This season has brought me more joy than ever so far! Last season I was like a lost puppy dog not knowing what I was doing or really where I belonged. This Gold Pass Tour has made me realize the community that I have been apart of since the beginning.
The next stop on tour was Tahoe to hit Squaw Valley for the POW (Protect Our Winters) athlete summit. I got into Tahoe mid-day and, instead of sitting in my hotel room waiting for the rest of the athletes to arrive, I decided to take my Gold Pass and do a half day solo shred, just because I could! My first gondola ride, I met a couple that seemed to know the mountain. Since I had never been to Squaw, I asked them where I should go. Turns out they weren’t really big snowboarding fans. First, they told me to go somewhere that wasn’t even open. Then I heard them whispering to each other about where they were going to go. They must have thought I had music in. Naturally, when I got off the gondola, I followed them and they unknowingly took me down a great powder field! At the bottom they had stopped and I rode by yelling “Thanks for the epic run!”
I wasn't out in Tahoe for only fun and games. I was there to get involved and be a voice for climate change through Protect Our Winters. POW brought us all to together to have meetings and become more informed about what we can do as public figures to raise awareness about how fast our climate is changing and the issue at hand. Our days were jammed packed. We would start with dawn patrol at Squaw at 8 a.m., get a couple hours on the mountain to burn off all our energy and then followed that up with afternoons of discussions. POW brought in some amazing scientists and story tellers to bring us up to speed. It was two days jam packed with information! At the end of the summit, I was reminded of why I started working with POW four years ago. You can learn more about and support POW at protectourwinters.org. Group shoot by: Chris Wellihaunsen
My next stop on the #GoldPass tour was Steamboat, CO. I also celebrated my 26th birthday! It’s amazing what I’ve gone through in the past year and I’m very happy with where I’ve ended up.
I really enjoyed spending time in Steamboat because a few of my greatest friends are from there. Maddy Schaffrick and Matt Ladley were kind enough to show me around their home resort, which was officially resort number four on my #GoldPass tour. After a day of fun freeriding, it was down to the T-Bar to continue the birthday celebration with a little hammerschlagen!
The Steamboat party continued the next day, mobbing the mountain with a group of 12 of us. I got stopped by slow patrol at one point in the day just because we had such a big group tearing up the mountain, and when I took out my #GoldPass the guy literally didn't know what to do. He looked at it and said “just tell your friends to slow down!” The Steamboat adventure ended with an annual Ugly Sweater Party that my friends Natalie and Chappy Geer put on every year! I couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend.