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Cascadia: Part 2

Sunset on the south sister - @tumbili

More tales from a ski-touring road-trip of the Cascade volcanoes with a bunch of reprobates and a camera.

#ThisIsCascadia

Words By Jess Oundijan

@Rileybathurst

@Rileybathurst

If the first half of the trip could be considered our warm up, then the return of the sunshine signalled that it was now game time. With heavy hearts we had to wave goodbye to one of our Kiwi reprobates and send him back to his real-world job, while we pushed on in the pursuit of more good clean ski-bum fun.

Our friends leaving :( @tumbili

Our friends leaving :( @tumbili

The plan was now settled for a three day snow-camping mission in the Three Sisters Wilderness, during which we hoped to climb both the South and Middle Sisters from a camp between the two mountains. We paid a visit to the local REI, to stock up on freeze dried meals and mini carabiners, then drove out of Bend, past the town of Sisters and along the forest roads to the Sisters Trailhead.

We camped overnight and, in the morning, packed up some convincingly heavy backpacks while waiting for the arrival of our new volcano-chasing friend, Jeff, and his wife Kelly. Once they arrived and we had all spent sufficient time dicking around in the parking lot, we finally began the four hour hike and skin to our chosen camp zone.

Picture by Lewis

Picture by @lewiscmoore

Unaccustomed to such a heavy pack, I was mightily relieved when we were finally allowed to shed our bags and pitch camp. However the steadily increasing wind was raising concerns, and our afternoon activities were soon dominated by aggressive tent pegging and giant snow wall construction.

Cutting block and building - @tumbili

Cutting block and building – @tumbili

Sunset on the south sister - @tumbili

Sunset on the south sister – @tumbili

Unfortunately the winds did nothing but increase throughout the night, and despite waking to sunshine and bright blue skies, there was no way we were heading for any summits that day. I was secretly quite pleased at the prospect of an easy day, as my legs were a little cooked after the four hour weight-training session that had been our approach the day before. However, sadly the shutdown meant that our friends Jeff and Kelly had to leave us to return home for work. We bid them goodbye and spent the morning reinforcing our camp and building more snow walls.

Digging the tent into the walls for protection - Lewis Moore

Digging the tent into the walls for protection – @lewiscmoore

With our fortifications complete, we ventured out for a mellow adventure tour to ski some of the undulating, volcanic terrain around the base of South Sister.

Skinning around under South Sister - @tumbili

Skinning around under South Sister – @tumbili

Semi frozen lakes and the South Sister - @tumbili

Semi frozen lakes and the South Sister – @tumbili

All the while, we were scoping the route up the Middle Sister across the way, holding out hope that tomorrow the winds would calm and we might be able to at least make a bid for one summit.

Exploring in front of North and Middle Sister - @rileybathurst

Exploring in front of North and Middle Sister – @rileybathurst

Afternoons at camp - @tumbili

Afternoons at camp – @tumbili

The following morning greeted us with a more hospitable, if still fairly gusty, wind that had now swung round to the East.

Sunrise over Bend - @tumbili

Sunrise over Bend – @tumbili

This would prove to be in our favour, as it meant that most of our route up the Middle Sister was protected by the ridge-line we would follow. Stoked to finally be able to climb, we scoffed our breakfast and then sipped on coffee while we broke camp, stashed the tents and slid daypacks onto our backs.

Ski touring - @rileybathurst

Ski touring – @rileybathurst

The climb couldn’t have gone much better for us. We navigated our way up to the main ridge, then transitioned from skins to crampons and began the boot pack towards the summit. As we neared the top we manoeuvred our way across windswept rime and ice, suddenly grateful for the intensely spiky protrusions attached to our feet and hands. Finally, ten steps from the top, we lost our protection and were subjected to the full force of the gusting winds.

The last few steps - Lewis Moore

The last few steps – @lewiscmoore

Summit of Middle Sister - @rileybathurst

Summit of Middle Sister – @rileybathurst

Posing for some hasty summit shots, we retreated back to a sheltered spot for a snack then descended a little way to where we could don our skis and get on with the fun part. As luck would have it, we had timed it perfectly, and were skiing down just as the corn was ripe for harvest.

Transitioning from crampons to skis - Lewis Moore

Transitioning from crampons to skis – Lewis Moore

With stoke bubbling out of every orifice, we ripped exuberant turns down wide, steep faces. Stopping sporadically to regroup and allow Riley a chance to set up new shots, we marvelled at the snowy volcanic peaks dotting the horizon. This place, our very own slice of Cascadia, was truly incredible.

Just Skiing @tumbili

Just Skiing @tumbili

Buzzing with adrenaline from our first ‘real’ summit and sporting massive grins after the epic descent, we zipped back to camp, packed up our things and began the adventure back to the cars. An adventure it proved to be, as we decided to take things into our own hands and use mobile topo maps to take the most direct route possible back to the trailhead.

Boys in navigation mode - tumbili

Boys in navigation mode – @tumbili

Skin until the snow stops, then keep skiing - @tumbili

Skin until the snow stops, then keep skiing – @tumbili

Skinning until long after it was ever appropriate, we finally caved, switched out of our ski boots and started bushwhacking through the blackened spires of the fire ravaged forest.

Removing ski boots - @tumbili

Removing ski boots – @tumbili

Adventurous river crossings - Lewis Moore

Adventurous river crossings – @lewiscmoore

With our eyes peeled for the elusive trail, we at last crested a hill and stumbled straight into the only signpost on the trail, directing us along the final dusty miles towards celebratory beers, warm showers, a good feed and a luxurious motel bed.

On to the next adventure. - @rileybathurst

On to the next adventure. – @rileybathurst

If you missed part one of #thisiscascadia, you can view it here

Part 3 coming soon.

Cascadia: Part One

Sandwich time on Ball Butte - @rileybathurst

A ski-touring road-trip of the Cascade volcanoes with a bunch of reprobates and a camera. #ThisIsCascadia

First views of Shasta - Riley Bathurst

@rileybathurst

Skiers and snowboarders spend so much time these days chasing crazy ascents, gnarly descents and massive hits. It all gets a little tiring and sometimes we forget to just go adventuring with a bunch of buddies and have a damn good time.

2 Such a wholesome Cascadia crew

@rileybathurst

So three weeks ago, once the lifts stopped spinning and the spring melt was in full force, I moved out of my apartment, stored my stuff and bundled the rest of my life, plus an inflatable crocodile, into my trusty Subaru named Quest.

Jess Oundjian (@tumbili). Roadtrip in the making

Jess Oundjian (@tumbili). Roadtrip in the making

For five days I cruised down the sufficiently stunning coastline of BC, Washington, Oregon and California as far as Santa Cruz, where I met up with a motley crew of shred friends to begin the trip back north through the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest.

@tumbili

@tumbili

@tumbili

@tumbili

Convening from various corners of the globe, we took a day in Santa Cruz to pack, plan, eat homemade tamales and cut loose in the pool with Jerry the Trailer Park Croc. The very next day, however, we loaded our crew of skiers and splitboarders, and our talented camera-wielding buddy Riley into various cars and hit the road for Lassen National Park, where we would take on our first objective, Lassen Peak.

@kaygbiv

@kaygbiv

After an unintentional detour through the town of Yolo, California and a quick stop off to sample the delights of US gas station sustenance, my new co-pilot and fellow Brit, Lewis and I arrived at our Lassen campsite just a touch later than the rest of the crew. We were subsequently dubbed “Team Lost”, a name that we consistently lived up to during the trip.

@tumbili

@tumbili

Lassen Peak

@tumbili

Lassen provided us with a solid warm-up. We hiked, skinned, cramponed, ice-axed, rockclambered and skied around, never quite reaching the summit but figuring out some group dynamics, practicing good communication and skiing some delicious corn snow in the process. We also made friends with some local volcano-chasers that we would repeatedly bump into throughout our trip.

Jeff Steele @hefe_steele

Jeff Steele @hefe_steele

@rileybathurst

@rileybathurst

Initially our next objective was to be the majestic Mount Shasta, however we decided the group wasn’t strong enough yet for such a big mission and instead leapfrogged up into Oregon. The plan was to head into Crater Lake for some exceedingly scenic snow camping. In a strike of genius, our trip visionary and mastermind, Mike, had acquired a giant tipi from Scandinavian brand Tentipi, and we proceeded to lug said tipi three miles along a closed road and set it up with minimal instructions on the crater rim.

Camping spot - orage

@rileybathurst

Crater Sunset

@tumbili

A stunning sunset ensued, followed by some rather enthusiastic whiskey drinking and a minor incident involving vomit inside the tipi. Needless to say, one member of the group will not be living that story down for a long time.

Crater timelapse by @rileybathurst

Crater timelapse by @rileybathurst

Waking after a very windy night, Kenzie and I took advantage of clearing skies to skin and ski Watchman Peak next to our campsite, which the boys had skied the night before at sunset. Sadly though conditions were not prime for further skiing in Crater Lake so we dismantled the tipi and hiked back out to the cars, ready to set our sights on the many volcanoes and breweries surrounding Bend, Oregon.

Kenzie ready to ski of Watchman Peak. @tumbili

Kenzie ready to ski of Watchman Peak. @tumbili

Unfortunately the weather was not looking prime for the coming week and much of the Bend backcountry is best accessed by sled. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to find a willing sled driver through my swipings on the local Tinder scene. So at 11pm, with the team crammed into a motel room, we scrambled to find a suitable one day touring objective for our last sunny day in a while. After much deliberation we settled on a small peak north of Mt Bachelor called Ball Butte.

Starting the skin to Ball Butte with middle sister in the background - @rileybathurst

Starting the skin to Ball Butte with middle sister in the background – @rileybathurst

Sandwich time on Ball Butte - @rileybathurst

Sandwich time on Ball Butte – @rileybathurst

It was a 5 mile skin through a sledding zone to the base but once on top we had incredible views of the Three Sisters and Broken Top mountain. We skied and filmed a couple of laps on Ball Butte and then began the long slog back out. After a round trip of 13 miles we got back to the cars and made an instant beeline to the nearest brewery for restorative beers and oyster shooters.

Ball butte skinning out

Skinning out on these dangerous curves – Lewis Moore @lewiscmoore

All things considered, we had maximized our weather window pretty well and now it was time to settle in for a few weather days in Bend. We rented a perfect AirBnB apartment aptly named the Adventure Chalet, which became our home base for the week. Once settled, we proceeded to sample the ongoing delights of the Bend Ale Trail, close down classic local dive bar The Westside Tavern, purchase a spectacular Ten Gallon hat from the local cowboy store, and take an adventure hike through a burnt forest to the truly beautiful Whychus Creek Falls.

Cowboy hat - @lewiscmoore

Cowboy hat – @lewiscmoore

Whychus Creek, OR - @rileybathurst.

Whychus Creek, OR – @rileybathurst. Jess with the Orage Retreat Jacket

Sisters snow camping

@tumbili

We rounded out our week with a surprisingly tame (read: hungover) Cinco de Mayo, tucking into homemade tacos and margaritas in the Adventure Chalet. However, the weather was soon to break and plans were taking shape for three days snow-camping in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Mt Hood from Mt St Helen's - @rileubathurst

Mt Hood from Mt St Helen’s – @rileubathurst

Little did we realize we were heading into our most successful stretch of climbing and would soon be stacking the peaks faster than our legs could recover…

Part two now available. View it here

Ambassador Profil: Becca Gerber

Orage ambassador becca gerber

I had a goal and I went for it. I’m a better skier and person because of it.

We caught up with Jackson Hole Orage ambassador Rebecca Gerber to chat about birds, the best après ski in Jackson and sewing.

Orage: Hey Becca, nice to finally catch up. Where are you from? 

Becca: A small farm town in Southern Maine. 

Orage: Where do you live today?

Becca: Jackson Hole, WY. 

Orage: Favorite run at Jackson hole?

Becca: Sorry, can’t tell you that one….

This on maybe?

This one maybe?

Orage: No one ever does! Argh. What pushed you to move to Jackson Hole

Becca: I actually moved to Jackson for a job as an avian research technician (studying birds) that I was offered after graduating college. It was a seasonal summer position and when it ended I had fallen in love with Jackson and there was no chance I was leaving before I spent at least a winter here. I worked at a ski shop that winter. I told my mom it would just be one season… five years later and I’m still here. At this point, I can’t imagine living somewhere that doesn’t have the possibility to ski (even if it’s a 20ft strip of slush) 12 months of the year. 

Orage: What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Becca: Shadow Mountain: A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wild. It’s written by Renee Askins 

Orage: What music do you listen to for music when skiing?

Becca: Depends what I’m skiing. Backcountry I’ll go without. If I’m boot packing in a stable location I’ll put on A Tribe Called Quest or something crazy like Tiesto to get the blood flowing. If I’m in bounds fooling around, probably A Tribe Called Quest, Odesza, or some 90s dance hits. For the in-bounds on a powder day… all the same stuff, many times nothing, but sometimes I’ll imagine my skiing in slow motion and I’ll throw on Tom Jones. You should try it.  

Orage: Where is the best après ski in Jackson?

Becca: Well it was always the VC, but that is no longer. So now….Bodega. They have the best slushies ever…but I would not recommend having more than one. 

Orage: You participated in a few events on the world freeride tour. How did that go?

Becca: It was an amazing experience. I didn’t place as well as I had hoped. In fact, I felt as though I skied terribly. It was a huge wake up call and reminder of the mental challenges of skiing. I earned so much respect for the mountains and for all of my fellow competitors. I had the opportunity to meet amazing people and was able to challenge myself in more ways than I thought possible. Big mountain ski comps are the real deal and I have so much admiration and respect for all the athletes that go back year after year. As if the comps weren’t enough of a challenge, training was non-stop, 4 days a week, and left me in tears some days. Even with that, and some humiliating comp runs, I had a goal and I went for it. I’m a better skier and person because of it. 

Becca Gerber ski big mountain

Orage: What was your best day of skiing this season?

Becca: It was about a month ago in the Jackson Hole side country. We had 17″ reported overnight and my friend had gotten us on the early tram. After a couple laps we dropped into Corbets, where I had one of the better tomohawks I’ve had in a long time. No equipment was lost and my body was intact. I was stoked and my adrenaline was at an all time high. We continued on and went out to ski some of the deepest snow I’ve ever skied in my 27 years of skiing. Not much to say about that. We all know what the white room feels like. So, yeah, that was a pretty good day. 

Orage: What gear are you riding on?

Becca: Blizzard. I’ve tried so many other skis and Blizzard continues to be the best. They carry you through anything and charge on any day, in any condition. I ski the Cochise on most days and the Bodacious on deep days. 

Orage: What’s your favorite drink?

Becca: Coffee….. Or Budweiser.

Becca Gerber Orage

Orage: I read that your mom plays the mandolin. Do you play any instruments?

Becca: I played piano for 8 years, but it’s better for everyone if we leave the musical talent to my mother. 

Orage: What are your go to off-the-hill hobbies?

Becca: Depends on the season, but to name a couple: backpacking, kayaking, playing pool, and sewing. Yeah, I know… I sound like an old woman when I tell people I sew. I make a lot of my own clothing – dresses and button down shirts mostly but I’m always experimenting with new designs. It’s important for my sanity to have an indoor hobby during the winter for the times I can’t ski.  It’s also very necessary for me to be able to get creative and it feels good to make something that is entirely unique. 

Orage: I spotted a few pictures of birds on your Instagram. What’s up with that?

Becca: I spent numerous seasons researching birds; in Maine and out west. I’ve held, collected data, and released over 2000 birds. Some of my friends call me a crazy bird lady. 

Becca Bird

Orage: You sign your emails with skier, naturalist and life enthusiast. Please describe what a naturalist is.

Becca: To me, being a naturalist is simply loving nature and being fascinated with even the smallest things that exist. It means asking questions and wanting answers about the behaviors, shapes, and relationships that you observe.  Did you know that the direction and speed in which a bee arrives to the hive tells the rest of the bees the exact location of a food source? Being curious is the best way to get somewhere worth going. 

Orage: What is your main occupation outside of skiing (job or school)?

Becca: I work at Teton Science Schools. I help manage the ecotourism branch and work in registrations for all Science School programs. 

Orage: Thank you so much for your time Becca! Where can people learn more about you? 

Becca: Instagram : @becster88 

Facebook: https://facebook.com/energize.the.world1

I’m open to everyone: I love visitors so if you’re ever JH give me a shout!! 

Becca Gerber ski orage

Becca wears

The Sue Shell Jacket. Shop in the US or in Canada

The Chica Pant. Shop in the US or in Canada

The Olivia Vest. Shop in the US or in Canada

Ambassador Profile: Katie Hitchcock

Katie-Hitchcock-Powder

Katie Hitchcock is an all mountain and backcountry skier. She’s a passionate outdoorsy little women and her loves goes beyond skiing. In recent times, she’s also become the new intern for our friends over at Alpine Initiatives. We were lucky enough to sit down for coffee while at SIA and just catch up.

Orage: Katie, where are you from?

Katie: Originally I’m from Steamboat, Colorado but I currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Orage: You (somewhat) recently joined the team over at Alpine Initiatives. How did that happen?

Katie: Well, I originally saw the logo in the movie All.I.Can. by Sherpas Cinema. I became obsessed with the logo and had to find out more. I eventually discovered AI and learned they where also from Steamboat so I hit them up!

The AI logo is just an all around awesome logo and it somehow grabs a lot of people’s attention. I regularly get asked about it whenever it’s visible.

Orage: The AI logo is a work of art. What exactly does an intern do at AI?

Alpine-Initiatives-logo

Katie: [Laughs] Everything an intern needs to do! I’ll spend some time sending out thank you notes. I’ll write blog post and I’ll participate in organizing fundraisers.

Orage: You’re recently graduated from University of Colorado in Boulder. What were you studying in school?

Katie: Italian, business and environmental studies.

Orage: I’ve met so many people from Colorado in the last few days that are taking environmental studies! That’s pretty cool.

Katie: Yeah! Boulder has a pretty recognized program for that.

Orage: How are you occupying your time now that school is over?

Katie: Skiing! I’m currently an Alta ski instructor. I’m also participating in some Freeride World Qualifier events. This is my first winter free of school so I’ve been working, skiing and traveling as much as I can with an awesome crew of friends! 

"I've been dubbed the scorpion queen for this Backflip. Tips dug in hard but at least I went further than everybody else!" - Katie

“I’ve been dubbed the scorpion queen for this backflip. Tips dug in hard but at least I went further than everybody else!”
– Katie

Orage: What’s your favorite type of food?

Katie: Waffles. I love waffles. They’re surprisingly versatile.

Orage: ??

Katie: Yeah! You can eat them with so many types of food.

[Editor’s note, turns out they are versatile]

Orage: What gear are you riding this winter?

Katie: The Orage Deal Jacket, the Orage Marlène and the Orage Clara Shell Pant. I’m riding on a pair of Rossignol S7s and protecting my head with a Giro Helmet.

Katied-Hitchcock-Orage

Orage: What are you hobbies outside of skiing?

Katie: A ton. There’s so much to do in Utah. Rock climbing, mountain biking, fly fishing and playing bass.

Orage: What inspired you to start playing bass?

Katie: My dad always played guitar and in middle school I saw this girl absolutely shredding a base and I though it was so awesome. I had to learn.

Orage: What does a bassist listen to?

Katie: Hmmm. I like blues a lot. If I had to name bands that I’ve been listening to recently I would say Xavier Rudd, Box Tops, Talking Heads and Jimmy Buffet.

Orage: What’s the last book you read?

Katie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Orage: Anything else we should know about you?

Katie: I love hats. Especially weird funky ones!

You can follow Katie on Instagram @katiedhitchcock

Katie wears:

  • The Orage Deal Jacket –> Can and US
  • The Orage Marlène –> Can and US
  • The Orage Clara Shell Pant –> Can and US

Ways and Means : Jess Oundijan

heli ski home base

Ways and Means are a series of texts by Orage ambassadors that express their lifestyle and the way they manage everyday obligations and their infinite love for the mountains.

Text by Jess Oundijan

Featured image by John Entwistle (www.instagram.com/entwistlephoto/)

We all love pro skiers, those incredible humans that we witness blowing apart the boundaries of what’s possible on two planks. We live vicariously through their Instagram accounts and POV helmet cam shots, fueled by energy drink sponsors and heli drops. These athletes are awesome, but in reality not many of us can actually claim to have outrun an avalanche on an Alaskan spine, or nose butter triple corked our way to X Games glory.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have tourist skiers. The hard working families who dedicate one or two weeks a year to the mountains. They teach their kids to pizza and french fry, battle the crowds for inbounds powder turns, and Jerry their way into the hearts of ski bums across the world when their questionable style and unfortunate mishaps are captured on film.

Somewhere in the middle, however, you will find another cross section of mountain dwellers. The people that live and work to fund their all-encompassing snow addiction. They dedicate their lives to exploring, photographing, filming, or competing in the mountains because they can’t imagine a life where skiing was not a part of their daily routine. These people receive grassroots support from brands that appreciate their passion and they provide the day-to-day face of the ski industry.

JessOundjian_AdamantsTreeSkiing_Photo-ChristjanLadurnerCMH

There are a myriad of different ways and means to fund a mountain lifestyle and this series of blogs will introduce you to some of the Orage ambassadors and how each of them handles that elusive balance of work and play.

To begin with, here is my small contribution to the story. This year I have found myself working part-time as a lodge girl for a heli-skiing operation near Revelstoke. For a week or two at a time, I am flown out in a heli to live and work in a remote mountain lodge. Our guests spend a week being dropped at the top of fresh powder runs, fed gourmet food and pampered to their heart’s delight.

Jess helicopter

My life at the lodge is much less glamorous but it makes up for it with, let’s be honest, some pretty outrageous perks. The mornings are full on, with breakfast service, bed making, kitchen prep, dishwashing, room tidying and bathroom cleaning. Lots of bathroom cleaning. Most evenings are spent at table with our guests, wining and dining them, enjoying three course meals and often joining them at the bar after dinner. It’s a fun, friendly, hardworking atmosphere that definitely does not suck.

However the real fun begins when that radio call comes in from the guides in the field. “Staff ski spot. 15 minutes.” Everyone hears it. The expectation rises as we look to see who’s at the top of the list. Then, if it’s your lucky day, the boss calls your name. “Hey Jess, wanna go skiing?”

Like a rocket you’re off, throwing on your gear and running to the helipad. You crouch low and shield your face as the heli touches down, then hop in and buckle up. Within minutes you’ve gone from armfuls of carrot peelings to facefuls of fluffy pow, and the smile on your face is an accurate reflection of the fact.

Jess Oundijan heli 2

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not getting dropped on top of ski movie lines, and we respect our paying guests by skiing at the back of the group. However some groups are stronger than others and I certainly won’t forget the day I got to chase a bunch of Jackson Hole locals and German ex ski racers down a stacked pillow field.

It may only be one afternoon a week, on a good week it could be two or three times, but those afternoons getting ferried to fresh pow with a group of smiling faces definitely make the sweat and toil of the mornings worthwhile. Plus, last December was one of the snowiest that British Columbia has had in years, and I can assure you, I got pitted.

Jess Oundjian Pow Skiing

You can learn more about Jess on her Instagram.


Jess wears:

Sue Jacket in V294. See for US or CAN

and the Deal Jacket in V150. See for US or CAN

Ambassador Profile: Brooke Potter

Keystone tube

We caught up with Brooke Potter at SIA to learn a little more about this girl who likes to spend her days after the storm in the streets instead of on the slopes.

Orage: Hey Brooke, thanks for taking the time to sit down and have coffee with us. First off, how old are you?

Brooke: I’m 20 years old.

Orage: And where are you from?

Brooke: I’m from Maryland.

Orage: But not living there currently, right?

Brooke: Nope, I live in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Orage: How do you spend your time in Breck?

Brooke: I’m a ski coach at Copper Mountain and I work at the Slope Style ski shop in the village.

Orage: How long have you been in Breck?

Brooke: I’ve been living here for 4 years with my roommate.

 

Rainbow Slide with brooke potter

“I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker color.”

 

Orage: What’s your favourite food?

Brooke: Ummm, that’s a tough one. I really just love everything Italian.

Orage: Can we narrow it down? Pizza or spaghetti?

Brooke: Both.

Orage: You’re the girl who gets the pizzaghetti?

Brooke: [Laughs] Yes! I would absolutely get the pizzaghetti.

Brooke Potter Orage

Orage: Have you read the Harry Potter series?

Brooke: No. I know. How wrong is this?

Orage: I think it’s wrong. You’re really missing out on this generation’s best saga.

Brooke: Well I’ve watched most of the movies, I think.

Orage: [Frowning]. You should really read the books. You won’t be the same Potter afterwards. Moving on, what would you like to do later apart from skiing?

Brooke: I would like to be able to work in the ski industry. I am currently at school but I decided to take a little break and get some skiing done. I’ve been studying sustainability.

Orage: I’ve met some many people in the last few days that have been or are studying sustainbility. Is this something that’s prevalent around Denver?

Brooke: Oh yeah, the University here has an awesome sustainability program.

Orage: What is the last book you read?

Brooke: Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Orage: What album are you listening to right now?

Brooke: Lana Del Rey’s Honeymoon.

Orage: Coffee or tea?

Brooke: Coffee!

 

Brooke Potter orage sue jacket

A hint for the boys out there : a good coffee and some italian food just might be the key to Brooke’s heart.

 

Orage: What other activities do you like to do?

Brooke: Oh man, I do a lot of mountain biking during summer months.

Orage: How many days do you ski per year?

Brooke: Around 150, including summer skiing at Woodward.

Orage: That’s so rad. You probably ski in a year more the average people ski in a decade. Thanks for your time Brooke. Where can people learn more about you?

Brooke: Check out my video Ultraviolence and you can follow me on Instagram at @brooke_potter.

The Canadian Ski Road Trip

Road trip

It’s really important to get out and explore new areas with your friends.

Text and photos by Elena Pressprich

In one of the last weeks of 2015, Jared, Dillon and I set our hearts out for Canada. We had previously purchased our Mountain Collective passes, so this road trip was going to consist of two days at Whistler, one day at Lake Louise and one at Sunshine Village. From Bend, Oregon, there was a lot of driving ahead of us.

The trip started out a little rough, in the way that the car we had planned on taking was not in an operable or safe condition. We opted to borrow my dad’s mini van. It’s an epic road trip car. But really. SO MUCH ROOM.

Day 1 of the Canadian Ski Road Trip

After nearly 600 miles of driving, we arrived in the Whistler area but noticed that things seemed quite off. We even noticed that as we rolled through Pemberton (around 7PM), that the gas station lights were out and everything was dark everywhere. I was getting concerned that I hadn’t let the hotel know that we were maybe going to need a later check in time. The hotel was not answering their phone. Dang it. This wasn’t looking good. As we sat outside the hotel in Mount Currie and debated about if the hotel was even in operation (only 2 snow covered cars were parked out front… the place looked deserted), we eventually saw a tiny sign on the upper story that said ”office” so we thought we’d give it a shot. Sure enough, an elderly gentleman answered the door with a lantern in hand explaining that he was expecting us and the power had gone out. We loaded all our gear into our room, cooked our dinner in the dark and went to bed immediately after. It was dumping snow and we knew we were in for a treat the next day. Whoop!

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Shortly after our arrival across the Canada-US border, the sun had set. That meant we hadn’t seen what we were driving through. By studying the map and topography, we had a pretty good idea that we were in some big mountains. We were super excited to wake up and check it out. Not to our surprise, it was gorgeous! At least from what we could tell because it was just absolutely dumping fat flakes. Overnight, there was reported 18 cm of fresh waiting for us at Whistler.

After the 30 minute drive, walking to the base and getting our tickets, we were finally off on a lift. We had no idea where to go, but we knew down would likely be good, not matter the direction. A few runs later, we met a fellow in the lift line named Guy. After a brief talk and a ride up on the chair, he decided that he didn’t mind giving us a little tour around the mountain to all the “local” spots and secret stashes. Guy was amazing for taking us to all these little gems! He ended up skiing with us the whole entire day! Canadians are so friendly! Turns out Guy is a mechanic in Whistler, so if you’re ever in need and in the area, pay him a visit and tell him I sent ya!

Day 2 of the Canadian Ski Roadtrip

Day two at Whistler reported yet another dumping of snow, this time around 24 cm! Dang, we were getting lucky! Two days in a row of deep powder!? Having just been shown around the day before to some of the best spots to go, this day couldn’t have been any better. BUT IT GOT BETTER. We ran into Guy again! And AGAIN he showed us around and took us to even more new areas where the secret pow stashes were hidden! These two days were making me so insanely happy and made for some of the top days of skiing in my life. Lucky lucky us!

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Day 3 of the Canadian Ski Road Trip

The 3rd day was traveling day from Whistler to Banff. The road went through big canyon spaces riddled with steep snowy peaks. Eye candy all day long. We even made it a priority to stop at a few spots once we reached Yoho National Park, although dark, I was able to snag a few of my favorite shots from the trip that evening.

Lake Banff

Day 4 of the Canadian ski Road trip

On day 4 we were pretty tired upon waking up at the Rundle Ridge Chalets just outside of Banff. It was about a whopping 0 degrees (F) and I wanted nothing more than to just cozy up to the heater and sit inside the cabin and sleep. It was a gorgeous day though and, sigh, I guess I had to go skiing. On day 4 we had decided to head over to Sunshine Village to ski for the day. Sunny sunny sunny but very chilly! I had about every layer I owned on and was still having a hard time staying warm. Sunshine village was backed by the beautiful mountains of the Canadian rockies and those classic Banff mountains. So happy to have a clear day to see it in all its glory.

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Day 5 of the Canadian Ski Roadtrip

We were set out to ski at Lake Louise before heading back home. Really too short of a trip! Lake Louise was like the previous day at Sunshine… super sunny, super cold. Another beautiful resort and place to ski, we really needed more time to explore! The backcountry at Lake Louise looks SO good and there is so much to choose from without ever getting too far from the resort, which is really cool! Only a few hours here and we were packing ourselves up and heading out. We knew we could make it to Coeur d’Alene for dinner and sleep. Still a long drive ahead of us though.

Oh! And I forgot to mention. The brakes. The rear right brake had been making a pretty severe grinding noise for a few days at this point and we were unsure what exactly was wrong. But we knew it wasn’t good. Gosh it was loud. We decided that while we were in the in Coeur d’Alene, we should have it looked at and to know if it was either something that needed to get replaced or if we could make it back to Bend and get it fixed there. Sure enough, the rear right caliper had become locked closed (likely on our day from Whistler to Banff) and completely blew through the pad and into the rotor. We ended up spending 4 hours on Christmas Eve morning at Les Schwab while they replaced the pads, both calipers and the rotors. Fun! But hey, the van was like new, and much safer to drive back in.

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Another long drive later and we were home! So much driving on this trip but we also lucked out and got powder, some sunshine and tons of smiles! I highly recommend treating yourself to getting the Mountain Collective pass for at least one season and allow yourself these mini vacations. It’s really important to get out and explore new areas with your friends. Even if there are troubles along the way. In the end, you’ll get it all figured out and it makes for an extra memorable moment along the journey!

To learn more about Elena, visit the links below.

www.elenapressprich.com – InstagramFacebook


Elena and Orage are currently part of an exciting contest with a 10 000$ dollar prize purse. Check here for your chance to win: https://www.theoutbound.com/contests/backyard-to-backcountry

How to dress with layers

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When you are getting ready for a day on the hill, the layering system is the best option to stay warm, dry and comfortable. This system consists of three elements: the base layer, the intermediate layer and the outer layer. Read below to learn how to dress with layers.

The base layer

This layer is directly in contact with skin and wicks moisture from your body to keep you dry. It has to be well adjusted in order to be functional. The base layer may be composed of natural materials such as merino wool, or synthetic materials suck as lycra or polyester. At Orage, our base layers are made of 100% polyester, which is hydrophobic and great for moisture removal and heat retention. We also use body-maping technology, which identifies different areas of the body and allow us to adjust the thickness of the garment at strategic locations.

Base Layer

The intermediate layer

The second layer acts as principal insulation. It also transfers the moisture away to keep you dry. The down jackets are a good option and retain heat very well. Synthetic lining is equally effective and is easy to maintain. In our latest collection, Orage is using the Primaloft technology, a microfiber that stores body heat. Some layering pieces, like the Hybrid for Men and the Marlene for Women are using this high performance synthetic insulation. These very light and flexible jackets can easily be slipped into a backpack and allow you to adjust your layers depending on the temperature.

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The outer layer

This layer protects you from the elements suck as water, snow and wind. You can opt for an insulated jacket or a shell, depending on the temperature and the intensity of the activity you are doing. The Orage jackets feature some design elements that bring extra protection, such as taped seams, ventilation hatches or a snow skirt. The comfort and freedom of movement are very important when choosing your outer layer.

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Check the temperature before going out

Finally, before you get ready to go, it is important to know about conditions. You can then adjust the quantity and type of layers depending on temperature and the intensity of your activity.

Have fun !

Shop our different layers.

How to Wash Your Ski Jacket

How to wash your jacket

No matter if our jacket has seen an abundance of storms or if it’s fresh out of the store, we sometimes tend to forget the essential elements of how to take care of it. Here are 5 tips that will help restore greatness to your coat. Here’s how to wash your ski jacket.

Don’t be afraid to wash your jacket

People don’t want to wash their jacket because they think the process will damage it. But your coat is just another piece of clothing and it should be washed when it’s dirty. On average, you could wash your jacket about twice a season without ever being scared that you are prematurely affecting it’s life span. However, it is still better to wash it when it’s actually dirty. Juice, ketchup stains, or dirt on the wrists can be treated easily. Simply put some stain remover and throw it in the washing machine.

Read the labels

Although they can be well hidden, the labels are important to consider. Each jacket has its own specificities and should be treated in the manner it requires. Several symbols may appear incomprehensible on the label. If you’re not sure, do a quick Internet search under “washing machine symbols” and you will find what you’re looking for. For the lazy, follow this link: http://www.textileaffairs.com/c-common.htm

Cold water

During the wash cycle, it’s important to wash your coat in cold water. Cold water is more effective (and it’s recognized as a source of energy savings). You can use the same detergent you would use for all your clothes. Be careful though – some models require the use of mild soaps to avoid damaging the fabric and membrane. Finally, do not put any fabric softener in the washer. Softener can damage the fabric and considerably decrease your coat’s water repelling abilities. Once the washing is over, there should be no visible traces of soap on the jacket. If there is, redo the rinse cycle

Opt for some fresh air

Your jacket will not want hot air during its drying. the best way to dry it is to turn it inside out, throw it in the dryer (with cool air) for thirty minutes and then turn it back again to let it dry completely. If you have some extra space and you’re not in a hurry you can also let it dry on a hanger.

Reproofing your Jacket

Through the many ski seasons, your coat might have lost some of its water repelling abilities. In that case, you can apply a water-repellent up to two times throughout the course of the season: at the beginning and at the end. Twice in one season is above average, but if your coat is old, you might need it. When adding water-repellent, your coat should be dry and clean. Dirt and soap can clog your jackets membrane. Always follow the instructions written on the product label of the water repellent.

Additional advice: carefully vaporize the seams, the shoulders and the hood. These spots are the most vulnerable to rain and snow deposits.

Note. Water-repellent and waterproofness are two different things. A technical ski jacket never looses its waterproofness, as it’s a membrane that has been sewed on to the jacket. What it can loose with time is its water-repellent, which, thankfully, can be replaced.

Shop our jackets.

Artist Interview: Mélodie Perrault

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Mélodie Perreault is a Montreal artist with grit. Her artwork ranges from simple to complicated but it’s always full of character. The people in the office at Orage liked her worked so we called her up to help us design some of the visuals for our look book. The work she did helped us portray the personality of Nelson and Retallack in a way the pictures couldn’t. Curious, we reached out to learn a little more about her.

Orage: How would you describe your style to somebody who doesn’t know you?

Mélodie: I like fine lines and working with black.

Orage : Where does your artistic side come from? Was there a big influence coming from your entourage?

Mélodie: My grandmother is a painter and my mother always encouraged me to push my artistic side.

Orage: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Mélodie: Everything that surrounds and amuses me. I am an eternal child so I like to have fun with my illustrations.

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Orage: Which artist inspires you the most?

Mélodie: I don’t have a favorite artist. I like everything! I particularly find inspiration in old illustration books.

Orage: What usually happens during your creative process?

Mélodie: I always write my ideas in my note pad and on my phone. Sometimes it’s only words. Then I settle down to work and inspiration comes naturally.

Orage : Your bike helmets are unique and pretty interesting. Why did you choose these objects as a canvas?

Mélodie: My boyfriend is an avid motorcycle rider and he made me fall in love with that world. I’ll have my own motorcycle next summer!

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Orage: Which artwork are you most proud of and why?

Mélodie: It’s too hard to choose one! If my creation amuses someone I feel a sense of accomplishment.

Orage: Describe your latest tattoo.

Mélodie: I got my palm tattooed a few days ago and it hurt so much. I also tattooed somebody a rose with the faces of two women hidden in it.

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Orage: If our readers want to learn some more about you, where can they find info? (web site, Instagram, etc.)

Mélodie: It’s easy @melodieperrault @tattooloungemtl www.melodieperrault.ca

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You can view the Orage look book right here: http://orage-89.tumblr.com/