By David MacKinnon, photos by Justin Kious
It’s been a tricky winter for Whistler boarders. Cold temperatures and long droughts made the deep days few and far between, making it hard for guys like Ryan Paterson and Tyler Morton to get after it. These two freestyle-focused backcountry specialists need pow to push their boarding, and this year they didn’t get much of it at home. Instead of getting down they got active, and went on a strike mission to Lake Tahoe, California. With their sleds in tow the boys got it, despite a few last minute crew changes. This week’s Tuesday TwoSix comes from greener pastures– read on for the goods.
You guys just went to Tahoe. Is it true you were supposed to link up with Matt Wainhouse and Mark Rainery? What happened there?
R: Dude! We were going to meet them and rally down together, but at the last minute they went to Utah and film with Absinthe. Like we were on our way down– they cool guyed us big time [laughs]. No, it was an awesome opportunity for them and they totally deserve it, I’m stoked for them. We had more important filming opportunities with bro cam industries.
T: I think Absinthe was a little intimidated by us– we were going to ride really huge lines and they just weren’t ready for it.
R: Mark just wanted to overshoot jumps, not actually snowboard.
That clip was amazing– for anyone who hasn’t seen it, check out Rainery’s feed. What made you guys choose Tahoe?
R: We were just sitting in Whistler, getting antsy to go do something but not getting the snow. We looked at Alaska but it seemed kind of iffy. Then we saw Tahoe had a really big storm in the forecast, and we knew they’d been having a good season so we figured it would be good. We were kind of like ‘fuck it, let’s go to Tahoe.’
T: I just wanted to drive a minimum of a thousand miles. No, it was the only place that looked decent outside of Salt Lake, but also it was a place we hadn’t been to. Definitely a gamble with the weather.
How do you plan a last minute mission like that? How do you find the goods?
R: I hit up P-Mac [Pat McArthy] because he used to film there back in the day, he told me some zones and linked us with Eric Royce who’s a 686 rider down in South Lake. He’s new-ish to sledding, so he didn’t know the zones crazy well, but he killed it and he knew where to start for sure. We ended up exploring a bunch together, going to spots we hadn’t been before, he hadn’t been before, finding new lines and having a great time.
Is there a project? Where you guys filming for anything in particular?
T: The goal was really to just get a bit of winter, because we didn’t get much snow here in March or even February. And get some photos, Justin Kious was with us shooting.
R: This winter we’ve been filming a lot together, not really for anything in particular. We’ll see where it ends up, at the very least put out a video part or something. Whatever it comes to. But having Justin down to shoot photos was a great opportunity, and we did pretty well!
Any standout moments from the trip?
R: Honestly the last day was the standout. We didn’t have high hopes because the temperature was going through the roof– we were just like ‘ah, we’ll get one more run in.’ We ended up getting two of the best lines of the trip, and it was 15-20° out.
T: It was just rad to be freeriding– riding lines and natural features is always a highlight, and we didn’t pull the shovel out once. It was awesome.
What are you doing for the rest of the season?
T: Hopefully this storm holds through for a while and we get some more days in the alpine. I might go to Baker one more time before May, but after that I’m going to Europe to do some touristing with my girlfriend.
R: That’s pretty much it, just make the most of it til the end. I’m hoping to get back on the road to Holy Bowly as well, that’s happening April 15-19. I’d be stoked to make it down!
Shoutouts to Eric Royce, Daniel Vega, the other California homies, and Absinthe Films!