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Posts of category  "winter"

Some members of the Nitro Crew are at home in the cold. Others, including notable badasses of summertime sports are easily felled by ice and powder. Here are two times Nitro athletes braved the cold for some winter fun:

One of the best places in the U.S. to experience winter awesomeness is Utah, a state with geography to suit any action sport (an important reason why we picked Salt Lake City to host the Nitro World Games). After the Nitro tour touched down in Salt Lake City, the Crew took a day off to go snowboarding. When you’re riding with world-class snowboarders Brandon Schmidt and Ethen Roberts, you know you’re going to see sick jumps. But you have to give credit to snowboarding rookies for braving the same slopes and trying to stick some of the same tricks.

Curling isn’t a sport you would normally associate with Nitro Circus. It’s not exactly a sport that gets the adrenaline pumping. But when the crew gave it a try, they decided to add an extra element to make things more interesting — human curling.

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Mary Forgione

There’s no perfect science to picking the perfect ski or snowboarding vacation, but ski travel retailer thinks it has a handle on when you should go. After grinding some data, the Colorado-based company says the second week in January may be the sweet spot for a “low-cost, crowd-free, powder-filled” getaway this winter season. looked at vacation prices at popular U.S. resorts such as Aspen and Beaver Creekin Colorado. It found ski package prices Jan. 9 to Jan. 14 as much as 45% lower than December holidays, spring break or Presidents Day weekend, according to a news release.

I decided to test this by checking availability for ski packages at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. Prices for the week of Jan. 9 ($1,888 for six nights) were lower than the following week of Jan. 16 (which includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, $2,221 for six nights). Costs include a one-bedroom condo for two at Mammoth Mountain Inn and lift tickets for two each day.

As for crowds, looked at arrival data for more than 25,000 recent ski vacation reservations and found the Jan. 9 week to be one of the least busy. In fact, the number of people who travel at that time was on average 44% lower than any weekend in February.

But what about snow? OpenSnow forecaster Joel Gratz says early January is a good time to go because resorts have built up their base depths and most of their terrain is likely open, the release says.

But will  Jan. 9 really will be the week of magical skiing? You’ll just have to go and find out for yourself.

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Dogs playing in the snow might just be the absolute best thing about winter.

YouTube user stephen mann posted this video of him on a snowboard cheering on his adorable puppers, Cabot and Barney, as they take him for a ride down a snow-covered street. And these dogs are LOVING it. The wind in their fur, the encouragement from their owner, the freedom…

Watching puppies caper in the snow will ultimately get us through this frigid, icy time.

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No complies, shuv-its, making small hills and parks feel big again, that’s what is so awesome about snowskating. It can change the perception of a slope for even the greatest riders. Terje says riding a snowskate at his local hill in Oslo makes it feel as if he’s riding in Chamonix. Watch as Terje and Mark McMorris still find ways to impress us as they opt to ditch the bindings.

Video By Leo Cittadella

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The Olympic flame, circa 2014. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

Ever since 1998 in Nagano, Japan, snowboarding has been a major focal point of the Winter Olypmic coverage. The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea won’t be much different. After the addition of slopestyle to the snowboarding events listed in 2014, the 2018 Winter Games list is getting bigger by featuring the popular “Big Air” event. Will we see quad corks for the first time in this quadrennial contest’s history? Quite possibly. But for now, we will just give you a breakdown of the events to watch for this upcoming Olympic-packed February.

A double exposure from the 2017 Air+Style Big Air event held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Big Air format will now be featured in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChange, South Korea. PHOTO: Mark Clavin

Big Air-

There is a first for everything, and this year will be the first for Big Air. Making waves in the progression and trends of snowboarding for years, the single jump competition is now making its Olympic debut. Past popular platforms for the giant jump’s history have included Air and Style, X Games, the U.S. Open, and a multitude of championships around the world. Featuring a men and women’s competition, PyeongChang 2018 will mirror the format used in the X Games requiring riders to land two different tricks, or variations of, to have a chance at the podium. Our predictions of what will go down will be released closer to the start!

Stale Sandbech on his way to slopestyle silver at the 2014 Winter Olympics. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen


Slopestyle will make its second Olympic appearance in 2018 after Sage Kotsenburg took home the first ever gold with his stylish run, including the famed backside 1620 Japan, at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Riders will have two runs to put down a combination of tricks on multiple features in front of the judges.

Sage Kotsenburg wins the first ever slopestyle gold medal in Olympic history. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

If the slopestyle course for the 2018 Winter Games is anything like the test event held earlier this year in South Korea, the lap will follow the classic layout of jib and rail features at the top, with three jumps at the bottom. Check out the video for a better idea:

Shaun White is set to return to the 2018 Winter Olympics. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
Shaun White is set to return to the 2018 Winter Olympics. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen


The halfpipe competition has been snowboarding’s primetime event within the Olympics since the start in 1998. This year, with the return of two-time gold medalist Shaun White, aims to be no different. The fan favorite feature in South Korea will once again feature both men and women competing in the classic 22′ walls, almost 600′ in length, and probably experience new variations of tricks and athletic prowess.

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Big news coming out of Canada last week as the Canadian National Snowboarding Team was officially announced for the upcoming season. While Louif Paradis and Frank April have yet again not been named to the team, the Canadian shred scene looks as strong as ever. According to the press release, 38 riders are on the team for the 2017/18 season with a majority of the Olympic and Paralympic spots still up for grabs. The competition for the spots will be heavy!

As the team prepares for Pyeongchang and the 2018 Winter Olympics spots, they have a strong season to build upon, amassing over 38 podiums across major competitions this past winter. If you don’t remember, there was basically a Canadian or two in the top three at every event this year.

With a handful of first and second place finishes a piece, two riders stood out amongst the rest and have already been provisionally named to the Olympmic team: Mark McMorris and Max Parrot. Max podiumed at the Burton U.S. Open, Winter X Games, Laax Open, and overall at the world tour just to name a few. McMorris, with a resume that already includes an Olympic medal, took his fair share of top spots as well before suffering from a crash in the Whistler backcountry in late March. As Mark looks to make a full recovery, we can’t wait to see what this next season of competition brings! Full team list below.

Snowboardcross National Team
Chris Robanske (Calgary, AB)
Kevin Hill (Vernon, BC)
Baptiste Brochu (Saguenay, QC)
Tess Critchlow (Kelowna, BC)
Zoe Bergermann (Erin, ON)
Carle Brenneman
(North Vancouver, BC)
Meryeta O’Dine (Prince George, BC)
Katie Anderson (Jaffray, BC)
Marcel Mathieu, Rene Brunner

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Roger Marolt

I don’t hate snowboarders. I hate snowboarding. This is not because I think they go too fast or make loud noises as they scrape snow off the ski runs or even because a few snowboarders cuss and smoke cigarettes in lift lines.

For me, it’s simpler than that; I think snowboarding set the evolution of winter sports back about three decades, and now I don’t think I will live to see simple adventurers snatch skiing back from wine sippers.

I came to this conclusion through experience at the time snowboarding was gaining fast popularity and the experts predicted it was going to revolutionize the snow-sport industry. A friend of mine, who was an instructor, gave me a free invite to participate in a three-day clinic that was guaranteed to “blow my mind.”

In the first hour of the clinic, I was admittedly an uncoordinated mess and could barely figure out which end of the board went in front. By noon, I discovered that the front and back of the board were completely irrelevant. By the third day, I was a bona-fide expert and I knew with certainty that I had gotten all I was ever going to get out of the sport.

I outlasted the sport. Yes, I may be old, but snowboarding is dead. How do I know? You don’t see kids riding them anymore. Snowboards may have been the first snow-carving tool, but modern skis came along and do it much better with far more versatility. Ask any 7-year-old which is better and you will instantly appreciate the stubbornness of the last of the snowboarders you see riding out into their looming midlife crises.

OK, you see a few tourist kids now and then on them, but you can blame that on the parents who told them that it was the cool thing to do and who garnered this information from watching the X Games on TV and still think that three-day infomercial during a mid-winter lull in the real sports world is a harbinger of hip trends. The main reason kids show up at the venue anymore is for the concerts after the events.

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Mother Nature has decided to let ‘er rip nice and early this season, and has been blasting areas, including Whistler, B.C. and Mt. Bachelor, with lots of early season snow. Last week, NOAA released a winter weather forecast that warned of a strong storm percolating off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and that storm has moved inland and has been dumping snow on several resorts.

As of Monday, Whistler’s on-mountain webcams show plenty of precipitation and near white-out conditions. The resort is reporting over two feet of snow in the alpine over the past few storm cycles, from Friday-Sunday. The forecast is calling for an additional two feet of snow by the end of the week. Whistler is scheduled to open November 24th, but said they will open early if conditions allow. Check out photos of the new snow captured by their webcams in the gallery above.

The Red Chair at Mt. Bachelor is shrouded by the storm.

Also reporting sizable snowfall is Mt. Bachelor, located outside of Bend, Oregon. The resort received a sold smattering of snow and is reporting 20 inches of fresh as of Monday. This storm cycle will continue throughout Tuesday with more accumulation on the way before temps are supposed to warm up on Wednesday.


Mt. Bachelor’s snow stake showing over 20 inches on Monday.

Squaw Alpine Resort is also reporting a strong showing of snow as of this morning and posted the video below from today. It’s stacking up all over!

It may only be the middle of October, but all these early season storms could be a good indicator for a strong season ahead.  Is it snowing where you are? Let us know in the comments below.

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The best part about Calgary being so close to the mountains is that we have a wide variety of great ski & snowboard resorts nearby. Take a peek – you might find your new favourite!

With the mountains so close, Calgarians are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. Whether you’re a devoted park rat, or prefer thigh-burning moguls, there are many choices within just a few hours drive from the city.

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Featuring 139 runs and 9 lifts, Lake Louise Ski Resort is the largest in Alberta. With a huge variety of terrain, skiers and snowboarders of all difficulties can test their skill in some of Canada’s best snow. With stunning scenery in every direction, the chairlift rides are almost as good as the skiing itself. Just a two hour drive from Calgary, Lake Louise Ski Resort is local – and international – favourite. As a speed-freak, one of my favourite runs at Louise is the World Cup Downhill on the front side of the mountain. This very fast run takes you all the way from the top of the Summit Platter to the base of the ski area. Each November, some of the world’s best skiers compete on this run in the Winterstart World Cup.

Sunshine Village

An enduring popular choice amongst Calgarians is Sunshine Village. Located just 20 minutes west of Banff, Sunshine features terrain fit for all levels, from fresh beginners to seasoned experts. For the daring and advanced riders, Sunshine has world-class terrain, like the appropriately named Delirium Dive. Due to its prime location on the Continental Divide, Sunshine gets more snow than any of the other resorts near Calgary. The three mountains (Goat’s Eye, Lookout and Standish) each present their own challenges to the avid skier or snowboarder. My personal favourite run at Sunshine is Wildfire, a steep blue on Goat’s Eye. A quick detour off the busy Sunshine Coast run, Wildfire is much a quieter and snowier slope. The turns are deep here even in the early season, and you often have them all to yourself.

Mount Norquay

Although smaller than Lake Louise or Sunshine, Mount Norquay packs no less a punch. The only Banff-area resort to feature night-skiing, Norquay is the perfect hill for a few laps after work. With ample beginner’s areas, and some of the toughest terrain in North America, Norquay has terrain for all levels. Located just a few minutes drive from the centre of Banff, Norquay is the closest of the Banff resorts to Calgary. A must-do for any advanced skier at Norquay is a trip up the North American double chair. The chair provides access to Norquay’s toughest terrain, including the infamous Lope Pine run. This double-black diamond run features almost endless thigh-burning moguls, and it is of the steepest lift-accessible runs I’ve ever done. A successful attempt of Lone Pine is rewarded with sore legs, and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

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