Day in The Life of a Ski Bum Photographer

“You only get one life, but if you do it right, once is enough”

This winter I went all in and spent 3 months living out of my car, taking pictures, meeting amazing people, and skiing of course. I just wanted to talk about what the day to day life was like.

Morning

My wake up time was pretty all over the place. On average I would say I woke up around 7:30 am

Waking up was always the hardest part of the day as I had to get out of my sleeping bag that seemingly just got warm and walk around in temperatures that were sometimes down below 0 °F.

After waking up I would get out my Jetboil and boil some warm water to make some oatmeal or if I was feeling really good sometimes I even made some eggs and sausage for breakfast!

Then it was off to the ski hill to meet up with the days athlete and get some epic shots

Afternoon

We were usually happy with the shots and starting to get tired around 2 pm. I usually made a quick PB&J and headed back into the nearest town to get some computer work done

On the computer I always had a list of things to do, sometimes it was editing the photos from that day and the last couple days, and sometimes it was just responding and sending emails.

But this usually lasted until around 5 or 6 pm or just till I got hungry for dinner.

Winding Down

After all that I was always tired and ready for a good meal and some sleep.

Dinner could be a lot of things, I tried to make my own food most of the time but fast food was a little too tempting some nights. Eggs were really popular, and so was instant noodles and rice. On top of that almost every dinner was followed up with a sausage link or two for “desert”.

Dinner wrapped up at 7-8 pm and it was already dark and time for bed! after reading some ski magazines and watching a YouTube video or 2 I was passed out and ready for another full day!

Summer Skiing the Beartooths

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all

– Helen Keller

This week I’m going to take a quick break from talking about my big winter trip and talk about a more recent even that happened just last weekend.

If you’ve never been to the Beartooth Pass let this be your alarm saying its time to pack up and go, especially if your a skier.

Friday June 4, its 8:30pm and our crew of 5 that was supposed to set off about three hours ago, we still have that same three hour drive ahead of us.

Luckily not much later we manage to pack up and knock out the drive.

We arrive just before midnight with snow fields ahead of us and the stars above us.


The next day we have planned out to ski one of the few resorts still open in the northern hemisphere, Beartooth Basin.

With stoke high and adrenaline higher we get right to the skiing.

Lapping everything from slushy snake turns to cornices and cliffs.

After our legs couldn’t take it anymore we set off to go and find a spot to eat some dinner and call it a night


Day 2, We waste no time on day two and get right after it. The night before we had an incredible vision for a jump we have all been wanting to build for years.

A Tunnel Jump!

After many hours of shoveling and a few sunburns we finally had it complete and ready to hit.

As a photographer I had a lot of pressure to be able to capture everything that was going on in this special moment, and in the end I think I was actually able to do it.

The light, the skier, the snow, It all lined up for me to get the dream shot.


After that sesh we had to get back to the valley for work the next day! What an amazing trip that I will defiantly be thinking about all summer as the days quickly get to warmer and the snow becomes thinner.

IKONic Trip Pt.3 Eldora, CO

Ice is fun to ski

-said no one ever

After one too many frigid nights in steamboat springs I decided I had to move on to my next ski destination which was Eldora, Colorado.

Eldora was almost the polar opposite of steamboat, going from a rich ski town with huge hotels all over to a humble ski resort tucked into the back hills of Colorado.

It only took one day of pure ice skiing up at the resort till I knew I had to find other ways to pass the time up there

Lucky for me it only took a bit of searching to find a really cool spot in the woods I had all to myself for the next couple nights

The next thing I needed to find was wifi and power to work on my photos. This quest me lead to a really cool coffee shop built into an old box car. I spent many hours in there

In all reality that is pretty much all that happened in Eldora, with the skiing too miserable to justify and a nice coffee shop to catch up on my Jackson Hole photos, I just spent my days there camping in the woods and working out of a coffee shop.

Crazy Trip In The Crazy Mountains

Day One Journal Entry:

“Today was a big day. We hiked 9 miles, 2,500′ of vert, all with 40ish pound packs and one extra sled. The sled added a whole new dynamic in my mountain climbing experience, we tied it off to the end of our packs and switch off every mile or so. Although I will probably be glad we brought it along, it sure was a pain to get up here. But now we have the camp all set up for the awesome week that is to come.”

Or at least that is what I would have wrote had I remembered to journal through the exhaustion that fogged my mind as I drifted off to sleep in my warm sleeping bag.

Sunrise on the mountains to the left, and Jadon driving us up to the right.
The Beautiful Drive Up To The Parking Lot

First you have to meet the crew that made this trip as awesome as it was.

  • Jadon When he’s not hyping the group up you can find him getting inverted.
  • Andrew The new guy just trying to survive the journey.
  • Keegan The hype man
  • Benjamin The quiet guy who pops out of no where and goes bigger than everyone.
  • Isaac The video guy who can’t help himself and gets in on all the lines.
  • Me The Photographer

Day 1: And It Begins

Benjamin breaking trail like a boss

The day started at 4:30 am, started hiking at around 7, just a lot of trudging with the sled, nothing too eventful. We got to the camp site around 5 pm.

We set up camp right on the edge of Granite Lake. Lucky for us there was a layer of slushy water about 2 feet under the surface of the lake which provided easy access to water.

We were all exhausted and got to bed shortly after setting up camp.

Day 2: Sore, but ready to go

Jadon running the camera

We wasted no time and got right to the skiing. I had the honors of the 1st line of the week.

We started off basic with the line you can see in the image above, mostly sticking to the right side to get the feel for things.

Right after we ate lunch we went over to some old slide paths and practiced our avalanche safety.

Keegan (Left) and Jadon (Right) making quick work of this rescue

While Jadon and Keegan were waiting for their round at practice, they decided to build a kicker out of a drift which proved to be a nice pass time while watching the sun set.

<–(Jadon)

Jadon (Left), Keegan (Middle), Benjamin (Right)

After the sun set, we all sat around a campfire, drank hot coco, and dried our boots. We were waiting for it to get really dark to try out some night skiing.

our second shot at night skiing

Once we were happy with how dark it was we suited up, turned on our headlamps, and headed out. Isaac and I set up our cameras and waited with anticipation to watch the dot of light float down in the darkness.

Day 3: Pancakes!

After staying up till midnight night skiing the previous night, we woke up at 6:30 am on a mission to get a big line in with one thing motivating us, Pancakes!

this was our line as we saw it from camp

After the 1 mile approach we peaked over the ridge that was blocking our view of the run and we began to see what we were in for.

Benjamin once again leading the way in this enormous terrain

We hiked up the left most couloir in the picture above. It was right at 800′ of vert, and around 45 degree slope, maxing out at 55 degrees.

Isaac hugging the slope to show just how steep this stuff is. You defiantly don’t want to loose a ski or fall on this stuff.

the view from the top of our run

Once we all dug out or spots to clip in, I set out to find a spot to get some pictures. It was very steep and pretty intimidating, but I managed to sneak a handful of quality turns in there.

Jadon charging down like the boss he is

But then it happened, what we all feared…

As Isaac was making a nice turn his ski suddenly ejected which left him helpless to his instincts and the snow.

Lucky for him he fell in one of the less steep and softer parts and was able to stop his sliding and catch both his skis. But as smooth as it went, don’t be fooled, he defiantly got his fair share of adrenaline from the incident.

After we skied back we finally got to break out the pancake batter.

Jadon (Left), Isaac (Right)

Jadon was our cook who made all the delicious pancakes that everyone had been longing for.

As we devoured our pancakes, we slowly began to think, “Maybe the sled wasn’t so bad after all.”

We all drifted off to sleep in our slightly wet sleeping bags with uncertainty as to what the weather had to hold. Last we saw, (3 days ago) we were supposed to get rain the next day.

Day 4: Heading Out… Eventually

As I slept, I was rustled awake every once and a while by big gusts of wind and the sound of what I thought to be snow falling on our tent.

I finally felt rested and ready to go, as I opened the tent flap I was happy to see powder right at my doorstep.

I didn’t get much in video or picture of this day. But we really had a blast!

We finally got out and skied a gully we had been eyeing up all week and did it in prime conditions. The snow was soft, what a blessing!

Sadly we knew it was going to rain the next day and made the hard decision to pack up and get out of there. We didn’t end up leaving until around 5 pm.

Jadon eyeing up his line

Right after we crossed the lake we walked under a pillow line we couldn’t resist. Maybe a mile into our walk out and we already had to stop for a line.

After that detour, we managed to stay on track and ski/hike the rest of the way out. The first half was fun and filled with skiing, but after that was pretty flat and you know how that goes.

the whole crew making their way back to the car, one step at a time

After a long walk in the dark on the road that had been snow covered only a few days ago, we finally saw the glint of the car in our headlamps. This was just before 10 pm.

And the rest is history. As we all got back to our homes I enjoyed the best cereal I have ever had, and enjoyed the soft and dry feeling of laying in my own bed.

I hope that you enjoyed this story and maybe even learned something from it or got inspired! If you want to hear more stories like this you can subscribe below

Until Next Time! Stay Crazy!