Banff Snowboarding and Skiing Video

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Shooting lots of snowboarding and skiing action in Banff this year provided plenty of frames for this video (click the HD icon for full resolution):


Banff Snowboarding and Skiing from Matthew Botos on Vimeo.

Actually producing this gave me a lot of respect for the effort that goes into videos versus photography; the difficulty increases at least an order of magnitude. I really liked the pauses in Chase Jarvis’s Pray for Snow, and set out to imitate the effect with my own series of bash scripts that sequence still images and letterbox them. Titles and assembly were done in iMovie HD, with a Creative Commons soundtrack from Jamendo.

I’m a Dangerous Man

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

At least according to CDC research:

More people are hurt snowboarding than any other outdoor activity, accounting for a quarter of emergency room visits, according to the first national study to estimate recreational injuries. Nearly 26 percent of the injures were from snowboarding followed by sledding (11 percent); hiking (6 percent); mountain biking, personal watercraft, water skiing or tubing (4 percent); fishing (3 percent) and swimming (2 percent).

I’ve taken plenty of lumps biking and boarding, but the worst I’ve racked up was a few stitches on the bike. As for broken bones, my only fracture was a collarbone in a game of flag football ;)

Snowboarding Binding Roundup

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

My trusty steedI’ve been riding the same set of K2 Clicker snowboard bindings for 10 years, so was definitely time for a replacement. For one thing, Clickers and most other step-in bindings aren’t even being made anymore;  people found they didn’t provide good transfer on control to the board. I didn’t have a problem with that so much as having them jam with snow & ice and the stiffer boots, which finally outweighed the click-in convenience.

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Whistler Photo Notes

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Hiking to Blackcomb GlacierWhistler felt like the first big trip I did as a more serious photographer, and I really enjoyed it that respect. Lugging a ton of gear, standing outside in the morning cold, and being perched on the finish line of a race course all added focus to both the trip and my photography.

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Why I Snowboard

Monday, March 17th, 2008

The Whistler fog descendsIt was one of those cold, lonely lift rides in Whistler after losing my buddies in a whiteout that I got to thinking about why I snowboard in the first place. Some people have a strong passion or talent for the art of snowboarding itself, and I certainly do get a thrill when I can iron out my troublesome toe-side turns and carve a nice line and a maybe a bit of powder.

Ski patroller and avalanche dogWhat I really like, though, are all the secondary benefits snowboarding brings. Spending time outside when everyone else is huddled inside, traveling to unique places like Telluride, Aspen, Whistler, and Alaska, and finding stories and photo opportunities I never would otherwise. Of course, I’ve met some great people, too - through the King of Prussia Ski Club and through a lot of random lift rides.

I guess that’s the great thing about snowboarding and other sports - that people can come to them for a variety of reasons, and all leave happy at the end of the day.

Whistler: The Photo Book

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

I’m always looking for new ways to share my photos and with my Whistler photos I was inspired to put together a bound photo book. It’s a beautiful 20-page, 8.5 x 11 full-color photo book in hardcover or softcover featuring a selection of photos on and off the mountain. Two sample pages are shown to the right; click to see a preview of the entire book. If you’d like one, you can order via PayPal on the Whistler page or below:

Hardcover $34.99 Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!
Softcover $24.99 Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!

Snowboarding and Plato

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

The Wall Street Journal had a fun article on a snowboard school in Crested Butte, Colorado where students mix snowboarding and Plato. Not only does school get canceled for powder days, but at any time a quarter of the students are nursing injuries from trying to attain the philosophically impossible perfect 720.

Aspen Photos

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Aspen This year’s big western trip with the King of Prussia Ski Club was to Aspen, Colorado. Best known as a playground for the rich and famous, this old silver mining town also boasts plenty of challenging skiing and riding at four mountains. You can read all about the trip in my Aspen blog entries.

View the Aspen photos

Buttermilk

Friday, February 9th, 2007

For my last day of snowboarding in Aspen, I headed to the one remaining mountain, Buttermilk. While generally viewed as the least challenging, it does feature some glades and a large terrain park. It’s also the host of the winter X-Games, which just wrapped up the week before our arrival. The superpipe and jumps are big enough you can see them from the highway, and proved to be quite impressive up close.

Margaret, one of the other boarders on the trip, and I took a few runs in the mini-halfpipe. It stands a modest 6 feet tall in comparison to the 20-foot tall superpipe. The amount of effort it requires just to get to the lip of the little guy really makes you appreciate what it takes for people to get 8 feet above the lip of its big brother.

We did get to see some of the pros in action; the Aspen Open was in progress with both halfpipe and slopestyle competitions to watch. The final big jump of the slopstyle was big enough to have a pickup truck parked behind the kicker with plenty of room to spare.

I contented myself with the smaller features in the terrain park, hitting a few jumps and finally getting up on a short box. For inspiration, though, I snapped a few pictures of others hitting the bigger elements.

Aspen Odds and Ends

Friday, February 9th, 2007

As a snowboarder, I’m often frustrated by facilities that cater to skiers, but have been pleasantly surprised with how accommodating Aspen is of snowboarders. All the buses and gondolas have outside snowboard racks, and since it’s Aspen, someone even loads your board for you half the time. It’s a far cry from the past, when snowboarders weren’t even allowed on Ajax.

One thing I always love about being out west in remote areas far from big cities and their light pollution is how many more stars you can see on a clear night. I’ve stopped a couple of times walking home from dinner just to stare up and marvel at their number.

You can window shop for all kinds of things in Aspen: frou-frou food, equally over the top fashions, and multi-million dollar condos. Much of it reflects the money concentrated in this town, and one condo model hilariously so. The two cars parked in the driveway were a Porsche and a Mercedes, and the couple standing out front appeared to be an older man with a much younger trophy wive.