Blog - Professional Snowboarder Brock Butterfield

Wolfcreek Pass Touring - Brock Butterfield

Wolfcreek Pass Touring and Splitboarding

I left SLC, UT in search for powder late Thursday night and got into Avon, CO around 10 PM and hit the sack for a quick nap before we got up at 4AM to head down to Wolfcreek Pass for some touring and splitboarding. Mike Hood and I picked up the legend Brandon Reid around 4:30 AM and started our way to southern Colorado.

It was a bit cold outside on the way down...

 

Brandon Reid with his spoon.

We arrived at Wolfcreek Pass where we met up with photographer and ripper Justin McCarthy. We started touring around 9AM and made our way to a quick pillow drop under the power lines running on the north side. Brandon busted a huge method followed by a big backflip with a sick grab off the pillow. Mike and I were still getting a feel for landing in powder since we havn't had any in months...

Something we haven't seen in a while this year...

 

Mike Hood and Justin McCarty skinning up our first hike.

 

Justin McCarty

 

Mike Hood

 

Brandon Reid. Stoked.

 

Brandon Reid - Method

 

Brandon Reid - Backflip (on a splitboard mind you...)

 

Brock Butterfield - Pow Slash

 

Next we rode this cliff band into the gully. Mike Hood had a sick double line picked out and I had a mellow single drop. We then began the gnarly ride out in splitboard mode with no skins. Have you ever seen a baby giraffe on skis at the zoo? Well that's what I looked like making my way down the gully. I suck on skis... I eventually put my board together and rode the rest of the way out. It took us a bit to catch a ride but we made our way back to the pass and put our skins on for more touring. This time Mike Hood and I filmed some powder shots in the trees on a mellow south eastern facing slope while Brandon Reid and Justin McCarthy made there way back to the gnarly gulley.

 

Mike Hood

 

Brock Butterfield

 

Justin, Mike and Brandon on the parking lot.

We swooped Brandon and Justin up after they finished and scoped some lines for the next day. Hourglass and some cliff bands were stoking everyone out for the next day and we took lots of pictures to study at night. We made plans to attack Hourglass and the cliff bands around it for some banger shots. Food was on the agenda so we headed to Kips Bar and Grill for some bomb food, cheap beers and live music in Pagosa Springs. Collin set us up with a sick setup for the night in an abandoned skate shop where we dried out our skins, gloves and wet gear. It was a sweet place to stay warm for the night.

 

Hourglass was quickly added to the hit list for the next day.

 

The Hourglass

 

Kips Bar and Grill. The "spot" to eat and drink in Pagosa Springs, CO

 

Local legend and friend Colin Murphy pointing out lines to Mike on his Mac.

 

Warm floor for the night. Many thanks Colin!

 

Planning our approach to Hourglass for the next day.

Gnarly stuff in the trees worth looking into...

 

Mike left his boot too close to the propane heater... It smelt like someone was waxing their board.

 

The following morning we got up to the pass around 9:30 AM and put the skins on to starting touring towards the top of Hourglass which is north of Treasure Mountain with an elevation of 11,908 ft. After about an hour we found that we were on the wrong ridge and had to do some tele turns on our splitboards down into the meadow again to start the traverse up the correct ridge.

Brock Butterfield splitting up ninja style.

 

Justin McCarty

 

Tips up.

 

Brock and Justin in touring mode. Get your tele on.

 

After another two hours of touring we finally found our way ontop of Hourglass with stoke on high. We threw our splitboards together and a quick ro-sham-bo between Brandon Reid and I left me dropping second. Justin set up for some pictures from a ridge and Mike Hood manned the camera. Brandon dropped in and blasted a massive air off a cornice into an instant powder, face shot followed by three to four giant rooster turns before cutting hard into the choke at the bottom. I dropped next and launched off the same cornice and made three to four turns bext to Brandon's track but cut earlier into the choke and pointed it to the apron. Mike Hood got some of the best powder and face shots through the gut and bombed out of the choke at the bottom.

 

Brandon Reid sending it at the top of Hourglass.

 

Brandon checking into the white room.

 

Brock Butterfield

 

Pow!

 

Mike Hood - Rooster booster

 

Stoke on high!

Mellow powder turns and poppy pillows consumed the rest of our run to the bottom. Once we reached the river we took the splitboards apart and put on the skins for the short ascent out. We hung out on the side of the road for a bit till we could hitch a ride back to the pass. At the pass Justin took of to head back to Vail for work and we made our way back to the warm house in Pagosa Springs, CO.

A quick dinner of tacos cooked on a Jetboil and Mr. Heater as well as a few beers was an awesome way to call it a day.

 

Brandon Reid cooks deer tacos on the propane heater.

 

The last day we headed up to the resort where Colin was able to hook us up with free day passes. We celebrated Colin's birthday in true snowboard mob style with nine deep. We hiked the Knife Ridge and found some lines worth putting down. Around 3PM the group decided to grab their splitboards and head out to Hourglass again from the top of the resort for a dusk run. I volunteered to pick them up on the road and run a camera from the distance. A few hours later and Mike hit me up on the radio. The crew all laid down sick lines through Hourglass and made their way to the road just as the temps dropped and it began to get dark. Another successful day.

 

Mike and Brandon hanging in the lot at Wolfcreek Resort.

 

Lines off the Knife Ridge at the resort.

 

"Free" resort dinner while I wait for the crew to drop Hourglass.

 

Mike captured this amazing photo just before they dropped into the Hourglass.

 

Mike, Brandon and I said our good byes and headed back to Avon, CO that night. The next morning Mike and I hit up a local breakfast spot and then I hit the road back to SLC, UT taking the scenic route through Steamboat Springs where there was hardly any snow. A big difference from the San Juan mountain range down south!

 

Saw this in the paper as I was eating breakfast with Mike. Looks like we made the right call!

 

Steamboart Springs with a lovely 22" base...

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