Boreal’s Annual Banked Slalom

Boreal is the home of some of the best snowboarders in the lake Tahoe area, but today it wasn’t about tricks and flips…today it all came down to how fast and how well you turned! Boreal, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, held one of the most raved about contests around. High Fives Foundation presents Boreal’s Banked Slalom! Over 100 riders came dressed up (mandatory) in some awesome and wacky outfits to race down a tight banked slalom course designed and perfected by Boreal’s park crew. The sun was out and the moods were high, heck how can they not be when the entire day was based around fun.

Lots of quick turns and multiple DQs (disqualifications)… Joel Kline, Commentator-Announcer extraordinaire was handing out free cars and lots of cash..well not really but he wanted to. Free Dairy Queen to multiple lucky riders who couldn’t complete the course. What a sweet day (pun intended). Lots of old school legends showed up including Chris Roach and even Snowboard Magazine’s publisher, Kyle Kennedy, made an appearance and bombed his way down the slope.

The top section had gradual turns that made way to the steep section with tight race style turns, back to sweeping turns to a jump into bank where the riders could show off a little if they felt like it. Then came the section where the half pipe usually is which gave way to large steep walls including “the crippler” which knocked a few contestants to their ass. Another quick turn into whoops or an optional rail feature to avoid the whoops entirely.

After a long long day of two runs per contestant, the winners were chosen not on style but on their best timed run.

1st: Nate Holland
2nd: Tucker Andrews
3rd: Dylan Bonnie
Photos and captions below:

Objective Sunset: Bonsai Rock, Lake Tahoe

Bonsai Rock along the east shore of Lake Tahoe is one of the most famous and photographed locations around the lake. The rock is a staple image for any serious photographer in the Tahoe area to have. Along with epic photos of Squaw Valley and Emerald Bay, Bonsai Rock is right up there. Last night I finally got the opportunity to make the drive over to the spot. It is located at the bottom of a seriously steep hill right below Highway 28.

I met up with my photo/video friend Ryland Sweigard, owner/operator of Tahoe Creative (, at a local store in Incline Village where we grabbed a quick beverage for the show we were about to watch. The last few days here in Tahoe some ominous looking clouds dropped a ton of rain and a bit of snow in the higher elevations. Unfortunately the snow level never got low enough for any to accumulate on the rocks near the shore. Regardless, the storm broke Monday night and we both knew the wishing clouds were going to offer up one hell of an amazing sunset. We raced to the spot around 4:30 pm knowing the sun would set around 5:30 pm. Luckily, Bonsai Rock is located on the east shore and we all know the sun sets in the west, so we were watching the sun fall beneath the horizon almost straight on.

We traversed our way down the hillside with all of our gear and ended up right at the location. A few fellow photographers were already there scoping their angles and composing their shot. We didn’t waste any time once we were down there in order to find the best image we could. Started out with one angle and moved on to many other interesting and exciting views.

It was pretty amazing! The sky was filled with color! As soon as the sun dipped below the horizon the sky just lit up! I was mesmorized by the changing colors and the cloud formations. After shooting a few bracketed images I decided to throw on my Hoya Variable Neutral Density filter. I used the Hoya 3-400 filter and it allowed me to make an extra long exposure to really smooth out the water and the sky. I thought it turned out pretty nice. The exposure was f22 @ 2.5 Minutes ISO 100. The long exposures allowed me time to sit back and open my beer i brought to enjoy. My remote shutter allowed for the long exposures and the downtime to drink and watch the sunset come to completion live in front of me instead of through the viewfinder.

A truly great night out shooting with a friend and walking away with some really beautiful shots of one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Lake Tahoe.


Volcom Peanut Butter Rail Jam - Boreal 2015

Ahh, the dusty air of the parking lot, the endless San Francisco Giants stickers, and the most ridiculous attempts at winter attire, yep I’m talking about Boreal Mountain Resort atop Donner Summit in Lake Tahoe. Last Saturday Volcom invaded the resort for its Peanut Butter Rail Jam, the first stop on their list of events including Blue Mountain, Ontario, Trollhaugen, MN, and Mammoth Mountain, CA.

Snowboarders from all over the area made their way to the top of the Sierras to pull out their arsenal of tricks on the three feature set up. Volcom’s PBRJ has been a staple contest for amateurs to showcase some of their arsenal of tricks as well as fill up on junk food and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches galore. The whole day was all about snowboarding, fun, and progression.

The 15 and under division had some real standouts including, Keegan Hosefros and Drayden Gardner both of whom laid down huge gaps and spins on the rails. It was pretty amazing to watch. The 16-21 division had some real go-getters too! Skyler Gallardo blew everyones’ mind when he front boardslided up the pole jam and continued it through the entire down flat portion of the rail. The crowd went ballistic!

The open division however, was just ridiculous. So many spins on and off rails, hardways and switch 270s and 360s. Among others, riders like Matt Shaffer and Dan Danzberger both showed us how to properly slide sideways through a closeout. What a day out there, amazing snowboarding and even better people watching. Best of the day had to be watching a teenage son fall off the start of the lift and his dad then suicide jumping 5 feet later to help him! #peopleofboreal

Tale of the tape as follows:

Open Division:
1st - Matt Shaffer
2nd - Sam Numan
3rd - Eric Royce

16-21 Division:
1st - Alex Herrman
2nd - Sam Haivala
3rd - Shawn O’neill

15 & Under:
1st - Drayden Gardner
2nd - Keegan Hosefros
3rd - Luke Winkelmann

Girls Division:
1st - Ari Marrone
2nd - Cali Doerfler
3rd - Mariah Dugan


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