Wednesday was an off-day for the SES '05, so I had to go on safari to track down carvers in the wild. We got a big snow dump Tuesday night, and well into Wednesday, with a total of maybe 1 foot of fresh powder. In these conditions, carvers can be found in their natural habitat surfing on powder boards. I trekked over to Highlands Mountain in the morning, and spotted the elusive Swedish powder board rider:
Mats started out on a big-taper Pogo powder board. The top of the mountain had untracked pow-pow.
Soon thereafter, Mats pulled out the Prior split-tail and leaned it over for the bottom half of the mountain, which was soft but carveable.
Mats uses a specialized Swedish carving style that lets you pull Gs in powder without auguring the nose.
Split-tail Priors are often a sign that Swedish carvers are doing their annual migration to Buttermilk.
Since SES wouldn't be SES without dogs in the mix, we take a break from our regular programming for dog sightings of the day (plus, we don't have many carving shots, so we need filler). This Aspen pooch was doing the coffeehouse scene outside Starbucks at Ajax mountain.
ActionDog makes his entrance. ActionDog is stationed at the top of Highlands Mountain. When you get off the lift, ActionDog drops a tennis ball at your feet and demands that you throw it so that he can run and retrieve it.
Notice ActionDog's zen-like concentration on the tennis ball.
Before noon, I bailed out of Highlands and headed over to Buttermilk. Carvers were trying their luck with powder boards as well as full-on race boards (being careful not to bury the nose).
In the pow, it's a balancing act.
MozzMann dials it in.
OK, we've run out of pow/carving shots, so lets check out the equipment. This deck is the Pogo that Mats wisely brought for just such a powder event.
Doug Dryer borrowed a PureCarve "Joey Cabell" freeride deck, loaned to him by none other than Joey Cabell.
Here's where things get interesting. This is Doug's new board, custom made by Mike Tinkler. It features a butterfly Tinkler plate, plus a total of four snow stix. Board specs: 201 cm length, 18 M sidecut, 18.5 cm waist.
The tension on the snow stix can be adjusted at the anchor points. These snow stix are positioned for a regular-foot rider.
This SES has proved to be a sampler platter of carving conditions. It kept snowing until early evening, so Highlands will probably have deceptively firm groomers on Thursday. Maybe Doug will finally take out his CMC special (Donek 228)
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