Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Retrospective- Christian Paul Photography

What an amazing year of adventure! I feel lucky to have spent so much time in the mountains of Utah. From snowboarding, splitboarding, and hiking the amazing Wasatch, to backpacking and hiking the Dixie National Forest and the High Uintas Wilderness. There was never a shortage of good times to be had in the high terrain here. Along with the classic places I always visit, we explored some new areas which are now on the favorites list that I am sure to return to. My photography was featured by several companies, and I am honored that a few wonderful people found a place for my images in their homes. The final tally for me out there this year was 71 days snowboarding, 60 days hiking and backpacking, 26 nights camping in the backcountry. I did 190 miles by foot this past year, which I loved every step which I took in our wilderness. This video represents a complete view of my year in the mountains for 2014. I would not change a thing, and the memories of the adventures I had will last a lifetime. Enjoy this video I have put together. Happy New Year to you all! What will 2015 bring? Stay tuned......

2014 Retrospective from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Greens Basin- 12.27.2014

We finally got enough snow to bury those trees and stumps and rocks out there. The original plan was to tour up Mill D, but because of the high volume of traffic heading up that trail, we decided to go to Greens Basin instead. The climb up was a frosty one, and we made our way up the shoulder of the unnamed peak up there that overlooks the basin in just a couple of hours. We found a great spot once we made it to the top and broke everything out from touring to riding mode. A little bit of a break on the top, then we strapped up and dropped in. The snow was so good, and the riding was stable and a lot of fun. We made it to the meadow, and decided to put our boards in touring mode and skate ski to the summer trail for a luge ride home. It was a great first day out touring, I hope to have many more to come. Enjoy the short video I made from today and pray for snow!

Greens Basin Tour 12.27.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Takin' A Tram Lap- Snowbird- 11.26.2014

The Tram finally opened, and what a treat it was. Cold chalky snow that was super to carve in. It was nice to be dropping in from the peak. The holiday traffic is out, but it did not seem to be that terrible since the flow was going and the stoke level was high for sunshine and great conditions. Enjoy the edit below and Pray 4 Snow!

Takin' A Tram Lap 11.26.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

First Day @ The Bird 14/15- Snowbird, Utah 11.24.2014

I finally got out on my home mountain for the season. We had a once in every two to five year storm come in and blanket the Wasatch with 30-40 inches of snow. It snowed so hard Alta could not even open on Sunday. I figured Monday should be pretty dead. Nope, full line at Gadzoom when they sent the first chair up the hill. No matter, there was good snow to be had, and pretty much most of the traffic was staying on trail. I am still just blown away that I had my powder board out this early in the season. Lower Harpers Ferry was giving up knee deep thick creamy turns. And the on trail was fast and chargeable. It was a fun day up there, and nice to be back in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I made a little edit, and now I got my aspect corrected on my videos. More adventures from the LCC to come!

First Day At The Bird For The 14/15 Season 11.24.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Opening Day @ Solitude Mountain Resort- 11.21.2014

Well it is finally here! I hit opening day at Solitude for the 14/15 season. It was light traffic, and a great mix of natural and man made snow. They had three lifts running, Apex, Moonbeam, and the beginner terrain on Link. The terrain open was really fun to ride. I spent most of the day up there slashing turns and just getting all the muscle memory back for snowboarding. Bluebird skies, mild temps, and and fun all around. It was a great day up there, and it was so nice to be snowboarding again. Enjoy the quick edit below, and Pray 4 Snow! This party has begun! Get your snowdances on!

Opening Day- 14/15 Solitude 11.21.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jewel/Cutthroat Lakes, Uinta Mountains- October 2014

I got one more trip into the high terrain this year. Myself and my friend Chris went in on a brisk Friday, hiking a deserted trail into Ruth Lake. The meadows are in full fall phase, and the wind was chilly. We made a quick hike into Ruth Lake, then moved up the ridge over to Hayden Lake. We then followed the outlet down past a very nice pond, and descended to Jewel Lake. We decided to camp here, as we knew weather was in the forecast for Sunday. We set up shop, and then just decided to take it all in. This is the latest I have ever backpacked in the Uintas. Evening came, and dinner and some extra layers were in order. We got a fire going, and made dinner, and enjoyed the crystal clear skies. I got the camera out and got some really nice shots that night of the peak and the lake. Soon, we felt the cold that the Uintas this time of year are known for. So off to the sleeping bags and warmth we went. Morning came and both of us slept in.

After making breakfast and having some coffee, we packed it up to head out fishing at Jewel and Cutthroat lakes. We fished Jewel for a bit, and I have a few bites. After a while we wanted to hike up to Cutthroat Lake. We made the meadow crossing and climbed up to the lake. It was deserted, something I have rarely witnessed. We fished for quite a while up there, me landing a very nice Tiger. Chris had luck too. Eventually, we decided that getting a warm fire set was important as we were unsure of the weather we would get. Back at camp, with everything in order for the evening, we just set in to watching the sunset out the back of the meadow behind our camp. Evening came, and so did a crazy set of clouds that just seemed to keep building. We headed for bed around midnight, and I fell right to sleep. But not for long, about 3:30 AM, I was awoke by the sound of snow falling on my tent, and thunder and lighting going off all around us. Thundersnow!

It was kind of awesome to experience, and my hiking watch said it was 39 degrees. I figured at that temperature it was not going to accumulate that much, so I rolled over and fell back to sleep. I woke again around 7:30 AM, and it was much colder this time. The temp read 30 degrees. I peeked out of my tent and everything had a new paint job. Eventually we decided that packing it up and making our way out was the best thing to do. I had anticipated that if we did get snow, it would be wet, so I packed layers, including rain pants, and a Goretex jacket. I also packed in a neck gaiter, and some winter gloves. After getting locked and loaded, we made our way out of Jewel Lake. There is a small boulder field that you have to ascend, and it is not something to be taken lightly with wet boots, and a heavy pack on. The dogs led us up the best path out of there, and soon we were on trail again. We were walking in 3-4" of snow all the way up to Hayden Lake. Then over the ridge and down to Ruth Lake. We took some photos at Ruth, and just enjoyed the instant winter wonder land we were walking in.

Some of the flat sections were like breaking trail, so I admit I slashed a few turns in the hiking boots because the snow was powder. We made our way out to Highway 150, and found the road and lot snow packed. This was my last trip into the high terrain of the Uinta Mountains this year. It has been an awesome summer in this wilderness. One I will not soon forget. Some fall hiking and then this party is going to switch to snow dances.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cuberant Basin Part II, Uinta Mountains- September 2014

We had a late season heat wave which was to warm things up, so I decided I wanted to get back out in the mountains. Time is numbered as winter will be knocking on the door soon. I got in touch with my friend Mike, and we set out for Cuberant Basin, as Mike had never been back in there. We made an afternoon hike in, and got to camp in the early evening. We got everything situated, and then we settled in for the evening. It was chilly, but not too cold, and the fire kept things warm enough to rattle off a very nice star trail. Eventually, both of us were tired and we hit the tents for some shut eye. Morning was cool, but not too bad. Coffee was extra tasty when the temps are a bit cool. We eventually were warmed by the sun, and we decided to hike up to #1 and #4 lakes in the basin. We stopped at #2, and I landed a nice Cutthroat to start the day off. We ate lunch at #1, then moved up to #4.

I had a nice one hit my fly at #4, only to loose it on the way in on the retrieval. The weather was perfect, with a bit of a breeze as was forecasted. We spent quite a bit of time up at #4, then we decided to hike back to camp for some evening fishing at #3, and to get dinner ready. Evening set in with a repeat performance from the previous night, stars bright with temperatures a few degrees warmer. We had a great night hanging out in the symphony of silence. I turned in for one great nights sleep. Dawn brought a few more clouds which were the lead to the soaking storm we have had here over the weekend. The hike out was beautiful, and hits of fall color were everywhere. This may be one of the last backpacking trips of the season as the winter weather is supposed to return to the area over the weekend. I may get one more, we shall see. Regardless, it has been a great summer. Some fall hiking, and then we will be sliding on the snow once again. Enjoy the pics below. More adventures to come!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Island Lake, Uinta Mountains- September 2014

Fall is really here. The leaves are beginning to change, the days are getting shorter, and the temps are getting cooler. I had a weekend free, so I decided to head out backpacking. We were in the line of fire for the Aurora Borealis, but it was a small chance because we still has a half moon rising. I hit the road early Friday morning with my friend Jason, and we made our way up to the Mirror Lake Highway. After lots of fall colors visible from the drive in, we arrived at the trail head. We got everything locked and loaded, and we made our way in. The temps were perfect, and it was so quiet out there. We wandered the meadow, then up the switchbacks to the pass. Then a quick decent into the basin down past Long Lake. We then headed west, passing some ponds, then to the junction to go to Island Lake or Duck Lake. We made our way up the switchbacks to the outlet of Island Lake. We decided to camp on the north west side.

We found a nice spot and got shop set up quickly. We then decided to give fishing a turn, and after a bit and fighting with the wind, I landed a decent Cutthroat. I put him back and proceeded to camp for the sunset and to get a fire going. It was going to get cold that night, but I wanted to stay up and see if the northern lights were going to make an appearance. Jason turned in and I stayed up shooting a star trail image. I think for about 5 minutes I could see them in the sky, but then the moon started to rise, and that put an end to that quickly. I finally decided to turn in. Morning brought some much needed coffee and breakfast. After a nice meal, we decided to head up to Fire Lake. It was a great hike, and Fire Lake was showing off its fall look. I fished for a while, and finally hooked into a big one, only to loose it, as it thrashed back and forth while I was retrieving it until my fly was off the line. Bummer! That would have been the fish of the summer, he was so huge! At least I know he is still out there. I'll get my fly back! After a while, and getting a panoramic view of the basin, we decided to head back to camp at Island Lake.

Dusk came quick, and we got our fire stoked and made dinner. As it got dark, I think both of us were pretty tired, so I only stayed up for a bit to have an adult beverage, then I made my way to the tent. A much warmer night than our first night out there. Morning came with an even warmer sun, and we made coffee, then decided to break camp and make the hike out. It was perfect weather, and a great hike out. Enjoy the slide show below. I may get one more trip in for the year then it will be hiking for fall colors and getting ready for winter. More adventures to come!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grand Daddy Basin, High Uintas Wilderness- Aug/Sept 2014

This is a place that I have visited a few times, and it has always been an adventure. With the long holiday weekend, me and my friend Chris decided to head in on Saturday. We arrived at the trail head to some brisk air, and wind that was blowing hard in intervals. We got locked and loaded and headed in. It was a nice walk, temps very cool, so you were not overheating doing the two miles and 800 ft of elevation gain to Hades Pass. Right before the pass, we had a light sprinkle, but it seemed to end as fast as it began. We spent a couple of minutes on the pass, then made our way into the basin. We ran into a few parties heading out, so this bode well for us, as we were looking to have some solitude. We wound our way past Grand Daddy Lake, then we moved past Betsy, then past the junction to Mohawk Lake. At this point you start to descend a bit as you head for Fish Hatchery Lake. It was a soggy mess in here because of the storms we have had over the last month. Just as we were about to arrive at Fish Hatchery, it started to rain a bit more, so we threw on the rain gear and decided to hunker down at Fish Hatchery to get our bearings as there is no trail to Farney Lake which was our destination. Just as we got settled in, the clouds broke and we had bluebird skies. We looked at the map and determined that a meadow above us would get us to Farney, so we packed it up, and moved up to Farney.

Arriving at Farney, this lake site higher in the basin, and is strewn with rocks and boulders everywhere. We hiked around to see what camp spots there were, and we found one on the southwest side of the lake. We pitched shop and got to fishing right away. I had a few bites, but nothing landed, as they were either missing it, or I was not setting it on the strike. I fished until dusk, then we headed back to camp for dinner and to settle in for the evening. Just after dinner, it started to rain really hard, so we retired to the tents to stay dry and to get some much needed rest after nearly seven miles of hiking that day. It rained all night, but did not get too terribly cold. Morning came with crystal clear skies, with just some cotton ball clouds hanging out over our camp. We got up, had breakfast, and decided to try fishing again at Farney. I had one on in a couple of casts, a small Grayling, and that is what I continued to catch for the next hour I was fishing. We decided we wanted to fish some trout, so we headed over to Marsell and Sonny, which were just over 1.5 miles away. It was cross country bushwhacking and route finding, but we ended up standing at the shore of Sonny. The wind this day was really howling, so you had to pick your spot at Sonny.

After a bit, we moved up to Marsell, and the wind continued to pound us. It was a cool breeze too, as this was the backside of a cold front that brought us the rain overnight. We fished for quite a while at Marsell, then we decided to head back to Farney. We found a sweet route which spawned the later part of this trip. We finally had clear skies for the evening, and the stars and moon were out, but the wind was bitter cold. We had a nice fire, but eventually, both of us decided to retire to the tents to get warm and be out of that wind. I awoke to clear skies and the sound of wood peckers tapping away at the trees around us. We decided to loop out through Mohawk Lake, basically bushwhacking our way out to the main trail. This was an awesome adventure, no trail, and using a GPS app on the phone, we wound our way up and out of Farney Lake. We passed Sonny and Marsell on the ridge above, and ended up in a meadow that had one of the sweetest camp spots I have ever seen. We then climbed a small ridge, we were meadow hopping and found a secret spot which I am not going to divulge. The fishing was hot, and Chris landed an arm length Cutthroat which was the winner of the trip! We finally after fishing for a while, decided it was time to head out. The hike out was nice, and we saw no other people on the trail.

Completing the big climb, we were once again on Hades Pass. Then it was the final jaunt to the car, which was a forever downhill hike, which just seems to go on and on. We finally arrived at the trail head and we were all alone in the lot. No one there, we must have been the last people out of that basin for the holiday weekend. 17 miles in 3 days, pretty awesome adventure. Ended August and welcomed September in the Uintas! Fall is here, all the leaves are changing, and our time in the high terrain is short. A few more adventures before I am done backpacking for the season. Enjoy the pics below, more to come!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dean Lake, Uinta Mountains- August 2014

We had planned a bigger trip, but because of the severe weather, and snow, yes I said "snow" in the forecast. The group was looking to head out for the holiday weekend. I was spying the weather, and Sunday was forecasted to be clear and sunny, with Monday night having a storm plow into us with low pressure. So I decided to hit Dean Lake. I have wanted to go there, as I am told that this was the place to camp if you are in this basin. Last time I was out here I camped at Notch, and it was a bit too busy for my taste. I arrived at the Bald Mountain trail head Sunday Morning and hiked in. The temps were very brisk, I hiked in my jacket, which is something I rarely do. There were some patches of snow left over from Friday nights freak August snowstorm. The whole range got hit, and this is not normal for this time of the year. The trail was a soggy mess, but I carried on, as I knew that I did not have far to go. I made my way off the pass, then arrived at Clegg Lake. It was pretty with the sun on it. After the hike around Clegg, I carried on for a bit till I saw a board walk just past a pond. From the map, it took me down a meadow, and soon I found myself standing at Dean Lake.

I wandered around for a minute, and found a nice spot to camp. I got camp situated, and then I took some pictures. I kind of just sat there for a bit taking in the silence. There was no one out here, I was truly alone in the wilderness for this moment. After a while, I decided to give fishing a try. I fished around Dean, and landed a little Grayling. I did not know that there were Graylings in Dean. I was told Cutthroats and Brook Trout. Pretty surprised to land one of those. After walking all around the lake, I decided to walk over to Notch Lake, and give fishing a try there. The weather had cleared out, with just the cotton ball clouds making the light so perfect. I landed some nice brookies at Notch Lake, and watched the sun fade behind Notch Mountain. I decided to head back to my camp. Just as I got settled the sunset became amazing, and I got my camera in position and got a shot that is one of my favorites of the summer. Night settled in, and just as I was finishing dinner, I saw lighting and thunder broke in the distance. Huge thunder and lighting for hours, on again and off again rain. It came in waves, and was cool to experience on a solo trip. I got my rain gear on and tried for a few hours to just stick it out. But about midnight, It just got too cold, so I moved into my tent. I never stopped coming down all night long. I awoke to the sound of snow sliding off my rain fly.

I got up to see that everything was covered in white frosting. I made coffee, took in the rolling mist off the lake. I decided that if that was the 30% chance of showers forecasted that I experienced the night before, I was not going to see what 70% chance of showers had in store for me. I packed it up, and headed out. I was crunching through ice and slush all the way up to the main trail. This path was even more soggy that when I had come in. Every boardwalk that cover the meadows were covered in snow. The temps were mild, and it was a cool hike out. Got to my car and the window was covered in snow! Crazy weather for August! I love solo backpacking. It is always an adventure when I go by myself. Enjoy the slideshow of shots from the trip, more adventures to come!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catherine Pass, Little Cottonwood Canyon- August 2014

This is one hike I usually try to get in every summer. It is one of my all time favorites, and the memories from summits of Sunset Peak, to fishing Lake Catherine are legendary. This was a great weather day, and one of the best weather days we have had this cool and wet August we have had. The flowers on the way up were still holding up, so the meadows were still green and full of color. I made a furious pace and pushed straight through till I reached the pass. After a quick break and a few photos, I moved down to Lake Catherine. The fishing was pretty fun, not as fast as other years, but still a great time. I had the place all to myself, and I never complain about that. After hours of fishing, it was time to head out. I made my way back to the pass, and then made a quick decent to the car. This hike never lets me down, and as always, it is nice to be in the mountains again. More adventures to come......

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Toquer Lake, Ashley National Forest, Utah- August 2014

I have been to the south slope of the Uintas a few times, but it remains rather a new area for me as mostly I have been visiting the north slope and the areas off of HWY 150. Toquer Lake is one lake that we have wanted hit, because no one goes there and it is on the bucket list. We arrived in the Center Park area just after dark and car camped the first night out there. It was a nice spot, but a bit chilly with the wind. After a couple of beverages, we all hit the tents for some nice sleep. Morning woke to some breakfast burritos and packing it up to the trail head. This is a wild area, just how I like it. We started in on the Fish Creek National Recreation Trail, which crosses a meadow, then descends a rather steep section of switchbacks. We then crossed a creek, then made the slow gradual climb in this drainage. It is a beautiful walk in the woods, and you can tell that this trail is not overly used.

We passed meadow after meadow, then crossed the stream for the second time, and after a bit of uphill travel we were standing at the outlet of Toquer Lake. This basin is beautiful! Wildflowers everywhere. We found a spot and set up camp. Shortly after we were hit by a heavy hail storm, which I just stood under a set of trees and watched it paint our camp white! I did not want to pull my DSLR out of my tent in the storm, it was just far too soggy. After a while of waiting it out, we finally got a break in the action, and we headed out with the fly rods to give it a shot. Second cast and I had a nice one on! They were very nice brookies, and contrary to the book saying the fishing was no good here, we had hot action fishing this lake. Everyone caught fish, and we kept a couple for dinner. Dusk set in as we made our way back to camp, we got a fire going, and settled in for the evening.

I stayed up after Chris and Colin went to bed, and I watched the moon come up over the trees, and make it almost like daylight out. It was cool to see this place lit up at night. I awoke to crystal clear skies, and nice temps. We all had breakfast and coffee, then we decided to give fishing another shot after packing it up. I did not fair as well as the previous evening, but Colin and Chris did fine and actually landed some very nice fish. We packed it up and headed out around noon. The hike out was nice temps, and sun in and out of the clouds. As we reached the final stream crossing, we heard the loud crack of thunder, and the dark clouds were heading right for us. We made haste up the switchbacks, and the storm was just upon us when we reached the final meadow before the car. As we were getting settled at the car, a huge bolt of lighting came down about a quarter mile from us, and the boom was intense. This was a great trip, fishing was hot, and the place shelters well when there is a storm. I am taking the week off as to spend some time with my family and attend a wedding. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come soon!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cuberant Basin, Uinta Mountains, Utah- August 2014

I always like to get out for my birthday. After a the long trip to the High Uintas, some maxing and relaxing was in order. We made a late departure on Friday and we set in to Cuberant Basin about 8:30 PM. We knew that we were going to be headlamping it, so we pushed a good pace to the Kamas Lake/Cuberant junction. It started to get pitch just past the junction, and we put on the headlamps and made our way up the pass on Mt Marsell. It was loose rock this time as it had been raining earlier in the day. It was quite a sight to see with the moon showing off in its crescent form, and to be standing on a 10,000 ft pass after dark. We pushed into the basin, and made our way off the pass. This would have been tough had I not visited this place many times before. We moved down to #2, then down to #3, which was occupied by some other campers. So we took the spot in the meadow just southwest of the lake.

It was actually a great spot, and we set up shop. My friend Chris has these great solar lights that are feather weight called the Luci Solar Lantern. They are great, they weight nothing, and they give a large amount of light. Helped us pitch camp in the dark, and provided us with some nice lighting in camp. We set up shop, and then got a fire going. There was a small meteor shower that we were lucky enough to see from our vantage point. Then we turned in. It was great to sleep once again in what I call the symphony of silence. Morning came and the weather was just beautiful. We made breakfast, then put it all together to give fishing a try. Chris got red hot right off the bat, like second cast he had one on. I had a bit more of a struggle to get things going, but eventually landed 4 nice brookies. We made our way around the northwest end of the lake, then a small rainstorm, no thunder, came in on the area.

We just pulled up under some trees and watched the rain fall on the lake. It was so quiet and peaceful, it took everything down a few notches. After the rain let up, we were back at it, and this time, I had the biggest brookie I have ever landed at this lake on the line. I always have good luck fishing after a rain storm. After a while, dusk started to set in, and we made our way back to camp for dinner and a fire. Once again, crystal clear night, and we had a nice fire to sit by as the evening came on. We turned in much earlier than previous nights, and what a great nights sleep it was. We awoke to a few more clouds in the area, but still just gorgeous weather. We kind of just hung in camp and had coffee, then slowly packed it up. We had a perfect hike out, flowers everywhere, the lighting was just right. We made it to the car, got the boots off and had a cold one. Sitting on the back of the truck, we were treated to a light shower, and some distant thunder which made the atmosphere just awesome. It was just what the doctor ordered, a relaxing trip, in the backcountry, and some fishing. I could not have asked for a better birthday trip. Enjoy the slideshow below. More adventures to come.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Swift Creek Basin, High Uintas Wilderness, Utah- July 2014

This trip was originally planned as a meet up with our friends who were doing a loop hike through the heart of the Uintas. We made the long drive to the Swift Creek trail head, and finally arrived at the lot. This is a really remote area, and the road in was rough to say the least. We noticed one of Mikes tires was really low, so we decided to head in, and we would change out the spare when we returned. The hike begins as a walk through the woods, crossing a sheep bridge, then 1/4 mile in you reach a junction that you can either head up Yellowstone Creek, or turn right which takes you up Swift Creek. The switchbacks were relenting, and as you climb, you begin to seen that this ridge had been hit by lightning quite a bit. Almost every tree at the top was cooked black from being struck during a thunderstorm. We had partly cloudy skies, so we proceeded up the ridge and into the drainage.

AUTHORS NOTE: There is very little water available on this hike. The trail only crosses the stream twice, and it puts you quite a distance from the creek most of the time. So filter when you are at the crossings, after the second one, you are not going to have water until reaching Deer Lake. This hike is a brutal one, not much flat trail, and rocks sticking up in the trail pretty much all the way to Deer Lake. We made use of the water that was available, and continued on. The first stream crossing is marked by a bunch of beaver dams, and there is only one dry route across if you want to not have to wade the creek. Then it puts you on the east side of the canyon for quite a while, and you are very high in the drainage at some points. After walking for a long time, we reached the second creek crossing, which was more manageable. Then, after hiking almost five miles, the never ending switchbacks begin. These are long, and after such a huge hike, they really kick your butt. We reached the top at dusk, and made our way to Deer Lake, where we were going to put up for the night. We found only one spot to camp, and we set up shop. This whole basin is strewn with rocks and boulders everywhere, making finding a spot to pitch a tent complicated to say the least.

We made dinner, had a small fire, shot s few after dark photos, then it was off to bed. I was woken up about 2 AM to flashes of lighting and loud thunder as a cell lit up over us, and dumped rain almost all night. The next morning we made breakfast and assessed the situation. The weather continued to improve, so we decided to move up to Farmers Lake, and camp there and try to connect with our friends over at the Timothy Lakes. We made our way up to the junction, then we moved up to White Miller Lake, where we took a break, and took in the view of this pretty lake. Then we moved up to Farmers Lake. It was gorgeous up here, but extremely rocky, and very little in tent spots for us to set up shop in. We walked around the lake, and I shot a really nice pano, but we decided that it was really exposed, and if another thunderstorm came in, this would leave us vulnerable. I had seen a nice spot down at White Miller Lake, so we moved back down there to set up shop for the night. This spot was amazing! It had a great view of the lake and peaks above and flat tent spots! We made our camp and then filtered our water. The sunset began, and it was quite the show. Dinner, some night shots then it was off to bed. I slept so good, far better than the first night. We woke to bluebird skies, and nice temps. We made breakfast, and realized that we were not going to connect with our friends, so we decided to make the hike out, and get to the car for some cold ones. The hike out was long, hot, rocky, and a workout to say the least. We made it to the car in just under five hours, and those camping chairs and cold beers were a welcome treat.

After changing out the spare, with it being so late in the day, we decided to just disperse camp and do the drive home in the morning. This was an incredibly wild area in the Uintas, and a grueling hike to get up there. The camping selections were tough, and the lack of water until the upper cirque makes it quite challenging as well. It was an awesome adventure, and great to visit a new area. Enjoy the slideshow, more adventures to come.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cecret Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah- July 2014

I got to take my daughter up for a sneak peek at the wildflowers in the Albion Basin. It was gorgeous up there. And the colors were amazing. We had great weather, and we could not have picked a better day to head up to the lake. We spent some time hiking around and just enjoying the day together. Enjoy the photos, more to come.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jewel Lake, Uinta Mountains, Utah- July 2014

This is an area that I visit at least once a year in the Uintas. It is a great hike, very scenic, and a quick hop between two to three miles depending on where you want to set up shop. I stayed at Cutthroat Lake with Mike and his dog Cruiser for my birthday trip last year, so we decided to camp at Jewel Lake since it was middle of the week, and no one would be out there. The hike in was virtually empty, and when we got to Ruth there was one family who was on their way out. Those would be the last people we saw until we came out. After a brief stop are Ruth, we pushed on, over the minor ridge, and were standing lakeside at Hayden Lake. A couple of photos, and then we moved on past the next pond in the meadow below, and then down the trail to Jewel Lake. We had a moose delay as we hit the boulder field as you get to the end of the trail. No one saw it, and as we started hopping down the rocks, it took off west in a hurry, so no shots unfortunately. We made our way NW around the lake and settled on a very nice spot. We got shop set up, then decided to give fishing a try. I made my way around the lake and found a spot where they were rising. I had hit, after stolen fly, after hit, after fish get off. I lost seven that should have been landed and I missed a good 20 more. I did hook into one that Mike and Eric, who was new to our group, saw as they were standing on the ledge above me where I was fishing.

I have landed nice size Tiger Trout out of this lake before, so I am sure that is what was hitting my line. I had one on that I for sure was going to be a keeper. Just as I got him in shallow to retrieve, it snapped off my fly, and the sound was collective from all three of us. Bummer. If you catch a big one out there, and you find a black Beetle in its mouth, you will know the size fish I had on there. I fished until dusk, then headed back to camp to shoot some shots. I was trying a few different tricks with sunsets with my camera, and I managed to shoot in my opinion, one the best shots of the year for my portfolio. After that it was time for dinner and a fire, as evening set in. I started to get a really jabbing pain sensation after dinner in my left shoulder. It became a bit more aggravated later on, but I stuck it out as we were supposed to have rain and we had a mostly clear night with a 3/4 moon shinning over Lofty Peak. After a fun time hanging out and listening to tunes, we all decided to turn in. I awoke to feeling a bit dizzy, and nauseated and my shoulder hurt even worse. I am not sure what happened, but maybe I over did it fishing, and re-injured an injury that I got from getting hit on my snowboard by a skier doing 40+ MPH at Snowbird two years prior.

I made the judgement call, full inviting the guys to stay and I would just crash in the car. I learned a long time ago, that if you are sick or injured, and you try to stick it out, you only make it worse for yourself. Survival ultimately means you have to get out if you are able to walk. I did not sleep well because of the pain, and it was not getting better. I just had to get out, for if this got worse, I was going to need medical attention. I packed quickly, and Mike said he and Eric were going to go to Teal and Cutthroat then come out. I made a quick hike out. I have done this route so many time, that I did not think about it, I was on autopilot. I just did it because it was time to leave. I endured with my shoulder, mostly on adrenalin from being a little concerned about what was wrong. Eventually, after I had been at the car for a few hours, Mike and Eric made it out with Cruiser the wonder dog, and we headed back home. Huge thunderstorms were on their way in, and I think all three of us were feeling like we just did not want to sit in our tents all evening, so we made a good choice to head out. I am nursing a really sore shoulder blade, so gonna take a short break to heal up before heading back out into the wild. Enjoy the slideshow, more adventures to come.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Twin Lakes Trail, Big Cottonwood Canyon- July 2014

I have a list of places to backpack here in the Wasatch, and Twin Lakes was on that list. I decided to head up because the weather was nice, clear skies and no storms expected. I made a quick pace into Silver Lake then pushed up the Twin Lakes trail. I made a rather quick climb and was standing at the dam before I knew it. I traversed back to the southwest side of the lake, and found a great spot to set up shop for the night. I got camp set, and then tossed in a line. I got one on pretty quick, but much smaller than the whopper I pulled out of here last summer. After some time fishing, and some chilling lake side, I made my way back up to camp for the evening. The sunset was pretty, and the stars started to pop out. You could see the Milky Way above the Wolverine Cirque. I spent quite a while shooting photos and enjoying a few beverages I hauled in with me to enjoy. After getting what I wanted via the camera, I turned in. Some of the best sleep in weeks for sure. I awoke to the sun up over the mountains, and really mild temps for an AM at camp in the mountains. I made some coffee and then tried out some more fishing. Much slower than the evening before, but still fun. I finally headed back up and packed it up to hike out. The walk out was warm and beautiful. It was a nice evening up there. I am glad to have checked this one off the Wasatch Bucket List. We are nearly half way through summer, so more adventures to be had for sure!

Mill D North/Dog Lake, Big Cottonwood Canyon, July 2014

When I get to spend the day with my daughter, it is always very special. And she is now getting old enough that we like to spend time in the outdoors together. We decided to hike up to Dog Lake from the Big Cottonwood side. The hike up was beautiful, lots of flowers and my daughters favorite butterflies! The temps were just right, and we made a great pace. Since the Millcreek side was still closed at the terraces, Dog Lake was a ghost town! We had the place all to ourselves. The hike out was great, and the light playing in the trees was awesome to see. Great day in the mountains with my daughter. More adventures to come!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Red Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon- June 2014

The snow has finally melted, and things are ready to go! I made my way up Little Cottonwood Canyon to head up to one of my favorite places, Red Pine Lake. Things are so green this year. I made a swift jaunt up to the Red Pine/White Pine split, then headed up to Red Pine Lake. I actually was making really good time, a far faster pace than I usually make. I was to the Maybird split in just over an hour and some change. The flowers are out and the skies were crystal clear. I took a quick break at the bridge to Maybird, then I headed up to the lake. The last climb had a few piles of snow, but nothing you could not manage to walk around of walk through. After a short bit, I found myself standing lake side at Red Pine. I headed to the inlet, and saw no fish activity. I tried my best for a couple of hours of fly fishing to get any action out there, but only had one bite that was more of a bump than a bite. But no matter, the scenery was sweet and I set up shop for a bit on the north side of the lake and just took it all in. After a while, it was time to head down. I made a quick pace down, and before I knew it I was standing at my car. It was a great day up there, and the Wasatch is ready to go! Enjoy the pics, more walkabout adventures to come!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Amethyst Basin, High Uintas Wilderness- June 2014

I finally got up into the High Uintas for the first time this year. A bit later than last years season opener out there. I was still happy none the less to be back in one of my favorite wilderness areas to visit. I connected with my friend Michael Klippert, who came with me to Cutthroat Lake out here last year. I love traveling with another photographer. Makes for great conversation, and it is nice to see how another pair of eyes is taking it all in. Plus, Michael is an awesome person, and his dog Cruiser is one of my favorite to backpack with. We arrived at Stillwater Fork to a pretty empty trail head. A quick pack of some last minute items, and we headed down the trail. The route was mostly dry, but the stream crossings were running high. But no matter, I had on Goretex boots, so I just walked right through them.

After about an hour, we ended up at the junction to head up Ostler Fork. We took a quick break, re-fueled on some snacks, then headed up the steep climb. This part of the trail does some 1700 feet of gain in about 3 miles. That may not seem much, but with a 30+ lb backpack on, it is a workout for sure. Crossing many soggy sections of trail that seemed to be soaked or under an inch or so of water, we made our way up. After a huge climb, we finally made it to camp at Ostler Lake. We pitched shop, got things settled, and got working on a fire. Since the temps were going to drop a bit due to a cold front that was coming through, we got dry and warm as to stay comfortable. We had friends meeting us, so we waited, and only our friend Colin showed up. We were guessing Chris and Jason would not be in till morning. We were all beat, and made an early departure for sleep.

The morning awoke to the rest of our crew and dogs coming into camp. They had got to the meadow at about 11:30 PM, and just threw up the tents and got some sleep. Everyone got breakfast, then we all decided to go try to land a fish. The wind was pretty intense, and the casting areas for a fly rod were few because of back casting reasons. I gave it my best, but only got one bite that I missed. I walked around the lake shooting photo's, and just taking in the micro burst clouds coming over the ridge. I circled the whole lake, then walked back up to camp. We decided to hike up in the cirque below Ostler Peak, taking in the views. We then moved to an overlook overlooking BR-24, and looking into the head wall where Amethyst Lake is. Michael and Colin went up to Amethyst, and they said it was still partly frozen over. So our decision to just loop to the overlook was probably for the best. We made our way back to camp and settled in for the evening. This night was the Summer Solstice, and I wanted shots from the lake. I got some great images, and then moved in at dusk to camp. We had a great last night by the fire, and I turned in just after midnight.

I awoke to some clouds moving in over the ridge, so we decided to pack it up and head out. We made a swift pace to the junction, then the sun came out and it was beautiful walking all the way to the car. It was an epic trip to start out this summer in the Uintas. And I am excited to get back out there some more. Enjoy the pics, more to come!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mill B South Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon- June 2014

This is on my top three hikes of all time here in the Wasatch. It is a gut buster on the way up, and the pay off is worth every step you take to get there. As is usual on this hike, I had a delayed start on this trail due to parking at the trail head. Once I was on my way up, I made a quick pace. Passing meadows and climbing up this drainage, you get a sense of how dramatic it was here when the glaciers were here in full force. I made good time up to the last switchbacks, which I then took a quick water break before finishing it off to the lake. It was bluebird skies and the waterfalls cascading off Sundial Peak were amazing! I made a quick jaunt over to my spot, and put the fly rod together. I had a slow start, but once I dialed in the pattern, it was on from there. Even pulled a 13" brookie out of Lake Blanch. That is the biggest I have ever landed there. I continued my assault on the inlet, and then decided I wanted to walk over to Lillian and Florence, the other two adjacent lakes in this drainage. Lillian had all the action, Florence was just too windy to cast in. After a long stay up in this beautiful place, it was time to head on down. The hike down was awesome as the trees dropped into the shadow of the west ridge. I made a great pace to the bottom, drinking the last of my water right as I walked up to the car. What a way to get things going by getting Lake Blanch bluebird and great temps! Enjoy the slideshow, more to come!

Willow Heights, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah- June 2014

I had plans for a dad/daughter day, so we decided to go for a hike. I wanted to see if the upper Wasatch was ready, so we gave Willow Heights a shot. The trail is dry, and quite a few flowers were in bloom. Everything is green, so you get some nice shade on the way up. Once we got to the lake, we decided because of the temperatures to head above the lake and in the trees. After some exploring, we found a downed aspen that was the perfect size to sit on. After enjoying some snacks and wandering off trail for a bit, we decided to hike down. The hike out was breezy and was a great time. It is nice now that most of the upper Wasatch is ready. I will be hitting some much bigger and more beautiful hikes in the coming weeks. This one was the recon on the area, and we are ready to go! Get out there and enjoy these beautiful mountains!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great Western Trail- Deer Creek Section, Dixie National Forest, Utah

Finally, after months of dreaming about getting out in the wilderness again, the day had come. We made an early departure from Salt Lake City, heading south for Boulder Mountain. It was a nice drive, very light traffic, and scenic all the way there. After more than three hours driving, we arrived at the trail head. We enjoyed the view as we packed it up and got the boots on. The hike in was awesome, but a bit windy as micro burst clouds were moving very fast over us. We made a quick pace to the Great Western Trail junction. We took in the view, then moved on. The hike in was snow free, and was in full greenery as all the trees and meadows were just about to pop with color. After a bit of walking in the woods, and hearing the frogs singing, we arrived at the Deer Creek Lake junction. A short hike up the meadow and we were at our spot. We got shop built and then headed up to Green Lake to try our luck with the fishing.

On my fifth cast I had one on. A pretty fat Cutthroat as well. The fishing was hot, and all of us were getting hit. We fished until it started getting dark, then we made our way back to camp. I shot some photos as we made dinner. Then it was off to sleep. The next morning was crystal clear, and the temps were mild. After coffee and breakfast, we packed it up to hunt out Moosman Reservoir. We did some bush whacking from camp, and after moving through some meadows and following some faint animal tracks, we arrived at the lake. It was a very exposed lake, and was in full sun. I shot some photos, then threw a line in. After about five minutes, I got a nice little brookie on. It was like this for all of us. After a while up at Moosman, we moved down to Chriss Lake. The Cutthroats here were about the same size as Moosman, but a lot more aggressive. As the day wore on, we hiked back up to our camp, then headed up for some more sunset fishing at Green Lake. We saw huge ones in there, but 13-15" was the call for what we were landing. We once again closed out the lake and headed back to camp at dusk. I got a longer exposure this night, and we had a nice fire and dinner.

I slept for so long into Sunday, then got up. We decided after breakfast to go after Green Lake one more time, but alas, I think I used up all my fishing luck. We packed it up and headed out. The hike out was much hotter than on the way in. But beautiful to say the least. It was so nice to be back out there. We were in an area that there was no one else in for three days! It has been a long time since I have been in a wilderness area and have no one but myself there. Those are rare gifts that you have to enjoy to the fullest, and we did not waste a minute of it. Enjoy the slide show, more adventures to come!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bells Canyon Trail- May 2014

Memorial Day. A holiday that is based on reflection. One to honor those who have come before us and are no longer with us. I have always felt that honoring our departed was best served having fun in their honor. I hope when it is my time, everyone does the same for me. Me and the ladies had planned to head south for the weekend, but some things came up, so it was going to be a staycation for our family. We spent most of our weekend getting caught up on the house and projects. And being with my family is so much fun, it is kind of a vacation when we can just relax and enjoy each others company. We ultimately decided that an over nighter was in order, and we figured since we live in a very nice wilderness right here in our backyard, why not go and enjoy it! We hiked in Sunday evening, and spent some time at the lower lake, just relaxing, fly fishing, and just enjoying the evening temps. my friend Chris had just hiked up there, so we spent some time fishing and hiking the area before we parted company and we made our way of the Bells Canyon Trail. The evening light was great, and the temps were still very nice. As we were crossing a meadow, a deer came right across the trail, and we watched it forage the bushes for a minute before moving on. A few uphill sections and we crossed the bridge.

We found a nice little spot not far off the beaten path, and we set up the tent and got camp situated. The sky was clear, and relatively no wind at all. The sound of the the running water from the spring runoff was soothing. Kind of drowned out the overactive mind, and brought a sense of feeling relaxed. This is something I have missed since last falls final outing. Of course snacks were in order. Eventually we decided to turn in, and get some much needed rest. The hike out on the main trail was busy on Sunday, as I guess everyone else decided to get out and enjoy the nice weather. The temps were substantially warmer on the jaunt out, and we were all relieved to get to the car for cold drinks. What a very nice way to start off the backpacking season by heading out in the Wasatch. Let the adventures begin!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Splitboarding Albion Basin- 5.9.2014

Since Alta is now closed, and it has been snowing for two days up there, I figured why not go for a walk on the splitboard. Crazy light in the canyon to start off on the skin track. Full hot sun, then instant grauple. It did this several times as I climbed the road, then up the meadow. I got to the bottom of the Sugarloaf lift and heard a crack of thunder. I ran into a nice guy named Paul, who is a forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center. He was kind enough to snap a pic for me. I think he was thinking what I was thinking, get outside! I climbed for a bit more, then decided with the dark clouds coming in, it was time to head down. It was heavy, wet snow all the way to the car. I got a few soft turns, but mostly had to stay in the track to keep my speed up. I made the right call, as I walked up to my car after finishing my run, huge thunder sounded off over the top of Mt Superior. Then it just started dumping grauple. This was the last day out for the season for me, unless we get some freak storm. I think the wet content in this snow is gonna make a fast melt out with the heat we are expecting in the next week. But you never know. I have had 16" of powder on May 31st before. Either way it has been a great season. Time to get out the backpack and fly rod and camera and head into the wilderness.

Albion Basin Tour 5 9 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mayday Pow- 5.8.2014- Snowbird

Old Man Winter decided to give us a surprise 10" overnight at Snowbird. I connected with my friend Jason for one more day this season with some lift served turns. There was a small crowd to start it off, so the snow was wide open right off the Tram. After about three laps, word had surely gotten out that there was powder in them hills, so the Tram line backed up for a bit. But then Mineral was opened, then things mellowed out. I did two laps back there, then moved it back up front into Peruvian Gulch. Traffic was very light, even to say non-existent would not be a lie. Walk on Trams at that point, and a really nice stash of pow left in Peruvian to slash it up in. I made a lap out Road to Provo when they opened that area. But it had sat till nearly 1 PM, and by that time those aspects had set up quite a bit more than that the cold stuff we were riding in the AM. Still fun, but more of a hero snow consistency and roller balls of death hiding everywhere. I for sure got some unintentional air out there. Nice to finish off the lift served turns with a pow day. Some touring if we get more snow, but this was one of the last days of the season for sure. It has been a good one. It has been a great one this season. Powder, some cold smoke, but a wetter snow pack than in recent memory. I hear the mountains calling me to go backpacking and exploring. I think I will answer that call.

5 8 14 Mayday Pow Snowbird from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Late Season Birdie Pow- 4.28.2014- Snowbird

Some times you get it good, and sometimes you get it really good! I had a pass to Snowbird to use that I have been saving to ride on, and by all accounts I picked the right day to use it. With 14" of snow overnight, it was a powder feast up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Tram was severely delayed due to the avalanche control that was being done on the mountain. I headed for Wilbere, since it was the only chair running to start the day off. I found some really great snow over there to slash it up in. Wilbere gives you a birds eye view (No pun intended) of the Peruvian Chair and the Tram, so when the festivities kick off over there, you get to see it. Finally after five or six runs, I saw them load the Peruvian chair. I made a mad traverse over there to see what P-Gulch was offering up. So deep up there, and unusually cold for this time of year. It was snowing the whole time, and the conditions were all time. I made my way back to the base to be a Tram dweller to get access to the top. I did a run out Gad Valley with some really great untracked lines. Also hit the Cirque and Gad Chutes to make it a full set up there. I lapped the Peruvian Chair again, when I got word they were going to open Road to Provo. I made haste and got up the Tram and dropped into to zero visibility and wind built whoop-dee-doo's that you could not see. I carefully made my way out to Mark Malu, and dropped off the cat track and started spraying cold smoke. This was by far the deepest and most consistent snow I found on the mountain. After getting my fill, I ran a lap out of Gad Valley one more time, realizing that the lower part of that area was untouched. I did multiple laps over there, spraying cold smoke until about 3 PM when my legs finally gave out. I rode from 9 AM to 3 PM! Huge day up there! It has been a great week touring and to get a Birdie Pow day to top it all off was the icing on the cake for sure. Not sure how many more days I will ride this season. Alta closes this weekend, and that opens up touring in that terrain next week. Frankly, if this was my last day this season, I would not complain. It would be hard to imagine it getting any better than it has been this last week. It has been a great season regardless. Just nice to be on the mountain slashing it up again. Enjoy the short edit from yesterday with the best video I had due to visibility on the mountain being nill at times. Cheers to all!

Late Season Birdie Pow 4 28 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Splitboarding Solitude- 4.27.2014

We got another blast of wet cold weather which drenched the valley with much needed rain, and put up 8-12" of snow in the mountains. I connected with my good friend Chris and we headed up to climb the summer road to get some no pressure pow turns. The snow was a mix of windblown grauple, and powder. It made uphill travel a cinch. The climb was great, with the sun peeping out of the clouds, and mini blizzards blasting us in the face all the way up to the ridge. Once we got up top, the sun was playing with shadows on the mountains across the road. It was awesome to watch, and we stayed up there for a bit enjoying the view. We broke it all down and went into snowboard mode, and we dropped the Sunshine Bowl with creamy turns to enjoy. We had a great run all the way to the base, and then enjoyed the sunlight that would occasionally play with the aspects lighting them up. It was awesome to see. Not to many more days like this left, so I for sure enjoyed this one a lot. Enjoy the photos and video in the edit below. Shred ya later!

Solitude Tour 4 27 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Splitboarding Brighton- 4.23.2014

We had a huge storm with killer winds drive through Utah yesterday. It caused huge damage in the valley. But it dumped a good 3-4" of fresh up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I threw the split in the car and headed up. It was a ghost town up there. Only one snowmobile track in the whole hill. I skinned up to just below Crest, for the top was wind stripped clean. The snow was smooth and wind buffed, so knowing which way the wind blows was to work to your advantage. I stayed near the trees, and got some really nice turns all the way to the car. I have been so busy shredding the 'Tude all season, I forgot how much fun and no pressure splitboarding is. The cardio on the way up was great, and the ride home is just what I needed. I hope we get a few more skiffs like this so I can tour some more before it is all done. Below are a few photos and a short edit of my ride up there today. It was beautiful, lightly snowing on the way up, and sun peeking in and out of the clouds. Big Cottonwood is beautiful. Few more days this season for me, then this party is over. Get it while you can!

Brighton Tour 4 23 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Closing Day- Solitude Mountain Resort- 4.20.14

Well, it had to end sometime. What a day it was. I was expecting it to be crowded like other closing days I have had. But this was wide open slopes and really fast sorbet. It was a light turn out at the 'Tude. I had some really fun runs, and got to see the rad crew that works the lifts up there, and to be on this mountain once more. It has been a great season up there. I have had so many fun powdery days riding up there. There is no pressure ever on terrain when you ride there. Always seems to be enough powder to go around. Special thanks to the Solitude FOG's for the amazing food and hospitality. You made a migrating rider from another mountain feel right at home. Probably a few more days touring and riding the Bird, and this party is over with. Enjoy the quick edit and see for yourself how few people were there. It felt like my own private resort. The Big Cottonwood Pass is an awesome deal. And it sure payed for itself. I would have visited Brighton on closing day, but the Sol/Bright trail was closed. Summer is on its way, only a few more days on the snow!

Closing Day Solitude 4.20.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

First Hike for 2014- Bells Canyon- 4.15.2014

Well, it had to happen. I usually get one of these in March, but our weather has been a bit off this year. My daughter was off for spring break this week, so we decided to go for a good walk in the woods. The snow is gone, and things are beginning to green up. I was not sure how the water level was going to be at the lake, but when we got there, it was full for this time of year. We spent out time taking in the wildlife and very warm temperatures. I will for sure be visiting this place some more as we wait for the snow we have been riding all season to turn into the water that fills our lakes. Hiking season is here! I am very happy to be back out on the trail.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No April Foolin'- 3.31/ Solitude/Snowbird/Brighton

Powder days are special. They are the one thing as a snowboarder I live for. Getting one is a gift indeed. Getting three of them in a row, on three different mountains is something that happens on a rare occasion. We had a series of storms that over produced from Sunday night into Wednesday. Monday was a bluebird pow day at Solitude, with so much good snow everywhere. It was nice to get one of those, since all the storms recently have been storm riding. I lapped the whole mountain enjoying the creamy treat provided by mother nature. Tuesday I was treated to a day at Snowbird with my friend Mike. This was by far one of the best days of the season. We rolled into Entry 2 at 8:40, and there were six cars. Gadzoom lot was empty. High fives were in order and we proceeded to the Tram. Walk on Tram and Lifts on a day like this is a treat! It was knee to waist deep everywhere, and you could not find a bad run on the mountain to save your life. The new Gad II is really nice, and they have done a great job with the terrain up there this season. More face shots than you could shake a stick at. After two amazing powder days, you would think it was all said and done? Nope! I woke up Wednesday morning, and Brighton was holding the goods. I lapped Great Western for most of the morning, getting some great snow, and once again meeting up with Mike and his friend Justin. After they departed for Molly Green's beers, I decided to head over to Snake Creek. It just started dumping so hard! It quickly started to fill everything back in, and once again the whole mountain was in play. I finished out the day on Crest, still finding the goods at 3 PM! I rode so much powder over the last three days, my legs are shot! It is safe to say I have Mad Pow Disease after this three day powder extravaganza! Our snowpack is prime, and things are all time! Enjoy this edit from the last three days. Things are getting down to it, so pray for snow!

No April Foolin' 3.31/ 4.1.2. 2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fast Moving Storm- 3.27.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

After what seemed like spring was here to stay, winter showed up again and gave us a quick punch of snow. The day started out in the mist, visibility was low at times, and there was a bit of crust in play under the new snow. I lapped the whole mountain, as everything has pretty much welded most aspects as far as avy conditions are concerned. It continued snowing all morning, then the clouds started to break. Giving the mountain a whole different feel. I found some incredible spots that were knee deep, and had so much fun slashing it up out there. After a while of getting really nice snow, the sun started to cook the snow, turning it into crud in rapid fashion. My knees could not take the chop, and I decided to call it in the afternoon. Looks like we have more powder on the way! Get some- Closing day is 3 weeks away. Shred it up while you can! Enjoy the video and Pray 4 Snow!

Fast Moving Storm 3 27 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fun Powdery Tuesday- 3.11.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

A quick punch storm started Monday night, and continued to dump the cold smoke into the morning on Tuesday. The snow was the fluff this place is famous for. There were a few crusty bumps, but not enough to ruin the ride. With low pressure from the lack of crowds on the hill, and some great work back in Honeycomb, this was one of the funnest days of the season for sure. Just cruising around, finding really good snow to slash it up in. Really this day was just about enjoying what snowboarding is all about, the ride! When all was said and done, I finished with a huge smile on my face, which is what I do this for. March has started out nicely, lets hope it finishes strong. Enjoy the edit below, and keep Prayin' 4 Snow!

Fun Powdery Tuesday 3 11 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Out- March In- 2.28/3.1.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

What an amazing set of storms to usher out February, and to bring in March. Friday was a bluebird powder day up Big Cottonwood, and plenty of medium density snow to slash your heart out in. Pressure was light, and the vibe was good. I found some great lines, and once again I got the rope pull off the top of Summit riding Honeycomb untracked all the way to the return. Saturday was a much colder snow, with graupel lining the top. It made for some really smooth riding, and you could blast that snow all over the place. I got to ride with my friend Phil, and despite the crowds we found some incredible snow. It lightly snowed all day, and the goods were there for the taking. What a way to send off last month and bring on March with a one-two punch of much needed powder! We have hit 100" for our base, so the whole resort is in play. Enjoy this edit from this weekend, and keep the party rockin'- Pray 4 Snow!

February out March in 2 28 3 1 2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blower Pow & Sol/Bright- Solitude/Brighton

Old man winter made a return visit on Thursday with some really light snow and super cold temperatures. I lapped the front side at Solitude and found some really fun snow to play in. After playing in the new fluff, I took Summit to the top and Honeycomb opened. This was epic snow, deep, and fluffy everywhere. Friday I decided to hit Brighton, as I has been a bit since I have been up there. They got a dusting overnight, which kept all the aspects in play. I found great snow of GW and Snake Creek. After hours of lapping the whole resort, I figured, why not make it a Sol/Bright day? I took the connection off Milly and headed over to Solitude. It was a virtual ghost town, and nice snow. The sun was shining bright, and it actually warmed up quite a bit. Working on the goggle tan for sure. After lapping Solitude, I made my way back up Summit, and headed back over to Brighton. What an awesome couple of days in the mountains. I put up an edit from both days, so check it out. We are headed into high pressure for the next week, so pray for snow!

Blower Pow Sol Bright 2 20 21 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hail To The Snow- Presidents Day Weekend- 2.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

I had a couple of great days this weekend up at Solitude. I found some great snow, and had a good time riding. We even had a thundersnow event! This closed the lifts for a couple of hours. It was not too crowded either for a holiday weekend. The coverage is all time, and the snow is fantastic! Looks like more is on the way this week. Enjoy the edit, and Pray 4 Snow!

Presidents Day Weekend Fun 2 2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hero Snow & Honeycomb- Solitude Mountain Resort

What an amazing storm! 3-4' feet fell all over the Wasatch filling things in nicely. Sunday Funday was hero snow, meaning it was so wet and heavy, you needed to be a superhero to move it around. This is the base builder you want as we head into our spring cycle. I had a great time riding, even though this was the most crowded day of the season at Solitude. I was for sure a soggy waffle by the time I got done riding on Sunday. Another front came in Sunday night, putting down a much lighter, colder consistency, which made the turns so creamy. I made it back up for opening bell and I lapped the front side until Summit opened. Once they started loading Summit, I headed for the Headwall Forest, which was a mix of new snow, and avy debris from the control work done to get it open for us. Thank you Solitude Ski Patrol for keeping us safe. As I unloaded Summit for the 5th time, ski patrol signaled that they were going to open Honeycomb Canyon. It looked so amazing, and the stoke meter was on high! The roped was pulled, and the shred fest began! This was by far the best snow all weekend, and I had some amazing runs back there. Even a lap out the Powderhorn gate was creamy and blowing up snow in my face all the way to Meadowlawn. This is why I love snowboarding in the Wasatch, when it is good, it is damn good! Enjoy the edit from this weekend, and let's keep this party rockin'!

Hero Snow And Honeycomb 2 9 10 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February Begins- 2.7.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

It looks like old man winter is back from this long hiatus that he seemed to be on. A series of storms are headed for the Wasatch, and this was the beginning of the big cycle for the year that we enjoy this time of year in Utah. I woke to Solitude reporting 8" of fresh, and made haste to get up the hill. I got the boots on and headed out to sample the new goods. The snow was right side up, and was the fluffy stuff we come to expect here in the Wasatch. I took my first five runs, and then- SNAP! My left boot lace broke, and made it interesting to get back down to change out my broken lace. I made it a quick change out, then I was back at it. I wandered over in the Aspens off Sunrise, and was surprised that there was plenty of untracked over there for the taking. A great way to kick off February, and also good at keeping our base solid. Looks like there is more on tap for this weekend, so wax em' if you got em, surfs up! Enjoy the short video from today, and pray for snow!

February Begins 2 7 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

High Density Powder Day- 1.30.2014- Solitude Mountain Resort

After a very long drought with no snow, we finally got a storm that gave us a much needed paint job. The goods were of the high density variety, which cushioned the ride nicely, and bonded with the old snow, leaving that scratchy, greasy, worn out old layer a distant memory. I started out my day on the front side finding smooth lines and deep pockets you could just charge through. As I made my way across the mountain, I found even better snow, and deeper pockets of untouched perfection. I hit the Headwall Forest off Summit, and it was money! Honeycomb opened after some blasting, and it was very nice back there. This was just what the doctor ordered, and I took full advantage of the off trail goods that were there for the taking. It looks to be that we may have finally broke the back of that high pressure that has robbed us of so many storms over the last few weeks. This new deposit has opened up even more terrain and buried any nastiness that would have otherwise cursed us for the foreseeable future. Thank you snow gods for showing up just when we needed you. High flying slashable goodness was had by all. Enjoy the highlights in this edit, and lets keep this party going! Pray 4 Snow!

High Density Pow Day 1 30 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First Snow 2014- Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah

Well, after what seemed a hiatus from old man winter, we finally got a set of storms to get the hill going again. I was lucky enough to get up for a couple of days to ride some really nice fresh with very little hill pressure at all. The conditions were great, and I got to ride the whole resort. I even found some new lines that had filled in nicely and are now going to be on my hit list the rest of the season. The snow was really good, and riding with my friend Gabe was a total blast! I found so much good snow, and had some epic days out of this last storm. A little bit of everything to be had, wind, powder, sun breaks, and leftovers to be gobbled up. I feel lucky to have been able to get up and enjoy this. We are heading into high pressure this week, and things are gonna be a bit slow in the falling flakes department. Still, riding conditions are gonna be sweet, so I will be back up soon to get after it once more. Enjoy this video, which contains some of the highlights of some great days snowboarding to start off the new year! Pray 4 Snow!

First Pow 2014 Solitude Mountain Resort from Christian Paul on Vimeo.