Photo by Matt Small
Julie Brown at Powder.com continued recently with her Pay It Forward interview series in which she finds the true locals in the ski/snowboard world, asks them a few soulful questions and then has them choose the next interviewee.
I love this series not only because she started at Crystal, but more importantly because these are the true heroes of our sport.
Her first interview was with Crystal Mountain’s Hugh Gren. Hugh paid it forward to Steve and the resulting interview can now be found at Powder.
People like Hugh and Steve aren’t skiing for sponsors. They aren’t posting their best runs to YouTube or even wearing POV cameras. On the chairlift, these guys aren’t worried about the battery life on their GoPro.
They’re scoping their next line.
They go to the mountains to ski, to hang out with their friends, and have fun. They aren’t there to burnish their image or work on their brand or post impossibly filtered photos to Instagram.
It’s no surprise, really, that Julie’s first two interviews were Crystal locals. Many of these guys and gals stay for weeks in trailers in B Lot, Crystal’s big parking lot ringed on one side with RV parking. A handful of the most colorful locals are known, simply, as the B Lot Boys.
Photo by Matt Small
Steve Fratella is the real deal. He’s been at Crystal for as many seasons as I have. He skis hard and flies well under the radar, and I’m thrilled to see him showcased in my favorite magazine. Thanks Steve for keeping it real.
Most of the people who read this blog probably already read Powder. Of course you do. But just in case you missed it, Crystal’s very own Hugh Gren was recently interviewed for a new series on Powder. The purpose of the series is for each interviewee to recommend the next one.
I recently ran into Hugh up on Chinook Pass, where he and a couple of other Crystal diehards were making the most of the remaining snow. They were taking turns shuttling each other to the top. I was riding my bike to the summit. It was Hugh’s turn to shuttle, and he stopped to cheer us on. And that’s a nice boost to get on those last few switchbacks from the summit. That’s just the kind of guy Hugh is. He may be a bit quirky and hyper, but above all else, Hugh has an infectious enthusiasm. He’s one of my favorite locals at Crystal.
Who did Hugh recommend for the next interview? Another Crystal favorite. But you’re going to have to read the article to find out.
Hugh Gren letting it all hang out on Chair 6
We can all dream
I love it when the ski industry hails the little guy. Far too often in this world, only the big guns get the recognition. Sure, pro skiers can rip some big lines. Watching them ski just makes me salivate. But when I watch a local skier or rider take some gnarly run, lay over some sweet turns just for the fun of it–no cameras rolling, no sponsorship stickers seeking product placement on their helmets–that’s the stuff I love.
That’s why I’m excited about this contest. Snowbird Ski Resort, along with Powder Magazine, Snowboarder Magazine, Wasatch Powderbirds and The North Face are giving away some very sweet prizes for the best helmet cam video.
You heard that right.
All that footage you have stored in your GoPro might just get you somewhere. Namely to Snowbird for 5 days and nights of skiing and lodging for two, including one day of early-ups, one day of heli-skiing, a $500 gift certificate to North Face and free subscriptions to Powder and Snowboarder.
That’s a pretty sweet deal. According the their Facebook Page here are the details:
Strap on your gnarness harness, dial in your shrediting and get piste, because it’s about to get personal. Snowbird, The North Face, POWDER, SNOWBOARDER and Wasatch Powderbird Guides want to see just how hard you rip. Whether you’re shredding one plank or two, dropping pillow lines or cheese wedges, your point-of-view footage could make you a hometown hero. Submit your proof of gnar to the 1st Annual Snowbird Local Hero POV Video Contest, and you could score a trip for 2 to Snowbird for 5 days / 4 nights, including a heli-day for 1. Hey, no one said being a hero would be easy.
To enter, submit your best POV video edit (under 3 minutes) to Snowbird’s Facebook page. The top 4 ski finalists and the top 4 snowboard finalists will be chosen by Snowbird’s Facebook fans. One winner from each category will take home the Grand Daddy, picked by the editors of POWDER and SNOWBOARDER. Winners will receive a trip for 2 to Snowbird, Utah for 5 days/4 nights, one day with a pre-public Tram ride, a heli-day for 1 with Wasatch Powderbird Guides, a $500 gift card from The North Face and 2 free subscriptions to POWDER and SNOWBOARDER. Righteous.
Who doesn’t love a contest that tells you to strap on your “gnarness harness?” That’s priceless.