Before and after the storm

Today, on the sun-soaked Sunday that followed a 60 centimetre storm, Julian Carr weighed the effects of such a weather event and let thoughts of the impossible enter his mind.

It takes a certain kind of human to even think about Air Jordan, Whistler Blackcomb’s most iconic double-staged cliff. And it takes a different human still to wrap their melons around Julian’s interpretation of the terrain.

Two became one when Carr sent a signature front flip lookers’ right of Jordan’s top ropes, bypassing the double drop in a single swoop of calculated ballsiness.

“He fell like Icarus through the sun,” said Callum Jelley, who was filming for the Sherpas from the lift line.

“It was bananas.”

Fortune favours the brave.

And while Julian’s name travels through the lift lines and across the internet, keep in mind that Stan Rey took off around the same time, stomped the first air and backflipped the piss out of the second one.

Just another moment on the slopes.

 

On Wednesday, four days earlier, raven calls traveled over the tree tops, through the fog and up into the alpine.

As the chaos of another Inbounds shoot unfolded over on Whistler Mountain, Kye Petersen joined a group of friends on Blackcomb Peak for a tradition that’s become entrenched in the Petersen family and, by extension, the Coast’s steep skiing community.

For 16 years now, friends and family have gathered on the peak to remember Trevor Peterson, Kye’s dad and a mentor to every big mountain rider after his time.

It’s always a mellow scene. A handful of Trevor’s friends show up, and so do a few of Kye’s.

The old guard and the new.

After some Whisky-spiked tea and plenty of hugs, it came time to drop in. The whole posse dropped down D.O.A., which was blown in with a topsheet of smoky fresh.

Often the tradition will follow a different line down, a poetic dance with the unknown forces that affect big mountain riding. The conditions weren’t quite right that day. The Coastal snowpack’s thinner than usual, and the day’s rapid wind-loading had raised a red flag.

Kye listened to what the mountain was saying, and the whole posse flash-mobbed the chute from one safe spot to the next.

The ravens watched from above and crowed their approval into the fog.

As the days of winter go marching past, every one of them can be marked with a memorial for someone, a shredder in arms, who’s been taken too soon by the mountains. Somebody somewhere is hanging their head low and raising their glass high in memory of a friend, a mentor, a family member. These aren’t just moments of mourning. They’re moments of celebration. Moments that remind us of the joy these people brought to our lives. Moments where we feel the wind on our face and the snow in our eyes.

Kye’s just come back from the Interior, where he’s been for a good part of the season, filming pillow stacks and sampling the über-deep offerings that characterize the Interior shred experience.

Things got sketchy before he came back to the Coast. The crew there had to shut down a whole day of Cineflex because anything worth skiing was cracking underfoot and plowing through high consequence terrain.

No matter how much you plan, Mother Nature always makes the calls.

Things have tightened up some, and the crew in the Interior’s been able to make good on some fruitful recon missions.

Today with Julian, Stan, and the rest of the crew really punctuated the Inbounds shooting experience. And it really made us think what it takes to make legends in the mountains. Wednesday with Kye did the same thing, only differently.

How is that people turn perceived impossibility into progression?

* * *

Now it’s time to hit up an unlikely ski destination.

More on that later. . .