Alaska With Mikey

For the past seven or so years I’ve dreamt about the day that I would make it as a pho-tographer. As time went on, it became harder to grasp what “making it” really meant. Is it getting photos published, avoiding a 9-5 office job or making money doing what you love? All these are part of it, but this past winter while on a trip to Alaska, for the first time in my life, I felt like I had finally made it.

I always wanted to go to Alaska. It seems to me that anyone who has snowboarded has dreamed of making it there and having the opportunity to push their snowboarding to the limit. In Alaska anything can happen––good or bad. The landscape alone speaks for itself. Sure the mountains in Utah might be just as tall, but you don’t see them protruding from the ocean like huge fangs. Everything in Alaska just seems bigger and better. Just the thought of actually riding some of the shots you see in the Absinthe Films gives me the chills.

Being in Alaska was only one part of a dream come true, though. The reason why I was there was just as exciting as the place itself. I was in Alaska on a Video Grass trip with my favorite snowboarder of all time, Mikey Leblanc. If you have followed snowboarding at all for the past 15 years, you know who Big Mike is. He is the man who is always jumping down the biggest shit with sick style and hitting the craziest rails before you could even go practice in the park. Leblanc’s part in Kingpin’s Brainstorm will always be my favorite part (so good, it was actually two songs.) Leblanc also owns and operates Holden. It usually takes me about half a day to keep it together and not completely lose my mind and fan out on him. After that, I’m good. It’s hard to put into words how influential Big Mike’s approach to both snowboarding and life in general has been on my life. Guess that’s why I’m a photographer and not a writer. Enough ass kissing. Here are some photos from my experience in Alaska. We went to Alaska to build jumps, but due to shitty snow conditions, we hit the “streets.” Dreams of hanging in the mountains disappeared and we found ourselves driving around Anchorage, Alaska. We did have one day in the mountains, but it was three inches of crust on two feet of powder—not such ideal conditions.

It's pretty weird how LNP likes to hang around playgrounds and talk to the kids. Stalefish lipslide/boardslide. Johnny Tsunami ... aka Johnny Miller, puts a new twist on an old spot. Backlip. Big Mike gets this ollie firecracker on a half sweet double set. This was the ender of the trip. Gus Engle gets this melon over the fence into this step bank. We got this shot, loaded up the car and headed to the airport. Sweet lipslide by Jed Anderson A lonely tree in the fog. The mountains in Alaska are beautiful. We hiked for about five hours only to find that it didn't matter how high we hikedit was still a layer of crust on powder. Also, note to self: Never, ever, ever forget to bring snowshoes on a hike. It's called post holing and it sucks. Golden hour lasts for like three hours in Alaska. This is at a jump we built that ended up sucking, but I got this photo.  Look at this line. Probably would take 10 hours to hike to. Someone should have called Jeremy Jones.  This was the scene driving back from a long day of hiking. The sun setting on the ocean with huge floating chunks of ice is pretty surreal.