Blog - Professional Snowboarder Brock Butterfield

Last Days of Season - Brock Butterfield

The last of my days in Utah and the season where starting to dwindle down and I was still fortunate enough to get some pow days in before I left. It was after I had hung my shred stick from Tyrant Snowboards up for the season and headed out for the summer when disaster struck me in the face (or gut). Read on for the story.


Warm and sunny in the valley but cold freshies in the mtns with a storm rolling in!


It was nuking at the Snowbird with high winds. TROCK, Noah and I spotted this gangsta, vintage, BYU fanny pack while on the tram.


Superior slide mid day so they crammed us all inside for interlodge. Pretty sure Food and Beverage beat ticket sales this day. Here TROCK takes a nice nap in the super loud room. Kid was fighting a cold all day but he still ripped.


Here's some footy from one of the last days at Snowbird.


There was over a foot of snow in the back of my truck by the time we left that I was able to make a small snowman for Kayce and her parents. Hell, I could have made a whole Calvin and Hobbs army with as much snow as I had. Great last days on the Utah Wasatch range.


Kayce and I stopped in at Costco to see if there was anthing we could pickup for the big road trip ahead. Even though they were a great deal, I couldn't force myself to eat another Clif Bar. Eating them for two weeks straight in Alaska was enough for awhile.


Life happens. If you're around me enough you'll hear me say this alot. I've had a rough run in my 25 years on this rad planet so far and I have a feeling it's just the beginning. For a little bit of history so you can understand what happened I'll take you back three years to when I was super sick with Ulcerative Colitis (inflamed/bleeding large intestine). It had gotten to the point where medication wasn't helping me get any better and performing a surgery to remove my large intestine was my only choice. After two surgeries, some complications and two and half months later I was abke to walk out of the hospital and start living again with a small internal J-Pouch that would serve as a holding place for my waste. Or so we all thought. About a year went by and I had a small blockage while in Vegas. Year and a half went by and last summer I had two close calls where I damn near kicked the bucket. One of them was in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota. When I got back to Utah I met with my surgeon and we ran some tests to see what was going on. All was well and we couldn't see any issues so I figured I just needed to eat smaller meals and drink more water.

And then as Kayce and I were on our way out of Utah for the summer and making a pit stop at my parents house, I entered a "world of pain." (as Walter Sobchak would say). With a small J-Pouch inside I normally have to poop 6-8 times a day due to no room. I hadn't pooped all day and I started to see the same patterns as over the summer in South Dakota. Last I talked to my surgeon he had told me to try and just deal with the pain and wait it out for the blackage to pass like I had done previously. So I assumed the fetal position and tried to ride out the storm. The pain from your body trying to push waste through your blocked gut is intense. Some of the worse pain I've ever experienced.

My family called my surgeon around 4AM to ask for some guidance. He gave us a call back to inform us he had actually retired and wasn't in Utah. He let us know that he had doctors he could recommend if we ended up in the hospital. He encouraged me to ride out the pain but if I started to vomit I needed to get to the ER.

Almost 24 hours later of pain and hunched over, I puked. Straight bile. As much as I didn't want to go to the hospital I knew I had to. We made the journey to Logan and was admitted. A NG tube was jammed down my nose and into my stomach to pump out the bile and pain medication was injected into the IV. And this is where everything gets a bit foggy for me and is basically second hand from Kayce and family. I was heavily sedated while the small community doctors tried to figure out what to do. After two days they made the call to get me down to SLC where a more experienced surgeon would be able to help.

A rough and painfully bumpy ambulance ride to SLC and I was admitted to St. Marks where I met Dr. Murday. After catching her up on everything that had been going on she took me into emergency surgery to see if she could open things up a bit from below. No luck and she had never felt anything like this before. My family begged her to keep trying and not to give me a bag. She ordered a handful of tests that resulted in finding out it was much more sever then any of us realized. My internal J-Pouch had flipped on itself much like when you make balloon animals. Dr. Murday feared that my J-Pouch had been cut off from circulation long enough to damage it. That would mean I would need to have it removed and replaced with a colostomy bag. Worse thing possible for somebody as active as myself. Another round of surgery was ordered and this time they were going to have to cut me open and try to flip the J-Pouch to save it.

I remember coming to after the surgery and being alone in a recovery room. I still couldn't move much but was trying to feel if I had a bag. My arms just weren't strong enough to move the 3" to my stomach and feel. As soon as I heard family around I asked if I had a bag. They cheerfully let me know that everything went well and that I didn't have a bag. It was just a matter of recovery now.

Here you can still see the NG tube. One of the worse things to have in my opinion. The tube makes it hard to talk, swallow and breathe normally. TROCK was a rockstar and helped me make a lap for some exercise.


They finally removed the NG tube and I was stoked!

After almost a week recovering I was finally released. You need the hospital to recover from surgery but you need home to recover from the hospital.

Battle wounds. You can see it makes a zig around the belly button. 27 staples and about a 12" incision right down to the goods.

Split Mission - Cherry Peak - Brock Butterfield

April 22, 2011 and there is still a grundle of snow to be shredded. Cory and I had our eyes on a sick, wide open, steep peak with a side of gnar all year and finally the conditions lined up to hit it.


It all started after a sled ride up to Naomi Peak where we parked the sleds and dropped over into the steep.


Making my way across the super wind blown ridge before we drop in.


After dropping to the bottom I threw together my split that I had made from a Schism from Tyrant Snowboards.


Skin up!


Heading away from where we dropped in. You can see some gnar in the background that has been added to the list of "Things To Do"


Our destination in the distance. Cherry Peak with massive cornices. Rocking the S4 goggles from S4 Optics.


Gotta love being a Ginger... Apply and re-apply and then re-apply and still risk getting fried. SnowSkin sunscreen is my new must have in my pack. No more greasy face! The stuff has manuka honey in it!


Cory enjoying the view.


Final push to the peak. You can kinda get an idea of how big those cornices really are.


View into the Cache Valley from the peak.


The Schism from Tyrant Snowboards that I split. All put together and ready to drop into the goods.


On the way to the gnar off Cherry Peak I managed to bomb into the biggest cliff band section on the whole slope by accident. After last minute sending it 30-40 feet off the cliff to windlip, I blew up in a front flip but managed to ride out without injury. Look before you leap kids!


I'm the tiny little spec on the right of the gnar. Making my way to my line!


Mission accomplished. The footy on this line is BANGER! Two carves to big slash to pointing it out of the choke.


Putting the skins back on to head back out.


Shot of the line in background.


After I finished this line I got my poles out and clanked them together in excitement to let everyone know how sick I was... I then tucked into downhill skier position and started pointing it like I was in the Olympics. Right...


Cory's sick, smooth and fluid line down Cherry Peak.


Skinning out took forever. Tired as hell but making the push to the ridge.


The trees on the ridge got blasted. Crazy how these survive the harsh winters.


Cherry Peak in the distance. Ultimate day.


Last ridge before the sled ride out. Putting the split back together once more to head home.

Spring Backcountry Utah - Brock Butterfield

With a dump of snow and warm temps on the rise, TROCK and I headed out to a hidden little jump zone to see about getting some air time. The goal was to test out the Schism from Tyrant Snowboards to see how it performed in a backcountry kicker.

Loading up. The shovel you see in this picture never made it to the jump zone... After almost 30 miles of non groomed trails it was donated to mother nature somewhere.


Tony Butterfield a.k.a. TROCK gives a thumbs up. Ready to roll out.


The block system. Only way to build a solid jump. You gotta roll in style when building kickers. Haven Empire hat and RiktorPeeps Ike sunglasses.


TROCK sending it way farther then I did... First try and he nails the sweet spot.


TROCK and I found out pretty quick that the landing just wasn't going to work. Too wind blown and packed powder. TROCK landed perfect on this one but the impact sent his nose under the wind crust and he blew up.


TROCK getting a face shot on a better aspect.


Everybody in the house put your hands up!


TROCK next to a big old cairn.


Photo op for the sponsors. Shout out to Tyrant Snowboards and S4 Optics.


Found a new zone on the way out. I'll be back when the snow is right...


Valdez, Alaska - Testing the Schism from Tyrant Snowboards - Brock Butterfiekd

Here's a little video I threw together of my trip to Alaska to test the Schism from Tyrant Snowboards. The low snow levels and weather put a damper on the filming but it was still a rad adventure overall and the Schism did amazingly well on the hard "boiler plate" wind slab.

Birthday Shred BBQ and Behind The Camera With People Crew - Brock Butterfield

I can now rent a car. Far out.

The old birthday rolled around and I was able to get out with Crazy Cody and Harlee for some epic, deep pow turns at Snowbird.


Yet another reason why I call him Crazy Cody... This dude NEVER rolls with a beanie on. And his hair product keeps his spikes upright all day long.


Harlee and Cody cooked up a mean pot of chili for end of the day.


Brats, chili and a cold one. Not a bad way to end the birthday shredding.


The following day I headed out with Pierre, Aaron, Lauri, and Heikki to help them bag a couple of powder bangers. The new People Crew movie Good Look is gonna be sick!


Aaron, Heikki and JP Tomich. Heikki was stoked on his "Chubby Burger".


Pierre also decided to tackle to monster "Chubby Burger". Picture doesn't do it justice.

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