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SIBERIA

The latest Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal is on newsstands now. Happy to contribute some original photography in the issue, as well as this feature piece on Siberia. This was a super memorable trip to guide with a fabulous crew of clients, and some of the deepest snow I’ve experienced. The lead shot is one the owner of 40 Tribes shot of me opening up a run for our guests one morning. It was honestly like that everyday, no joke. Ryan is a great tail-guide, photographer, and business owner. Enjoy the online version of the piece below, follow the link for the rest of the article, and be in touch if any 40 Tribes trips are of interest.

“Sir, would you like the holiday goose, or the pasta?”

Lost in a daze of trains, coal, and neck deep powder, I perk up out of my confined plane seat.

“The holiday goose, please.”

It is the 23rd of December and I’m starting the longest leg of my journey home. To get here, I drove about an hour from my house in Lake Tahoe to a friend’s house in Reno where I caught an Uber to the airport. From Reno it was a quick flight to San Francisco, a few hour layover, then a solid 12-hour flightto Munich, Germany. Another short layover where my water bottle caused quite the stir through security leading me to get pulled out of line, and the bottle to get taken away. Sweating an undesirable airport sweat born from a mixture of anxiety and many hours of travel, I barely made my connection to Moscow. Once there, I had a few hours to stretch and breath before another flight. But there was a major problem in Moscow. No ski bag.

With my layover and first ever hours in Russia being spent with luggage recovery at the airport, I reluctantly walked away wondering if my skis would in fact arrive in Abaken as promised. The more I’ve traveled internationally the more the reality of lost baggage has become all too real. It can really make or break a trip depending on where one is going, never mind at this point in the trip I was still trying to wrap my head around where I was going in the world.

Have you ever heard of Abaken? Me either. That is until I started researching skiing in Siberia some years ago. Abaken actually never popped up on my radar. That’s probably because during this journey after flying from Moscow to Abakan, crossing another slew of timezones in the process, I still had a couple hour shuttle ride, couple hour train ride, and then a short hike to reach my final destination.

Read the rest on the Ascent site here