, got some sick shots, and had one hell of a weekend!
Returning back to the states, I had two days to regroup at home in Bozeman before loading the car and heading once again to Canada. This time it was a family trip. We have been wanting to take a family ski trip for years, and it finally aligned. Dylan Crossman, my big sis McKenna Peterson, and myself headed 12 hours to Golden, where we met up with my Mom, Dad, and little sister. We helied into Chatter Creek Lodge for two days of the deepest skiing of my life. It was some serious cold smoke blower and after two days, it was extremely hard to leave. Chatter Creek is one of the coolest places I’ve even been with the sickest terrain I have ever seen. There is some serious potential there, and I will do everything in my power to go back one of these years…
Back to Bozeman from Canada trip #2, we dawn patrolled the next morning to one of my favorite spots in Montana. It is a super double rainbow secret spot, near Big Sky, and I was excited to take McKenna and Dylan up there for their first time.
Then it was time to head home to Idaho to spend X-mas with the fam and ski with the Sun Villains. Galena Pass had some of the most snow and best, stable, conditions I have ever seen. Touring Galena and the Sawtooths every day until new years, I earned many untracked pow turns and had some great times with close friends. Andrew Daigh and myself scoped some big lines near Galena that we will go back for this spring, and North Parker and I found what we are calling ‘The Hollywood Wall of the Sawtooths”. A couple days of brappin’ sleds with Barrett Cincotta, Kyle Casey, and Michael Franco, got me stoked on sled skiing over the pass. I Can’t wait to get back to the homeland and film some big lines with good friends in the next few months!
This November/December has been one of the best early seasons I can remember. Great trips with great people make for amazing experiences and memories. I am fortunate to have some many positive people in my life, and without them none of this would be possible. I am currently in Revelstoke, BC, yes my third trip to Canada this winter, and am working on the second episode of Bomb Snow TV. If you haven’t yet, check out the first episode, it highlights everything above. Cheers to a great winter of fun and pow, and to all my friends who get after it, be safe.
-AXEL<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/56534096″>Bomb Snow TV: Episode One “Get While the Gettin’s Good”</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5033495″>Bomb Snow Magazine</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>