I started snowboarding about 4 years ago now. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed by these trips. Summer has become a waiting game for that first snowfall. In this time period I’ve started to pick up my old film cameras again. A way to document and appreciate my surroundings to the fullest. Working primarily with larger 35mm cameras (Pentax Spotmatic F and Nikon EM), I recently purchased a compact Olympus XA2 for circumstances that demand a smaller more portable camera. These are the first images I’ve shot with it.
In January I headed to Park City, Utah for a week. It was my first time riding there and I’d heard great things, unfortunately they were having a ‘bad’ snow year. But that was according to their usual extraordinary standards. The runs are vast and plentiful, there is so much space it’s unbelievable. The landscape seems to stretch for miles around. There’s an inherent sense of solitude that comes with a mountain region of this scale. The moments of stillness and tranquility are frequent and a welcome respite from tearing down the mountain. Seeing the sunlight peek out through the trees is a joyous affair, one that certainly warrants a rest in the snow. The area is so densely populated with trees which makes for great runs to be discovered off-piste. Tricky to navigate at times and easy to get stuck in powder stashes that gather around the tree trunks, but the snow conditions are always worth it.
Snowboarding can at times be a dangerous sport, although I’d never really experienced it myself. Until this trip. I had a slight altercation with a cliff edge. I saw the warning signs and as suggested I proceeded with caution, but the angle was too steep and I began to tumble. After crashing over some rocks and a couple of tucked rolls I was in a pile of snow at the bottom. Mostly intact, minus some bumps and scrapes, luckily my board came off a lot worse than I did. Needless to say we didn’t do that run again!
By far my favorite run of the trip though was off the resort, after a short 15/20 min hike from the very top. Dropping down the other side of the mountain into a fully untouched bowl of snow was pure bliss, these moments of pure clarity are the ones I will continue to chase.
George Lavender is a designer and art director based in New York City, originally from the South Coast of England. He worked in London for 5 years before making the move to the USA. Having spent much of his time in the city the past few years, he felt compelled to get away from my desk and into the wild. A lot of his adventures revolve around snowboarding and naturally he is led up the mountains. Other adventures include hiking amongst the Welsh hills, or climbing boulders around Norway.