Middle Fork of The Salmon River

Mid winter is usually when I start finding out what rivers I've received permits for the upcoming year, so this story starts a little while back.  Either by snail mail or e-mail the permits come back either denied or awarded.  Yampa....no, Salt....nope, Middle Fork Salmon....yes?  Is this a joke, is this real, I ask myself?  It couldn't be.  This is one of the hardest if not the hardest permits to acquire in the US, and I've pulled one on my first try.  Damn, well alright!  It was settled, I would be headed to Idaho mid July for one the most epic trips of my life.

I assembled my crew which consisted mostly of old friends from Durango, but a few new one's too.  In the end it was an all star cast, on an all star trip, that nobody would soon forget.

Only a few on the trip had done this section before, and even by there explanations we never really knew what to expect.  Sometimes I like it like that.

Before I knew it we were all assembled at Boundary Creek (the put in) and I was still worried that the permit wasn't real, and I dragged everyone up here for no reason.  Thank god that wasn't the case!

Boats rigged and ready, we pushed off the banks and were immediately in the thick of it all.  Right out of the gates this river was making you guess your next move.  So much that I didn't even have a chance to break my camera out the first day.  I was too busy negotiating rock after rock, on what was the clearest river I had ever seen.  It was something straight out of a dream.  It was completely surreal.  I still couldn't believe I was here.

Long story short it was the best river trip I've ever been on without a doubt.  I think most on the trip agreed.  It was an great crew, we had great food the entire time, we drank ourselves silly more than once, soaked it up in hot springs, laughed (a lot), pointed through rapids, and came out clean on the other side.  Did I mention that it was sunny and 90 degrees everyday, and our concerns that there was not going to be enough water was quickly squashed, as in my opinion, we couldn't have gotten it better.

Photos, photos and more photos.  Unfortunately being the TL on this trip I was preoccupied with not only making sure I was ready but the entire group was ready.  I didn't even bust my camera out at the put in, nor did I almost the entire first day. I also, in trying to pack light, didn't bring my DSLR, but opted for just my Canon Power Shot S100, which was actually awesome.  Shoots RAW images at approx. 1fps, which is perfect for rafting, on top of the fact that its extremely compact.  That said, looking back I really wish I had covered the trip more start to finish, but like I said I had a lot on my plate, and my priority was the group, not being a photog on this one.


Classic Middle Fork (Day 1).  A ton of the River basin has been burned by wildfire in the past decade.

This was the flow in cfs that we had for the trip.  We put on July 18th and took out July 24.

Flow in Feet, which is how they measure it in Idaho.  We put on at 2.63".

Night one at Sheepeater Camp.

Creigh and Kierstin preparing one of seven of the best dinners I've had in my life.

Wildlife.  Snake eats fish

We make party here?  Night two at Lost Oak Camp.

Moler was all tuckered out.

Not a bad way to enjoy the mid day sun on the Middle Fork Salmon (MFS) River.  We camped across from this hot springs (Sunflower Hot Springs) at Lost Oak and ferried over a few times.

The perfect shower.

Night 3 got as little dirty with Paco Pad Wrestling matches at White Creek Camp. Wrap your self up and ram into your opponent.

Fall down and repeat.

Like I said....Dirty.  The last three photos by Ian Phillips.

Day 4 greeted us with the opportunity to take a hike....

.....to one of the best hot Springs I've ever been to.  Big Loon Hot Springs.  Short Hike, big reward!

After Big Loon we pulled over at the Underwater Canyon for lunch.  Truly an amazing place.  Next time I will surely bring a mask and snorkel and swim the underwater canyon.

On Day 4 we also hit the Tappan Falls Rapid.  Ben and Lacey cruising through Tappan Falls.

JJ and Parker taking the same line.

Creigh and Keirstin powering through Tappan II.

Enjoying a really, REALLY hot day at Camas Creek for night 4.

Koda looking for that rock.  Please don't eat rocks Koda.

JJ was all smiles at Camas Creek.

Casey was in a similar boat.

I guess I was in the same boat too.

Watch out for the rabid bat at Camas.

Day 6, approaching Flying B Ranch were we restocked beer and ice, and had an ice cream sandwich or too as well.  Not a bad pit stop.

Enjoying shade At the Flying B Ranch.  It was HOT here.

Not sure what rapid this was.  Might not of even been a significant one...

JJ showing us how its done.

Night 5 at Survey Camp.  Excellent camp with Ponderosa Pines and sandy beaches.  Kind of  staple on the MFS this time of year.

This was just all time.  I mean a sand volleyball court with 2" of water on top of it.  I couldn't have dreamed this up if I tried.  Photo by Ben Cross.

Waterfall Creek and boats.

Entering the Impassible Canyon.

Cliffside Rapid.  Best waves on the river at this flow.  Zach and Catherine take the sporty left line.

Parker and the Paco Pad slide....


Sand Wrestling.  A staple of any river trip.

Hang on, you might fall in Chris...

Koda and frisbee.

Parker and the beach.

Sunset at our last camp.  Otter Bar Camp.


House of Rocks Rapid negotiated by Casey and Moler.

Ben laying out a backy on the last day...

The last thing standing between us and a perfect trip is Cramer Rapid.  Recently formed by a mudslide this used to be a fun wave train.  Well I think the whole group still thought it was fun.  By and far the biggest rapid encountered on the river, I've even heard rumors that some people rate it on the Grand Canyon scale (mostly because of its size).  It wasn't really that difficult.

Moler kissing the hole....

And with that we called it a trip.  No spills, just thrills, we packed it up and headed to Salmon, Idaho for one more night with the crew before we headed back to our boring day to day lives in CO.  Until next time.....

Thunder Head

Driving down from Breckenridge to Durango yesterday, when I hit the San Luis Valley I stated seeing a ton of smoke.  I thought this was probably from the fires in New Mexico, but later found out it was most likely from a fire called "The Little Sand Fire", burning north of Pagosa Springs, CO.  I started to see the photo possibilities immediately while the smoke started to choke out the sun.  As the sun got lower the scenes became even more dramatic.  While I pulled over on a back road and started shooting into the sun I noticed this cloud brewing up behind me while I went to retrieve another lens out of my car.  Before I knew it, this is what I was shooting and was no longer interested in the "into the sun" shot the other direction.  You can see in the top of the frame, smoke, which adds another layer to this shot.  It always amuses me how you sometimes end up shooting something you never expected or originally saw, but it ends up being the best shot of the day or trip.

TW Biz Exposure Meter

The result from this last season are in on the old Exposure Meter done by Transworld Business.  Some might ask why are you stoked on 10th place, but the fact of the matter is, to make this list at all is a great accomplishment and I couldn't be more stoked.  This is a heavy list, and the the truth is they used to tally the top 50 photographers, and now only the top 10.  There are so many amazing photographers that do amazing work in the world of Snowboarding that are not on this list, and that is why it is a big deal to make it here.  Congrats to Andy Wright and every one on this list.  It was a hell of a year!


Stoked this shot of Danny Davis ran in the new issue Slash, staight oot of Canada, eh.  It was shot in May of 2011 in Aspen/Snowmass while filming with the Brain Farm guys for their new release, "Art of Flight".  If you haven't seen it it yet, your probably dead or something, so I don't need to explain too much there.  I have to say though, that this is one of, if not my favorite photo from last season.  The combination of the tilt-shift, the clouds and Danny's timeless style, it just equals perfection to me.  Maybe you think its crap, and that cool, cause there's that one saying, "opinions are like assholes, everyones got one."  Anyways, thanks to Oli for running this one!  Stoked....

SNOWBOARDER Magazine VOL. 24, Issue 4

A few tear sheets from the November 2011 issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine....

Never a dull moment with Scotty Stevens...

America's Next Top Pro Model.  Great contest and great times. Portraits by E-Stone and Mike Yoshida.


I was actually shooting with an Absinthe crew consisting of Bode Merrill and Johnnie Paxson this day but Phil Jacques and Parker Duke had a jump built right next to ours.  They didn't have a photog so I literally stepped 15 over from where I was shooting with my crew and snapped this shot of Phil.  Sometimes it just that easy...

Colin Spencer cab 9 over the Malay gap on Vail Pass.  Really sick...

2012 Resort Guide opener.  Breckenridge, CO

More Breck...


Over the past two summers I've really fallen in love with biking.  Something about, its almost like snowboarding in a weird way.  We had a pretty epic Indian Summer here in Colorado for most of September and October and got out quite a bit (not to mention all summer too!).  I had never really shot much biking and decided with the fall colors in full swing it was time.  Here's a few shots from a little afternoon session in late September.

SNOWBOARDER Magazine VOL. 24 Issue 3

A few tear sheets from the October 2011 issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine....

Scott Stevens is always up to something unique.  This day was no different.  Always a pleasure...

So hyped to have gotten to hang out and gotten to know Kevin Jones this past winter.  Such a legend in the sport, and all around rad dude. 

Dylan Alito is a little shit.  Snowboarding needs more little shits like him.  Its about time with this On Deck!

This was shot in Utah for a feature loosely based on Travis Rice comparing traits exhibited by 4 riders, in this case, Johnnie Paxson.

Wolf Creek Opener!

I can't say I'm really ready for winter, but what can you do when it snows 4 feet?  Go shred, right?  Well I figured that it would be the best thing to do, and I can't remember an earlier opening day at Wolfy, let alone one this good.  I was a bit skeptical even to the point of buying my ticket, but by the first turn any skeptisism turned to pure bliss.  To top it off, there was hardly any lift lines, and fresh snow was easy to find all day long.  I can't remember a more fun opening day in recent history.  Without a doubt I've got that winter itch and can't wait for the next big dump.

Blotto Photto sticker spotted in the ticket line

Ready to rock


 Good to be back on a chairlift

Coverage is looking good!

Still can't believe its only October 8th!

 Look back

 More trees

Random dude gettin' some

Chairlift to Heaven

This guy was about to get all Mikey Leblanc up in here.

The sun even poked out for a minute

I think I only hit like 3 things.  Not too bad for October 8th.

It was just too fun shredding so I never really wanted to stop and set up any kind of action shot.  This is my attempt at capturing some action follow cam style.  Cort Blasting through some baby trees.

 Until next time...

SNOWBOARDER Magazine Volume 24 Issue 1

The first Issue of SNOWBOARDER Magazine is now on sale.  Go get ya self a copy now and get hyped for the 2011-12 winter season!

Mark Landvik, shot by Doctor Zapalac in Jackson, WY during the filming of Brain Farms new release, "The Art of Flight".

The following 4 shots are from a BrainFarm shoot I was lucky enough to be involved in, last May in Aspen, CO.  Some next level riding from the Frends Crew, Rice, Seb Toots, McMorris, Willet, and Bode Merrill.  See it all in "The Art of Flight" dropping September 2011.


Lago and Jack

Lago, Willet, Bode, and Willett solo

Danny Davis and Travis in Gum Drop land.

 The next two shots were from a story about Minnesota.  A place I've been to every year for the past 9 seasons.  To the outsider, you might wonder why Minnesota but it truly has become a snowboard destination for both the urban scene but also the private "park sessions", which I've been a part of more and more in recent years.

 Bjorn at the Celtek Jib Farm

Dan Brisse at the TKI Complex


I set out to Aspen, CO the first week of May before heading out to Superpark to link up with both some of the best cinematographers and shreds in the world.  The Brainfarm team, masterminds behind the film "Thats It Thats All" were posted up working on their new film "The Art of Flight" with the likes of Mark McMorris, Seb Toots, Eric Willett, Travis Rice and the Frends Crew, Danny Davis, Luke and Jack Mitrani, Scotty Lago and Kevin Pearce.  Mark Landvik was also on hand for entertainment.  Well all I can say is this was one one hell of a trip.  Things were working out so well I extended my trip an extra day and ended up leaving Superpark two days early to come back.  Bode Merrill was selected to accompany me on the trek from Oregon back down to Aspen to join in the last day of action in Aspen.  Its insane to not only witness this level of snowboarding but the level that Brainfarm operates on is mad.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars at work between cameras, multiple Helicopters, Cine-Trucks, Cine Rangers and an all star squad running around getting it done.  Not only was this one of my best trips of the year but one of the most fun.  The Frends Crew is in my opinion "the best crew in snowboarding."  They have so much fun all the time and are some of the best individuals I know.  They are pretty good at snowboarding too. They just have the best outlook not only on life but snowboarding too.  They keep it 100% fun.  I'm honored to get to hang out with them, and always look forward to next time.  Please check out The Frends website here.  The most entertaining portion of the site is Frends Vision so be sure to check it out.  Anyways, thats about it.  Good times in Aspen.  A huge thanks goes out the riders and to everyone at Brainfarm and Aspen/Snowmass for making this all possible.    I will be doing a bigger post soon, but for now heres a behind the scene shot or two.  Until next time....

Thanks for the assist Bungie!  Photo by Scott Serfas.

Battling for angles.  You find a good angle and everyone flocks.  Dodds, Serfas, Hooper and Zimmerman from front to back.  Photo by Chad Jackson.


So its been a hot minute since I've posted here on the old bolg.  Been on the end of the season grid to get last minute shots and build my stack for the mag, potential advertisers and clients alike.  Its been an interesting winter and an even more interesting spring.  The weather has been a real issue this year.  We've had tons and tons of snow but not a lot of sun.  Sometimes as few as two days in a single month.  This makes things really tough, but all in all it has been a hell of a year, and I'm getting excited for it to start winding down. After Silverton, my last post,  I spend a few weeks at home getting caught up on some work for two seperate clients.  I then set back out on the road for a quick SLC to Jackson and then back home road trip.  The plan was to meet up with a People Crew consisting of co-founder and filmer Pierre Minhondo and riders Aaron Biittner, Lauri Heiskari and Heikki Sorsa for a quick two day mission.  I got in late due to, you guessed it, weather, and met the crew just as they were about to hit a jump.....in a blizzard. I think they had just gotten to the point that they couldn't wait any longer.  When you wait two weeks because of weather sometimes you gotta just go out an make it happen.

Biitnner, Heikki and Lauri hiking

The next day was bluebird and the crew had built the "Hip of Love" a few days back so that was our objective.  The 40" of fresh snow that fell the last few days quickly turned to mush as the day progressed and it looked like spring was here.  Well perhaps but I'm not holding my breath.

Looking down Little Cottonwood Canyon at Snowbird

The crew, hiking up to the 'Hip of Love"

After a sick session, the snow was beat and it was time to move on and try my luck in Jackson, but not before I could say hello to my good friend TJ who is a recent transplant from CO to SLC.

It was like summer in SLC, so why not shotgun some beers!

SLC Hood

The next morning it was off to Jackson.  The snow report was good and it was looking like it should be well worth the trip.  Lonnie Kauk had driven down from Whistler and Mark Carter and Kevin Jones were already in Jackson so it was going to be a sick crew.  Upon arriving I found out the snow sucked and that we needed to check another zone the next day.  Well, all in all, it ended up sucking.  The 40-50" of fresh snowthat had fallen in the previous few days had already crusted over and it was a total bust.  Driving the 9 hours back to Breck was mellow compared to Lonnie's 18 hours down from Whistler that he was going to repeat immediately in reverse flow.  Nothing worse then going home empty handed.  Well almost empty handed...

We made the best of it with some crusty pow turns

Big L contemplating his 18 drive back to Whistler....