Chutes and Roots – Hometown hangtime


There’s a reason people call a place home. Sometimes it takes packing your bags and leaving the place, hitting the road not in search of much. But when you’re out and about you start to realize those things that make you call that place home. It’s the people, it’s the routines, it’s the places you frequent there. The common daily luxuries, maybe a shower, maybe an phone holder for your GPS, it’s those familiar things, wheter it be it the front cab of a pickup, or the stationary dwelling in the neighborhood, home is your zone.

While technically at home, it is still possible to be packing, moving all around, and having the same feeling and routines as being on the road so what’s the difference?

On this nearly consecutive trip I was able to meet up with Eli Lieberman, Justin Schoonover, and Cogin Hill to rally some laps, beers, chilli, chutes, and late night snowmobile adventures. We have fellow shredder and volcano gatekeeper Todd McViney to thank for the amazing set up and basecamp to stage our adventures from. I met up with the lads early after their first night in the somewhat hazy cabin that smelled of a late night and smoky fireplace. After some breakfast and coffee de-hazing we loaded up the sleds with boards, tow ropes, and started our morning sled mission around the obsidian flow to scope lines. A good morning rally through the giant snow snake run for snowmobiles makes for an awesome start to a day. After an assessment we made our sled drop, and took our places on the first shuttle sled to the top.

Our first day of riding offered us three chutes. Starting from the riders left, each line progressively got steeper, and more technical as you traveled right. We finished our last chute that closed out with a narrow pinch after a firm uneven pitch as a drop in. Our entry chute offered us a good glimpse into the snowpack stability and depth, and served up some pillowy drops in the middle of a field of fresh POW. Assessing what we saw at the top of the peak, our assumptions that the snow blew to this side was correct, good stuff.

The days rally mission led us back to the cabin for some couch time, a few beers, BB Gun shootouts, and some dinner. With full bellies and dry boots, the ‘eldest and most senior’ of the group Eli, recommended we go find the Enchanted Forest to look for a lone tucked away chute. We found our way through the snowy obsidian plateau that leads to this seldom visited swath of trees. We also discovered plenty of snow to get some snowmobiles stuck along the way, which is why late night snowmobile missions and beers most likely go hand in hand. After a few rolls of un-sticking the eldest and most senior sled of the group ‘Bambini’ we came to find a missing radiator cap. However, there was no need to worry, with a quick duct tape job, and beer can radiator cap mod, we were outta the enchanted forest & real tuned up. Crashing out on cots, creating fancy contraptions, having BB gun practice on your buddies flannel, and shackin up with one of your buds for the night so you can snore the shit out of his ear, it’s those subtleties and things you do for your homies to make for some good times.

Having such a proper shred day behind us, we took some time the next morning to enjoy the cabin and get our things together so we could bail after the days runs. A sled drop and tow, we were once again at the top ready to get a few more good laps. We were greeted by our host Mr. McViney, as well as a few other friends that frequent such high altitude destinations. After a couple laps with Todd, we were five laps deep over the weekend our appetites for chutes, drops, and fresh snow had been satiated enough for us to gather our belongings and head to our stationary residences.

A huge thanks to Todd for opening up an amazing basecamp option, as well as the whole group for keeping eyes on each-other at all times, working together to get some amazing lines, and being one of the best crews to have your back out there. Thanks for the shreddin boys.

Dave Reuss

About Dave Reuss

They say you can take the kid out of Cottonwood, but ya can't take the Cottonwood outta the kid, which has led this small town time traveler in search of landscapes to ride far and near. Trail rider, snow smasher, roofer, undercover nerd, it's a mixed bag of good times.