Powderheadz.com heads to Japan!

Powderheadz.com Japan


Osaka, Japan- The guys at www.powderheadz.com are taking a break from the Pacific Northwest and heading off to Japan for a week.  We’ll be spending a couple of days at Osaka, renting an 8-person van, and heading to Shiga Kogen to go snowboarding and testing out some new gear as well. Hopefully we’ll get a day or two in Tokyo before we bullet train it back to Osaka and back home.

Shiga Kogen

This’ll be more of a scouting trip to see if we can survive Japan as we plan for a much bigger trip next 2018-2019 season to Hakuba Valley, which was recently added to the Epic Pass. Check back here while we try and figure it out as we go along, leaving tips on how to plan your own trip out here.



Powderheadz.com heads to Whistler-Blackcomb, BC for some Summer Park Laps

Riding the Top of Blackcomb
Lower Half of the Whistler Blackcomb Terrain Park


Whistler Blackcomb, BC – Snowboarding isn’t technically over at Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort. Although the regular season at Whistler ended on April 23rd and Blackcomb ended on May 22nd, you can still get some turns in at the Top of Blackcomb Mountain. After a couple of weeks to set up the Terrain Park, Hortsman Glacier opened on June 10th and plans to stay running until July 16th, 2017.



The park was built specifically to host a multitude of Ski and Snowboarding Camps throughout the short summer period. However, the Glacier is open to the public, albeit you should be advanced or expert rider to feel comfortable up there. There are two t-bars that give you access to two parks full of features (the top terrain park is closed off for the camps) and a couple of runs (The top half of Crystal Traverse and Blue Line). We were also able to ride down the Green Line from the Hortsman Hut back to Rendezvous at the end of the day to download back to the bottom of the mountain (which might not be the case as the summer continues). So if you’re desperate for snow like us, head to Whistler while you still can.


Glacier Summer Camp
Riding anything and everything at Hortsman Glacier


Tips and Tricks

  • Operating Hours are from 12PM to 3PM, weather permitting. Public upload begins at 11AM at the Wizard Express Chairlift that is at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Only camps are allowed to load before then. Last upload for Skiers and Snowboarders are at 1:30PM.
  • Lift Ticket includes a shuttle bus to and from 7th Heaven and access to the public lane that includes some Terrain Park features. Other lanes are reserved for Glacier Camps.
  • You must be an advanced or expert skier/snowboarder to ride, no exceptions. You also need to be able to use a T-bar as there are no chairlifts working during this time.
  • Definitely recommend getting there as early as possible, because you have to ride the Wizard Express, Solar Coaster Express, wait for a shuttle bus to take you to 7th Heaven before you get to Hortsman Hut. It can take up to an hour to finally get to the top.
  • Bring Sunscreen. It get’s pretty bright and hot up there and you are exposed to sun for extended periods of time. Many people leave with sunburns because they aren’t prepared.
  • Because it’s hot up there, you won’t need to bring as much gear as you would on a regular winter day. You’ll probably still want to wear a long sleeve shirt so you don’t get a weird tan. That being said, wear a helmet and practice safe riding.



Powderheadz.com heads to Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah | Powderheadz.com


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


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

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

The Fourth Phase
Travis Rice introduces The Fourth Phase in Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts.


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

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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.

La Nina | Powderheadz.com
Photo Credit: NWS/Climate Prediction Center.


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


Travis Rice's The Fourth Phase
World Premiere is September 8th at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.

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


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.Powderheadz.com


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.Powderheadz.com


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.Powderheadz.com


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!Powderheadz.com


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

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

View of Whistler Blackcomb Ski-Lift
View from under Big Red Express. Whistler-Blackcomb, 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.

And What It Mean’s 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!