Park City, Utah | Powderheadz.com

Powderheadz.com heads to Park City, Utah

BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM

Park City, UT – The guys at www.powderheadz.com are taking a break from the Pacific Northwest and heading off to the Utah.  We’ll be spending a couple of days at Park City testing out some new gear as well as testing out a new snowboarder.  One of Powderheadz.com cousins decided to get married this year and for his bachelor party he wanted to learn how to snowboard like the rest of us.

Some of the equipment we’ll be testing out this week is:

Hopefully he survives the trip.

Park City Utah | Powderheadz.com


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Stronger by Union Binding Company

News: Powderheadz.com attends the Vancouver Premiere of “Stronger”

Powderheadz.com Team at the Rickshaw Theater in Vancouver

BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM

Vancouver, BC – The guys at www.Powderheadz.com got a chance to watch “Stronger” by Union Binding Company and co-produced by Redbull Media House on October 19, 2016 at The Rickshaw Theater.  Review coming soon! Hint: One of the best ways to get excited for snowboarding.

In the meantime, take a look at the trailer:

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The Fourth Phase

Review: “The Fourth Phase” by Travis Rice | Vancouver, BC Premiere

After LA, Travis Rice heads North for the Canadian Premiere.

BY ALFIE FELICIANO

Vancouver, BC – This past Saturday, the Powderheadz.com Team was able to swing some tickets to get a first look at Travis Rice’s The Fourth Phase. And with a bit of patience and luck, we were able watch the film with the cast and crew of The Fourth Phase at the same location that Travis Rice premiered 2011’s The Art of Flight.  It was a surreal experience for us.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com
From General Admission to VIP Guest Access.

Two days after the World Premiere on Thursday, September 8th at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, Travis Rice and company traveled north to Vancouver, BC for the Canadian Premiere at Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts of The Fourth Phase.  With introductions of rest of the team, a slight jab to Canada by stating “we didn’t film one day here” because “you guys have it to good up here”, a fake call-out to no-show Justin Trudeau (no, he wasn’t there), and a raffle to the lucky guy in seat 33B who won a few beard trimmings from snowboarder Eric Jackson, the film started with raucous applause.  It was safe to assume that everyone here was pretty amped with Redbull.  Perhaps some Vodka as well. And they had every right to.  It’s been 4 long years to see the next film from Rice.

The Fourth Phase Review | Powderheadz.com

The Fourth Phase Review

The film opens to a reflective Travis Rice aboard his Catamaran “Falcor” in a nondescript part of an ocean while Dr. Gerald Pollack, Professor of Bioengineering at UW, intros the main thesis to the movie:

‘We all learn that water has three phases. The solid state, the liquid state and also the vapor state. You can’t explain all the known properties of water with three phases alone. You need a fourth phase. As children, we have this natural tendency to explore. And then we go to school and we have to get the right answer. This has a tendency to squeeze out of us the truth-seeking nature that comes as a human being. Because of the institutionalized nature of science, scientists have become more hesitant to challenge perceived truth. If we wanna get real truth, we have to dig down beneath the foundations.’

And then the movie kicks into high gear. Immediately after the mellow opening, Travis lays waste to the Wyoming backcountry with insane tricks off of eighty foot kickers. He’s joined by snowboarders Pat Moore, Cam Fitzpatrick, and Ben Ferguson as they assault the mountain alongside him.  Humble Master and Jackson Hole icon Bryan Iguchi comes along to do a quick session around the Grand Tetons with Rice before Rice embarks on this epic adventure.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

JAPAN

“…I realized by combining my love of the ocean with my love of the mountains it might be possible to actually follow the flow around the north Pacific, travel with the water that melts down from the Continental Divide, sail with it as it sweeps across the ocean and turns into the snow that blankets Japan…” – Travis Rice

The crew embarks on their first trip of the journey through a dizzying view of a Japanese airport to some of the most beautiful tree riding we’ve ever seen.  Travis Rice claims that the Japanese Alps is one of the snowiest places on earth and he wouldn’t be wrong. Snowboarders Mikkel Bang and Mark Landvik join Rice as they genuinely ‘play’ in waist deep powder.

This was the part of the film that was the most enjoyable to me. It looked like 3 guys having the time of their lives and were having a blast doing it. And it didn’t look like work.  It looked like a lot of fun and there just happened to be a film crew. And its part of the film that seems the most attainable thing that the audience can do. The gorgeous lines that these 3 were able to take is sure to drive up snow-tourism in the area for years to come.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

KAMCHATKA PENINSULA

“…The cycle swings up and tears past the Kamchatka Peninsula…” – Travis Rice

What comes up, must come down.  The sheer joy that is on display in Japan gets replaced with the flipside of the harshness of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. This section was probably the most interesting because it shows that even the greatest snowboarders in the world have to deal with an uncooperative Mother Nature or a very uncooperative foreign government.  Or worse, boredom.

Flying around in a military helicopter around an active Russian Volcano was awe-inspiring, but once the riders got on the ground, it was a different story.  They were riding through some of the ugliest, windswept terrain that’s been filmed.  You can feel the frustration and boredom build throughout this part.  And although a glimmer of hope gets them flying off for one last try, their trip gets crushed by government officials.  The only silver lining was that Rice, Eric Jackson, and Mark Landvik were able to meet some Russian youths who recognized them from The Art of Flight.  Snowboarding is alive and well in even the most harshest of places.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

ALASKA

“…and then finally banks into the catcher’s mitt that forms the Gulf of Alaska. These charged weather systems coming off the ocean hit these coastal mountains which ring out precipitation like a sponge, creating some of the most incredible snow formations on the planet.” – Travis Rice

Rice, Landvik, and Jackson arrive to variable conditions and a questionable snowpack in Alaska.  The grind of filming this movie has taken its toll on the team and Mark Landvik eventually bows out of film, leaving Rice and Jackson up north to wait it out.  We are rewarded with their patience.  Travis Rice and Eric Jackson put on a clinic of riding Alaskan terrain as they ride through vertical lines, narrow chutes, and knife-edge ridges with ruthless aggression.  You can see the riders release all that built up energy.

Side Note:  You might recognize one of the Lines that Travis Rice takes from Skier Cody Townsend’s 2014 Line of the year:
If you’ve got time, read Travis Rice’s conversation with Cody Townsend about it. It’s a glimpse to a real world dilemma if hoarding film for a movie while others don’t have to.

Rice comes back to Alaska a year later with Victor De Le Rue and Jeremy Jones to tackle Valdez again. And the next part of the film was probably the toughest to watch out of all the segments. The film crescendo’s into these scenes and the you can hear the audience at the Centre in Vancouver groan in unison and then remain silent for the next few minutes. It’s something you have to see to believe.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

WYOMING

“I have not figured out how to separate reckless optimism from a healthy appetite to pursue things until it becomes impossible. To be able to know the difference? Yeah, it’d be amazing. I’ve been lucky to have a few glimpses into this idea of what letting go really is. I know it’s impossible.” – Travis Rice

Wyoming Back Country
Ending where it begins in the Wyoming Back Country.
The film ends where it begins, on a homecoming high note.  Travis Rice and crew “riding off in the sunset”. The Fourth Phase lives up to the hype.  If you loved The Art of Flight, you’ll love this.

Watch The Fourth Phase on October 2nd when it streams live on Red Bull TV at 8 pm.

Happy Riding.

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

The Fourth Phase | Powderheadz.com

News: Powderheadz.com attends the Vancouver Premiere of “The Fourth Phase”

Powderheadz.com Team is at The Centre in Vancouver

The Fourth Phase

BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM

Vancouver, BC – The guys at www.Powderheadz.com got a chance to sit behind the the crew and riders that made this phenomenal film. Review coming soon! Hint: It was amazing.

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News: La Niña is coming. And with that, snow for the Pacific Northwest.

El Niño is dead.  Long live El Niña.

BY ALFIE FELICIANO

Vancouver, BC – The 2015-2016 edition of El Niño has come to pass and La Niña has a 60 to 75% of making an appearance.  And according to the NOAA, a pool of cold water is materializing in the Pacific Ocean below a shallow mass of warm surface water.  La Niña is coming.

And if it does, the Pacific Northwest to Squaw Valley will see above average snowfall.  There is already more concrete evidence as Whistler gets its first snowfall of the season (about 3cm).  We should be seeing more action from La Niña in the late fall and through the winter.  Some of the best Ski Resorts in North America will get the benefit of the larger than average snowfall:

  • Lake Louise, BC
  • Whistler, BC
  • Mt Baker, WA
  • Mt Bachelor, OR
  • Mt Hood, OR
  • Sun Valley, ID
  • Big Sky, MT
  • Whitefish, MT
  • Jackson Hole, WY
  • Squaw Valley, CA
  • Steamboat, CO
  • Lake Tahoe, NV

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A Bit of History

The last time La Niña mattered was during the 1998-1999 ski season, when Mt. Baker, WA received the most snow at any location during a single season. 1140 inches of powder dropped that winter, totaling 95 feet. It’s still a record that hasn’t been beaten. Hopefully we get somewhere close to that this year, if not beating it altogether. It will more than make up for the lackluster winter of 2014-2015 that the Pacific Northwest had experienced two years ago.

It is still to early to tell when La Niña will truly show up, but it something to keep in mind if you are planning on any major snowboarding trips. There is a possibility that some resorts will have enough snow coverage for the Thanksgiving weekend. Or perhaps by Christmas time.  But forecasts this far out can be a little unpredictable. La Niña should reveal her true colors in the next couple of months. We at Powderheadz.com think you should hold off on buying those plane tickets until more time has passed.

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Perhaps I’m writing all of this because I just needed an excuse to just to show this clip:

Happy Riding!

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Travis Rice's The Fourth Phase

News: The Fourth Phase by Travis Rice Premieres Sept 8th.

BY TIM SIMPSON

Montreal, QC – Travis Rice is back with The Fourth Phase, the follow-up to 2011’s phenomenal Art of Flight:

“This hydrological cycle, it’s this beautiful choreographed cycle of life.  I realized by combining my love of the ocean with my love of the mountains, it might be possible to actually follow the flow around the North Pacific.” – Travis Rice

WHO

The Fourth Phase by Travis Rice is a love letter to riding that follows the exploits of Rice and fellow riders Mikkel Bang, Shin Biyajima, Victor de Le Rue, Ben Ferguson, Cam Fitzpatrick, Mentor Bryan Iguchi, Eric Jackson, Jeremy Jones, Mark Landvik, Bode Merril, Pat Moore across the North Pacific.

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WHAT

The premise to Art of Flight‘s sequel is an exploration of the hydrological cycle – the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean to the condensation of clouds to the precipitation of rain and snow and finally to the runoff of water back into the ocean. While exploring the Wyoming back country in 2013 with his mentor Brian Iguchi, Travis Rice comes up with an idea. He plots a 16000-mile journey to follow the water cycle around the Pacific and snowboard along the way. Along with several legendary snowboarders, Travis Rice attempts to “witness firsthand the many moods of the North Pacific storm engine”

“Travis took this idea about the hydrological cycle and turned it into this epic journey.” – Bryan Iguchi

The Fourth Phase is a journey of self-discovery and an adventure to explore new terrain around the North Pacific. The film will cover breathtaking landscapes such as Russian volcanoes, the Japanese Alps, remote Alaska, and the Wyoming back-country.

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WHEN + WHERE


The Fourth Phase debuts Thursday, Sept 8th, 2016 8PM at the Shrine Auditorium (665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007). Some of us at Powderheadz.com will be watching it locally in Vancouver, BC at the Centre for Performing Arts (777 Homer St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0H3) on Saturday, Sept 10th, 2016 at 8PM. You can see the Global Premiere on October 2, 9PM on RedBullTV or purchase it on Midnight, October 3rd.  More details available at www.thefourthphase.com and you can pre-order from vimeo, itunes, or amazon.

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WHY

The last movie to get this much hype was 2013’s Into the Mind by Sherpas Cinema. The Fourth Phase is sure to be another classic that Art of Flight was back in 2011. This will be the perfect movie to get us all amped for what is going to be an amazing season.Winter is coming, and we can’t wait!

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View of Whistler Blackcomb Ski-Lift

News: Vail Resorts Purchases Whistler-Blackcomb for $1.4 Billion

Soon your Epic Ski Pass gets you riding in the Great White North

BY ALFIE FELICIANO

Vancouver, BC – Vail Resorts Inc’s $1.4 Billion friendly takeover of Whistler Blackcomb aims at making skiing and snowboarding cheaper for everyone.  The proprieter of 13 resorts across the world just added the biggest gem to its collection with Whistler and on Monday, August 8th, they entered into an agreement to acquire them.  This makes Vail Resorts owner of half of the 10 busiest ski areas on the North American Continent with Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, and Breckenridge being the top 3.

This deal comes only months after the British Columbia Provincial government approved of Aquilini Investment Group’s plan to build a $3.5 billion Ski Resort in Garibaldi Park at Squamish, BC, which is about at 45 minute drive south of Whistler.  Also, Vail Resorts plans on honoring Whistler’s $345 million investment plan, the Renaissance Project, to create more offerings of additional four-season, weather-independent activities to make Whistler Blackcomb a better, more expansive year-round resort.

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And What It Means for You.

For now?  Nothing yet.  As of right now, the Season Pass for Whistler Blackcomb is still valid for 2016/2017 and the current 2016/2017 Epic Pass from Vail Resorts (which includes Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, etc.  Visit www.snow.com for more info.) does not include access for Whistler Blackcomb.  However, Vail Resorts has confirmed that the Epic Pass will include Whistler-Blackcomb for the 2017/2018 season and that it has no intention of drastically raising its rates for the very inclusive Epic Pass.

For reference, the Whistler Season Pass for 2017 is regularly priced at $2049.00 CAD while the Epic Pass for 2017 is priced at $809 USD.  So come Winter 2017/2018, Americans will gain a giant resort for the taking and Canadians will see a drastic price drop to their season pass.  Snow for Everyone!

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Snowboarding Destination: Whistler-Blackcomb Mtn., BC.

BY POWDERHEADZ TEAM

Whistler-Blackcomb, BC – Located two hours north of Vancouver in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb is not just Canada’s favorite ski-resort, but according to 2016’s Telegraph Ultra Awards and Ski Magazine, the number 1 ski-resort of the world.  There are two colossal mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, connected with the longest continuous lift system, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, with a combined 8,171 acres of accessible terrain serviced by 37 lifts for skiers and riders across the world.

Also known as North America’s largest ski resort, these two massive mountains offer more than 200 marked trails that include perfectly groomed trails, secluded glades, powder-filled bowls, in-bounds back country riding, and wide-open glaciers available deep into the summer months.  Freestyle Skiers and Snowboarders will find six terrain parks ranging from beginner to insane, including a 22 foot Super Pipe. Averaging 462 inches of snowfall each year, there’s something for everyone at Whistler Blackcomb.

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How to Get There

The best way to get to Whistler is by flying into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), grabbing (renting) a car and driving through Downtown Vancouver, across the Lions Gate Bridge and onto the Sea to Sky Highway:

 
 
 

 

From Downtown Vancouver to Whistler usually takes around 1.5 to 2hrs by car, depending on traffic. However, if you plan on going to Whistler just to see the sights, there are plenty of other stops along the way that you should definitely consider:

  • Horseshoe Bay – A quaint, picturesque waterfront village on the North Shore that is home to the Horsehoe Bay Ferry Terminal, which gets you to How Sound, the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island.
  • Britannia Mining Museum – A former copper mine in Howe Sound that has been converted into a museum that preserves the history of British Columbia’s Mining Industry.
  • Shannon Falls – The third highest falls in BC composed of a series of cliffs rising 335 meters above Highway 99.
  • Squamish – Considered the halfway point between Downtown Vancouver and Whistler and is known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.
  • Alice Lake – This Provincial Park is a group of four lakes surrounded by towering mountains, dense forests and grassy areas.
  • Tantalus Lookout – One of the most spectacular viewpoints along the Sea to Sky Highway.
  • Brandywine Falls – A 70 meter waterfall and park that provides opportunities for picnics, hiking, and mountain biking.

For those without a car, Whistler offers a shuttle bus that can pick you up from either Vancouver International Airport or Downtown Vancouver.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Whistler Blackcomb usually opens on the Thursday of American Thanksgiving Weekend (usually the fourth Thursday of November) .  Whistler’s Last Day is Late April and Blackcomb’s Last Day is usually Memorial Day Weekend.  You can find more detailed hours of operations here.
  • Whistler Blackcomb can get pretty busy. If you want to go riding as soon as possible, the fastest way up the mountain is by taking the Excalibur Gondola and not the Whistler Village Gondola.  If you get bored of riding Blackcomb, it’s quicker to take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola instead of riding back down to the Village.
  • Whistler is known as the Family Friendly Mountain and is often the busiest.  Blackcomb is the quieter mountain and is more tailored to seasoned vets.  If you’re a beginner, stick to Whistler.  If you’re intermediate to advanced, head to Blackcomb.
  • Accommodations at Whistler Village can be quite expensive during the Peak Holiday Season.  With Whistler being less than 2 hours away from Vancouver or 1 hour away from Squamish, it’s often better to find lodging there and waking up earlier to drive up to the mountain and back.  Parking at the Day Lots is around $8 a day and is only about a 10 minute walk to the Lifts in the Village.
  • If you’re from Canada, Oregon State, or Washington State, purchase the 3 or 5 Day Edge Card if you plan on spending a long weekend or even a week at Whistler Blackcomb.  You can save up to $40 a day.
  • Even better, get yourself an Epic Pass.

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Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: At a Glance

Trail Map Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb Trail Map

 

LocationWhistler, BC
Nearest Major CityVancouver, BC
VerticalWhistler: 1,530 m (5,020 ft)
Blackcomb: 1,565 m (5,133 ft)
Top ElevationWhistler: 2,182 m (7,160 ft)
Blackcomb: 2,436 m (7,992 ft)
Base ElevationCreekside: 653 m (2,140 ft)
Village: 675 m (2214 ft)
Skiable areaWhistler: 4,757 acres (1,925 ha)
Blackcomb: 3,414 acres (1,382 ha)
Runs200+
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 35 – Beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 110 – Intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 35 – Advanced
Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg 20 – Expert
Lift system39 total
5 gondolas
1 high-speed six-pack chairlift
12 high-speed quad chairlifts
5 chairlifts
16 surface lifts
Lift capacity65,507 skiers/hr
Whistler: 34,345
Blackcomb: 31,162
Snowfall10.22 m/year (402 in.)
Snow-makingWhistler: 215 acres
(87 hectares), 4.5%
Blackcomb: 350 acres
(142 hectares), 10.3%

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Powderheadz Team

About

Powderheadz.com

“I wouldn’t even call snowboarding a sport.  For me it’s just a way of life.  It’s a chance to finally shut your brain off, and live within the moment.  And, for as long as I am able, I will ride until the day I die.”  –Travis Rice

Ever since I started snowboarding I have been eager to share my passion for adventure with others.  I banded together with some close friends to form the powderheadz dream team.  We love travelling the globe and snowboarding in some of the best spots and getting a chance to test out and review some of the latest snowboarding gear (aka super fun/expensive toys for adult sized children).

Our team looks to offer unbiased reviews on whatever snowboarding gear we can get our hands on, from snowboarding headlamps to helmets and goggles, and let the snowboarding community know our thoughts.  Be sure to check out our adventure blog for snowboarding inspiration and a peak into our snowboarding life.  Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have and we will be sure to get back to you when we’re not on the mountain :).

“Some people attach snowboards to their feet, very few attach them to their souls.” Shaun White

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