Blog - Professional Snowboarder Brock Butterfield

My First Big Ad

It still blows my mind when I look at this ad. Three years ago when I decided I was going to try and get sponsored in snowboarding and quite my job I never thought it would take me to where I am now. So grateful for the opportunity I've had to chase my dream.

I felt it would be interesting for others if I talked about what went into the photo before it became the ad. Here's the story.

We started out that morning with some really soupy weather and low visibility. Mike Hood and I jumped on our sleds and decided to link in with Mike Basich, Brandon Reid and a couple other homies go find something to film close to one of the glaciers where we might have some depth and detail. Even with shrubs and small trees in the river bottoms, we were having a hard time seeing. When it's a gray day you can't tell depth perception at all. In fact, we witnessed Mike Basich go face first into a ditch because he had no idea it was there. Well that and he was wearing an abominable snowman costume...

We got to the glacier and poked around for a bit but Mike and I could tell it was too socked in to even think about riding or pushing deeper across the glacier field. We made the call to jam back to camp. On the way the clouds opened up and we noticed Python Ridge was in full sun. We'd already ridden most of the lines on the ridge but decided some riding was better than no riding.

We ran into Charlie Hoch and Ryan Cruze on the way and teamed up to go have some fun. Mike and I were stressing a bit on filming and the lack there of so we decided to focus on one person at a time at get some lines down on film. Charlie and I set off to hike and topped out in about 45 minutes. Charlie was over heating so we took a break for a second to cool off.

We navigated our way on the ridge to our lines and I got on the radio to let Mike know I was ready. Jordan Ingmire had pulled up below and figured he'd fire off some photos while he was there. I gave a 10 count and put the radio away. I had ridden the same line a week earlier but decided I was going to make less turns. Then I decided to just straight line the whole thing instead. I cranked down my bindings one last time and gave Charlie a hang ten before dropping. 

I got to the point of no return and just f*cking pointed it. The wind was whipping my coat making a fast "ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta" sound as I gained more speed. I kept it in control and opened up my body as I got to the bottom and cruised down into the flats.

Later when Jordan showed me the photo I didn't think it was even that great compared to the other stuff we had shot. Needless to say I was pumped and am always pumped on any shot.

Months go by and Jordan hits me on Facebook and tells me that Never Summer has bought full rights to the photo. I'm stoked but don't even know their going to run an ad until I start getting text messages from friends a month later that they're stoked on my Never Summer ad. I had to go buy a copy of the magazine cause I couldn't believe I was actually in it.

Hopefully there's many more ads to come in the future. Looking forward to it. :)

Alaska Road Trip - Blog #6 - Brock Butterfield

Remember how I said Whistler back country was mind blowing? Well take that and times it by 1 million and you get the Chugach mountains in Alaska. The ever expanding terrain of riding here is absolutely amazing. The access to the terrain is what's even more unbelievable. Whether by heli with Alaska Snowboard Guides (ASG), snowmobile (or snowmachine as the locals call it) or touring out to a line, it's all relatively easy to get to the goods.

We've spent the majority of our time slednecking out into the unknown being mindful of glacial travel and the giant holes out there that could swallow us in minutes. The one thing I've learned to love about sledding out and then boot packing a line is the ability to asses the snow on the slope and study the terrain as I'm headed up. What looked like a feasible small air from the bottom can sometimes turn into a gigantic sender not worth launching.

The Tailgate crowd was, well, a crowd to say the least and unfortunately it draws some people that are just there to party as opposed to riding when it's blue. It actually works well when they rage all night and no one is up following us out into the next adventure.

I can't even began to describe how many good experiences I've had and how many good people I've met on this adventure. Friends (not acquaintances) for life at this point. People I definitely trust when it comes to getting out on big, technical lines and hanging it all out on the edge.

 

 

Alaska is a state every snowboarder should visit.

 

Local kid at the gas station has his priorities in life straight! p: David Biner

 

Nothing but amazing views from here. p. Jordan Ingmire

 

Mike Hood, myself and Bryon Bagwell at the heli pad holding it down for Never Summer in Alaska.

 

Garrett Russell demanding heli drops on the gnar.

 

Where do I even start? Into the gnar.

 

Jordan Ingmire and myself doubling out on "Ting" to the beginning of an epic day. p: Justin Befu

 

My line of choice for the day was this roughly 1200' colour we ended up naming Pucker Couloir.

 

Top view looking down Pucker Couloir. See the sleds clear at the bottom from where the last photo was taken?

 

Where's Brandon Reid? Oh, right there crushing a spine...

 

This zone was unreal.

Alaska Road Trip - Blog #5 - Brock Butterfield

Even after the long drive to get to Thompson Pass we didn't sleep much due to the excitement in the morning from sleds being started and hearing people talk about "code blue". We could tell that it was time to get up and take advantage of supreme conditions on the pass.

The next few days were filled with non stop hiking, sled necking and shredding the hell out of the fresh snow and blue bird days. From my experience two years ago I've learned it's hard to get a "code blue" day so we took the opportunity and rode from dawn till dusk till we couldn't see our lines anymore.

Some lines to note that we were able to attack was the Berlin Wall, Python and The Books. Out of all of those so far I have to say that The Books are the most memorable. Endless lines and fairly easy boot packs to the top.

We spent another day out on the HooDoo Glacier and hung a hammock with ice screws. The glacier had a pretty unique wall that Moss Halladay got a rad wall ride on.


We've got a few days of blue left before the storm rolls in to give a refresh. Hoping to get out in the heli for a couple bumps with Alaska Snowboard Guides!

So... Guess RC's spare tire was dragging for some time behind us...

 

Thompson Pass view of Python in the distance.

 

With Mike Hood's tent and my generator we're living large in the parking lot.

 

A heavy group at the HooDoo glacier getting work done.

 

Mike Hood chilling in the hammock we set up in the glacier. Thanks Grand Trunk for the hammock!

 

Moss Halladay sending it into a wall ride at the glacier.

 

I was able to find a little bit of tranny off this glacier drop. p. Justin Befu

 

Sunset hiking to the Berlin Wall. p: Wayne Bolte

 

Sunset on top of Berlin Wall looking out over Thompson Pass.

 

Charlie Hoch, Mike Hood and myself at The Books.

 

The Books. We destroyed it.

 

2012 King of the Hill Champion Brandon Reid on top a burly line in The Books.

 

Tony and Sammy hiking up a line at The Books.

 

Aftermath of our lines down one page of The Books. I rode lookers right on the ridge to scare myself. :)

Alaska Road Trip - Blog #4 - Brock Butterfield

After leaving early from Pemberton we made our trek north through some sketchy mountain passes. One of which just before Lillooet, BC took my rear tire out after hitting a small rock coming around a corner. I zigged when I should've zagged. It was a real pain when we realized my spare was only accessible if we lifted the tailgate up which had the sled resting on it. Three dudes and one sled and we managed to get the tailgate up to get to the cavity that releases the spare. In all of this we also managed to roll the truck off the bottle jack and narrowly missed our feet. I soon had the spare on and made my way to the next town of Lillooet where I was able to find the best tire shop in all of BC as far as I'm concerned. The guys at Lillooet Glass and Tire found me a used tire that was the exact same make, model and size of the one I blew out. The price was right in the cheap snowboarder budget and they had me rolling in no time.

We continued the drive only stopping for gas and sleeping on the side of the road when needed. I played a scratch ticket for the hell of it at one gas station and won. It made me want to buy more scratch tickets with my winnings. That's how they get you.

It's indescribable how beautiful it is up in northern BC and Yukon territory. It's truly in the middle of nowhere and you can go for hours without seeing a town but well worth the drive. One thing you have to keep an eye out for are the ice heaves in the road as they make giant jumps for your vehicle. The bad thing is they're only marked with a little red flag right next to the ice heave so you have no warning. At one point I decided to take my seat belt off to remove my jacket and it just so happened that before I could get my seat belt back on I saw the little red flag go past my right tire. My fully loaded Toyota Tundra caught at least 3 feet of air and I roosted my head into ceiling of my cab as I myself caught almost the same amount of air. Watch out for ice heaves. It's a bumpy ride to Alaska!

We crossed the border into AK after a few days and witnessed an awesome sunset with the Wrangell Mountain Range in the background. It was almost as though Alaska was saying, "Welcome. Come shred!". We continued the push with excitement and made it to Thompson Pass after a long 19 hour day of driving.

 

That's a bummer man. Flat tire on a sketchy mtn pass.

 

Getting the hook up from Lilloeet Glass and Tire.

 

Lillooet Glass and Tire is the place to stop if you need anything on the way. These guys rock!

 

The long road through BC, the Yukon and into Alaska.

 

Playing scratch tickets in Canada eh? WINNING!

 

North to Alaska!

 

Crushing miles of road and every CD I can find in my truck.

 

Haines Junction. How'd Milo Sport get here? Hmm.

 

Welcoming Alaskan sunset after crossing the border. Onward to Thompson Pass!

 

 

Alaska Road Trip - Blog #3 - Brock Butterfield

I'll start off by saying that the Whistler backcountry will literally give you a seizure if you let your brain run wild trying to take in all the lines to be ridden. We linked in with some of our good local friends and made our way back towards the Rutherford Glacier to ride some of the famous BC backcountry we see all the time in magazines and latest shred flicks.

We started out with a short hike up a fun little zone with lots of options. After digging a quick pit we strapped in and dropped into some steep, poppy lines with lots of options. Stoke was on high was we rallied to the next zone on a different aspect. After taking a few "soul pow" laps we got to work on some technical film worthy stuff. Another crew was just down from us filming and as I glanced over I watch one of the riders make two turns and a fracture line come roaring after. I shouted "slide!" and kept my eyes on the rider as everyone pinned their sleds full throttle over to the bottom. Luckily the rider had pulled their air bag and floated on top the small slide which ended up being about 8-12 inches deep and about 30 feet wide. All was well in the end but we decided to take that as a sign and head up to the glacier cave for some exploring and then head back to camper for some dinner and beers.

The next morning we made our way out further and maneuvered our sleds down and around some crevasses to lay our eyes on an unbelievable zone with thousands of options and an easy sled shuttle to the top. We felt out the snow and after determining it was stable we got to work on some good, deep BC pow. A productive day of filming and shredding and we made our way to Pemberton for the night to camp in the skate park parking lot.

The following day we scored a hot shower at the community center for $3 and shredded the bowl section of the skate park before heading to dinner at a local friend's house for a night of couch surfing before hitting the road for the 1500 mile drive to Alaska.

 

RC putting the boot pack in.

 

RC up to his waist in BC pow getting ready to lick the stamp and send it!

 

Group at the Rutherford Glacier.

 

Inside looking out from the glacier.

 

Homie and Never Summer rider holding it down in the Whistler area.

 

I gave the locals the idea to make a couple of very artful images in the snow. There's art everywhere you look.

 

Myself and Taylor taking in the sun and looking at lines.

 

Can you spot the method?

 

Filmmaker and shredder Teddy Hoffman is stoked he got a few turns after shooting.

 

Cruising the bowl at Pemberton Skatepark before hitting the road again.

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