Many ski trips are punctuated by endless powder, backcountry huts, or early morning skins, but for this freshmen spring break trip, the freedom of a car and an Epic Pass was so much more.
In 10 days, Adam Young, Salvador Bastian, Will Cohn, Ben Kimura, and Emily Greene travelled over 2200 miles by car – excluding a flight to Nevada. They crossed through five states (California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado), skied three of them, and fit five people and eight pairs of skis in Young’s Jeep Liberty.
“I told them, ‘Guys, we have no plans. We just have our Epic Passes, and I have a car back home. We’ll make something happen,’” said Young.
After staying with Young’s family outside Virginia City and skiing a few slushy days at Heavenly and Northstar, the crew visited San Francisco for St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
After a relaxing weekend of sunsets and beaches, the crew put skiing back on the agenda and drove to Kirkwood. There they met up with senior Nikki Naylor and her friend Doug, a Kirkwood local, who showed them the mountain.
“We got to see a lot of spots we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find. Kimura threw a sick backflip off this natural feature that Doug showed us – [it was] a natural booter off a roll in the hill,” Bastian said.
“[He was] the best skier I’ve ever skied with. Kirkwood is super vertical, with tons of cliffs, and tons of really gnarly terrain. If you don’t know the mountain, you could get in a tight spot,” Young said.
Continuing the search for snow, the group headed towards Salt Lake City to ski Brighton, where Cohn’s mom’s friend offered a stay in her condo to the group. Pulling into Brighton one morning greeted by fresh powder, the group quickly prepared to find fresh lines.
“The snow was really light and fluffy – 13 inches of fresh. We found this log ride that went out 10 feet and dropped off; nobody hit it before and we landed in powder so that was super sick. I’d never skied Utah before; it was an unreal day, no lift lines, and nothing was ever skied out,” Bastian said.
“[I’ve] never skied in so much pow in my whole life,” Greene said.
None of the group had skied Utah before, except for Cohn. Despite the powder day, the crew enjoyed relaxing mornings, arriving at the hill around midday.
“On any other ski trip I’ve ever been on, usually you try and get out the door as fast as possible. They would just [mess] around in the kitchen, watching movies in the morning. I was taking my time, I’d take a shower, and still be the first one ready,” Greene said.
“It wasn’t backcountry-esque – it was all resort skiing and travelling, but it was a lot of fun. We’d wake up in the morning and say, ‘Do we want to ski Northstar, Heavenly, or Kirkwood today?’ You’re in lift lines now and then, so it’s not like the backcountry experience of a hut trip, but it was still cool,” Young said.
On the way to Utah, the crew even saw their ski heroes, part of Line’s “The Travelling Circus,” headed the opposite way in their yellow van. According to Bastian, the group practically worships those skiers on the show.
“The inspiration behind this trip was probably ‘The Travelling Circus,’ because this is what they do. They just travel across the country and ski everywhere, make do with any situation. We watch their videos all the time,” Young said.
Through visiting the Moment handmade ski factory in Reno, to buying a gas station Maxim, and even trying to get lip tattoos their last day, the group’s mentality remained goofy. As the only girl, Greene suffered a bit of humiliation but enjoyed the experience.
“They made fun of all my gear the entire trip; they called my snow pants the ‘Aladdin pants’ because I got them for $3 from the ARC. We get off the chairlift and I’m putting on my poles, and Bastian double ejects me and then shoves me. It was pretty good, though,” Greene said.
“She’d get kind of pissed at us sometimes, but I think we got along, and I don’t think we got too sick of each other by the end of the trip,” Bastian said.
Between gas station adventures, staging a birth for an Epic Mix photographer, and constantly uploading pictures to Instagram under the tag #rigsending, despite late mornings and all in-bounds skiing, the group enjoyed sleeping together in guest rooms without a concrete plan.
“Nothing went bad, and nobody got injured. It was the perfect trip for me because I like skiing a lot, but if you ski every day, it could get boring,” Young said. “Even if we didn’t have powder, it [still] would have been a great trip.”