Utah Winter Roadtrip … plus Colorado and Wyoming

Utah is a wild west wonderland … and the perfect place for a winter roadtrip.

Right now my Insta and Facey feeds are full of deep, deep pow blanketing the Wasatch and Rocky Mountains … which got me harking back to just over a year ago when we were enjoying similar conditions on an epic snowboarding roadtrip through Utah and Colorado.

First stop after a delayed flight in early January 2020 was a night in magical Moab, and a quick tour of Arches National Park the next morning. I cannot recommend Moab and Arches National Park more highly – it was truly spectacular, made perhaps even more so by the layer of brilliant white contrasting the blood-orange rock and sand.

In Arches National Park you don’t even have to get out of your car to appreciate the natural beauty.
Park Avenue, Arches National Park.
Garden of Eden in the fog, Arches National Park.
The famous Delicate Arch without the usual tourist crowds.

After snowboarding at Telluride and Crested Butte (both deep in the Colorado remote mountains) we made our way back to Salt Lake City and Park City.

Welcome to Utah!
Wintry wasteland high atop the Colorado Plateau, Utah-Colorado border.
Does is get any more wild west-looking than this?
Surreal scenery just off Interstate-70 at the Utah Welcome Center.
Big trucks, big mountains, big sky.
Speed-blur at 70+ miles an hour.
Golden hour out the passenger window.
Winter moon rising…

After getting our powder-fill in the Cottonwood Canyon resorts (Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude) as well as Park City, we headed north into the frozen white to see what Jackson Hole, Wyoming was like.

Little Cottonwood Canyon is a magnet for heavy snowfalls … and sketchy driving conditions.
How’s this for a Interstate-80 roadside panorama with the iPhone!
In winter it looks a lot like this on the five-hour drive north to Wyoming … but it’s worth the trip to get to ride Jackson Hole.
Fog and early-morning light combined for a bitingly cold vision across the elk reserve at Jackson, Wyoming.
This abandoned motel is not one of Jackson’s highlights, however. But I thought it looked pretty cool.
Last light, somewhere on the lonely road in Idaho.

X Games 2015 Superpipe And Big Air Photo Gallery

Photos of the X Games 2015 Men’s and Women’s Superpipe and Big Air at Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

X Games 2015 Aspen Snowmass
What a view! Buttermilk Mountain’s 22-foot perfect superpipe, flanked by the slopestyle jumps on the left, and big air booter on the right.

The X Games is the self-described biggest and most important winter action sport competition … outside of the Olympics, of course. And after finally getting to experience my first X Games just a couple of weeks ago, and seeing the transformed Buttermilk mountain with it’s huge mounds of snow, lighting arrays and TV and spectator infrastructure, I’d tend to agree. The fact that so much is packed into such a small portion of the mountain is quite amazing. One chairlift accesses the SBX track up higher, the slopestyle course, superpipe and big air jump in front of the base lodge.

It was an awesome few days in Aspen, checking out the resorts by day, and the X Games craziness by night. The highlights were seeing Scotty James throw down and Torah Bright securing a bronze medal on the big stage. A shot or two from the trip should make it into Australian-NZ Snowboarding Magazine this season, so keep an eye out. If you ever get a chance to experience the X Games I couldn’t recommend it higher. Yeah, it’s very “Yee haw, ‘Merica rules!” with it’s Navy sponsorship, simplified narrative and questionable judging catering to ESPN audiences and the mainstream spectators (ie it certainly ain’t a core, cool event like the US Open or Stylewars in Oz), and it really does get frigidly cold outside at night. But the huge crowd, the TV razzle-dazzle, smooth running of a legitimately big event and the insane feats of snowboardery you get to witness more than make up for any negatives.

And in the meantime, enjoy these snaps.

Click on the photos below to open up the gallery and read the captions…

And in case you missed it, take a look at Danny Davis’ gold-medal-winning run which he threw down on the last run of the night. Epic.

Torstein Horgmo’s Triple Cork X-Games Perfect Score

You know how I said Torstein Horgmo is the boss of all bosses? Well he proved it at X-Games over the weekend.

But first watch this clip that Torstein posted on his blog not long before X-Games from a jumps session at Keystone. Backside 1440 Triple Cork … and then Switch Backside 1440 Triple Cork! What. The. Fuck.

The Keystone vid was a precursor to Torstein’s tricks at the X-Games Big Air final – he locked away a backside triple cork, then stomped the first switch backside triple cork landed in competition, scoring a perfect 50 out of 50 score.  But with one rider still left to drop, when good mate Mark McMorris slightly skidded the landing of his Cab 1440 Triple Cork, both the young Canadian and Norwegian were tied on a best two-scores of 94. On countback, Torstein took the Gold Medal for his perfect scoring last jump.

Beyond epic, don’t you think? Watch the guys chat about it here:

But McMorris didn’t rest on his silver-medalled laurels long, landing the first triple cork ever seen in snowboarding slopestyle competition on his way to X-Games Slope Gold the next day. Well done, sir!