Powder Skiing Chile: Ian Hamilton wins Poor Boyz Undiscovered

In early 2015, Poor Boyz Productions launched Poor Boyz Undiscovered: a month-long search for the best unknown skiers out there. Athletes were invited to submit a 90-second edit, and, based on online voting and a panel of judges, three athletes won a $5,000.00 cash prize and a trip powder skiing Chile’s Andes Mountains with Poor Boyz in the summer of 2015. One of the three winners was Ian Hamilton. Take a look at Ian’s edit reel below, and then check out some photos and read Ian’s quick take on the whole experience.

 

Ian laying down lines while powder skiing Chile's Andes. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

 

Revision Skis: Do you want to start out with the basics of the contest itself? When you decided to enter, everything it took to drum up votes, etc?

I originally saw the contest on Facebook and didn’t pay it much attention until a bunch of people encouraged me to enter. After I looked at the judging criteria and rules I knew I had a pretty good shot at winning so I got together all my best shots and sent them over to my buddy Zach Falen to get them into a 90 second piece. I was super pumped on my edit and really wanted to go to Chile so I went all out. I contacted all my friends, family, and sponsors to help spread the word and I was absolutely blown away by the response I got. A huge thanks to everyone who watched, shared, and voted. I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.

Terrain to expect when powder skiing Chile. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.


Revision Skis: On the trip itself, emotions heading into some powder skiing in Chile? Were you stoked, anxious, a little bit of everything? Did you guys have a smooth trip there?

It was weird winning the contest and knowing the trip was going to happen but having a huge period of time before we actually went. It didn’t really seem real all summer so when the time actually came to go to the airport I was almost in shock. I had no idea what to expect, just a ticket and my gear. It was an easy trip there though, I left Montana around 1 pm and was in Atlanta by 7:30 where I met up with most of the crew before the overnight flight to Santiago. We arrived in Santiago the next morning by 7 and after we got through customs we filmed packing up the van before taking off to Valle Nevado which was an hour north. We ended up going skiing right when we got to Valle Nevado so it was a crazy two days and I slept like a rock my first night in Chile.

Revision Subtraction powder skis; powder skiing Chile. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: How about the lodging?

The lodging was incredible, we partnered with Valle Nevado and then Rocanegra Lodge when we skied outside of Chillan. It the best I have ever stayed and eaten on a ski trip hands down. It was a crazy experience not knowing enough Spanish to communicate and having to do a lot of learning through observing and testing. There was a lot of food that wasn’t familiar but was delicious, and I still don’t know exactly what it was.

The best down time was definitely at Rocanegra Lodge, it is an absolute paradise. Located one valley over from the ski area Nevados de Chillan, Rocanegra is almost a nature retreat. You are surrounded by awesome mountains and the lodge looks like a medieval castle. There are also hottubs, a sauna, a pool and a yoga house. Not to mention the 5 course meals were delectable. I can’t wait to go back someday.

Powder skiing Chile. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: Culture?

Honestly I was surprised at how little culture shock I had. People are people no matter where you go, just trying to live their lives to the fullest. The language barrier was a little strange but everyone was super friendly and stoked on what we were doing. It made me want to travel way more and experience as many places as possible.

Bluebird day while powder skiing Chile's Andes Mountains. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: Terrain?

Ian Hamilton: The Andes blew me away. Never before had I skied such giant alpine peaks. I grew up skiing steep tree runs so having a completely open face was a bit disconcerting. It was totally a learning experience being in those mountains and I am undoubtedly hooked. There were so many options for jumps and cliff hits that we didn’t even scratch the surface. I really want to go back for a longer trip and see more of the terrain.

Andes Mountains: powder skiing Chile. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: New friends made?

Over the course of the trip the entire crew became great friends. I can’t thank the PBP crew enough for such an incredible experience. One of the best parts of the trip for me, however, was spending time with our guides. Having passionate skiers and boarders show you their home terrain is so awesome. I was blown away by how similar-minded a person who lives in a different hemisphere could be. The owner of Rocanegra and also our guide, Ruben, thought about the world in exactly the same way I did. We had great talks about how interconnected everything is and how interaction with nature is a crucial component of a live well lived. I made friends that I will never forget and I hope to see them soon.

Powder skiing Chile - Sunset in the Andes. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: Thoughts on the performance of the skis?

I was so pumped on how the Subtractions skied. We had a lot of variable conditions because we arrived a couple days after a storm. Most places were either wind or sun affected so you had to adjust your skiing every time we changed aspects. The Subtractions handled everything we encountered perfectly, from punchy jump landings to blower faceshots. I can’t believe how well they perform for both jumping and skiing, they are the most playful ski I have ever skied on.

Heli powder skiing Chile's Andes Mountains. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

Revision Skis: What was your overall experience while powder skiing Chile? 

The trip really gave me a whole new perspective on both skiing and traveling. Skiing has really become a vehicle for me to travel and experience the world in a way that would otherwise be impossible. My life has been so positively affected by not just skiing but the people I have met through skiing. It is incredible to share such a burning passion for sliding down a mountain with people from around the world. I truly believe that connecting with nature and other people through something as simple as skiing is one of the best parts of life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

CONGRATS again Ian on winning this sick contest and opportunity!

Powder skiing Chile has Ian like.. Photo cred Ian Hamilton.

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Icefall Lodge: A week in Winter Wonderland

In January of 2016, Korey Heatherington, Ian Hamilton, and Danny Arnold took a dream trip to Icefall Lodge, a heli-accessed touring paradise outside of Golden, BC. Here’s the trip report from Ian.

I first heard of Icefall Lodge in the summer of 2015 while I was beginning to plan out my winter.  Bill at Revision contacted me and extended an invitation to do a week long stay at an awesome lodge outside Golden, BC.  When I found out my best buddy Danny Arnold was also going on the trip I was completely sold.  I had never been on touring trip for a entire week, especially not one deep in helicopter-accessed mountains. 

As it snowed more and more throughout December my anticipation built.  At the start of January I flew to Vancouver to shred a couple days at Whistler Blackcomb before linking up with Korey Heatherington for the 8 hour drive to Golden.  After an eventful trip with car breakdowns and snowstorms, we all managed to get ourselves to the meeting point to fly into the lodge. 

Sunset outside of Golden, British Columbia at Icefall Lodge.

The flight in was awe-inspiring.  Gigantic peaks and expansive glaciers entranced us as we stared out the window of the heli.  After a short flight we touched down right in front of the three-story Icefall Lodge.  After unpacking Danny immediately crashed into his bed for some well deserved travel recovery while Korey and I did a little exploring and jump building.  The first thing that struck us was the absolute enormity of the terrain around Icefall. 

Nestled between avalanche paths at 6000 feet, Icefall Lodge offers easy access to both alpine and tree skiing.  There is terrain to please anyone from the hardcore mountaineer to the mellow tree skier.  The added benefit of this wide range of terrain is there are places to ski no matter how dangerous the avalanche conditions become.  The lodge itself is a paradise despite being so far from civilization.  We had three delicious meals a day prepared by our personal chef, Mat.  From salmon and steak to mousse and carrot cake, the food was top notch.  There is even a sauna and showers to relax after a long day.  Lacking plumbing, the showers are repurposed watering pails and there are two outhouses that can also be used as backyard jumps.

Popping and pooping at Icefall Lodge, Golden BC.    

In addition there is even a climbing route on the ceiling of the second floor and yoga mats to stretch out sore muscles.  It is the coziest spot in which I have ever stayed surrounded by the most epic mountains I have ever witnessed.

Serene, starry sky at Icefall Lodge.

Snow conditions and weather are the ultimate dictators of terrain choice and when we arrived the avalanche danger was considerable.  The snow skied great but about a foot down there was an intensely weak layer that sheared very easily and made us reluctant to venture out of the trees.  This was compounded on day two when a storm started puking powder on the lodge. 

We were able to find some great pillows and cliffs in the trees but even some of these were dangerous as the pillows would break immediately and if you didn’t stomp the landing you could be crushed by a pillow falling behind you.  We got a lot of practice in risk evaluation and management, and unfortunately we had to back off of our goals to ski big lines in the alpine but we did manage to to pillage the deep snow in the trees.  In terrain so immense and remote even a small injury can be dangerous so we played it safe. 

Icefall Lodge offers some sick terrain.

The next day we awoke to clear skies and immediately headed into the alpine bowl above the lodge.  We only made it to the first ridge before the an incoming storm and unstable snow conditions forced us to turn around.  You can’t fight the snow Gods, so we got creative with what we had and built a veritable terrain park around the lodge.  Jumps off both the outhouses combined with a pillow transfer jump kept us entertained while the snow kept falling.  Our decision to turn back from the alpine turned out to be a good one as we heard multiple huge avalanches from the lodge, two of which were right next to the zone we had been in. 

The sun finally pops through at Icefall Lodge.

The snow, however, treated us to some extremely deep runs through the mellow trees below the lodge.  The fluff continued to fall and the stability didn’t improve the next day so we had to get extra imaginative.  We adapted our pillow gap into two separate jumps and practiced our timing in order to get a perfectly simultaneous two man jump shot.  It took a few tries but we nailed it on our third attempt. 

Timing double jumps at Icefall Lodge, Golden, BC.

To celebrate we took a pow lap and did some backflips.  Unfortunately Korey managed to find the only skin track in the landing, with his ribs, and put himself out of commission for the last day.  Although the weak layers were beginning to heal we were uneasy venturing up into the alpine one man short.  Instead we followed the other two guests at the lodge, Tom and Chino, to some of their favorite runs for some great POV pillow popping. 

Popping pillows at Icefall Lodge.

We were exhausted after a week of touring through deep snow, so the Icefall Lodge sauna was much appreciated and we slept like rocks.  The next morning we woke early to pack and clean with a sense of nostalgia.  The week truly flew by. None of us could believe it was over and we still can’t wait for our next trip back to the majestic Icefall Lodge.

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Advance Ski Movie

While filming the Advance ski movie, we spent the last season chasing snow with friends in both the backcountry and the streets. We had some deep days cat skiing with our friends at Fernie Wilderness Adventures, where the snow always seems to hit for us.  Our time at Grand Targhee was great as well, but we weren’t as lucky on the weather. Other legs of the trip while filming included street skiing in Sweden and Russia, along with a bunch of other great spots across the Western states. Hit play, sit back, and enjoy the Advance ski movie, featuring skiers Mike King, Sandy Boville, Chris McKeever, Tobias Sedlacek, Erik Pousette, Sakarias Majander, Leo Bjorklund, Douglas Kallsbo, Ian Hamilton, Danny Arnold, Sam Zahner, Jake Fagrelius, and Tanner Berg. We hope you enjoy watching ‘Advance’ as much as we did filming it.

Advance Ski Movie Locations

  • British Columbia
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • More….

Advance Ski Movie - Targhee

Summer Reinvigoration – Recovering after a brutal ski crash

My 2014/2015 season ended on April 10th, on the third jump of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Tour Finals Slopestyle Course on Blackcomb British Columbia.  It was ended by wet snow, a slow takeoff, and a brutal ski crash.

Halfway through my Doublecork 1260, I spotted my landing and knew I wasn’t going to reach it.  I opened up out of my rotation and landed on my left hip, side, and outstretched arm on the knuckle of the 75 foot jump.  I bounced and slid to a stop in the landing as I tried and failed to shout for help due to the lack of air in my lungs.

After regaining my breath after this brutal ski crash, I was joined by my best friend, Dean Bercovitch, and then a ski patroller.  I was able to gently ski down off the course and then the worry began.  I was thoroughly in shock and the pain was growing the longer I waited.  The common thoughts floated through my head, “What have I done to my body?  Ligaments? Bones? Organs? Joints?”  I hurt all over and decided I was unable to ski to the lift, thus began the trip to the Whistler Clinic. The patroller was worried about my ribs, my spine, my knee, my shoulder, but most of all my spleen.  I had growing pain in my upper chest which he informed me is a sign of a ruptured spleen.  So it was into the toboggan and down to the lift, followed by two lift rides to the village, a taxi ride to the clinic, a 15 minute wait, a chest X-Ray, an Ultrasound, and a urine analysis.  Over these hours a growing worry vied with a growing relief pending the results of the tests and the prognosis of my injuries from the Doctor.

After a couple hours in the hospital with my friends Dean and Bobby the doctor gave us the results of this brutal ski crash.  None of my organs were ruptured, but the urine analysis had traces of blood which indicated that my spleen and possibly one of my kidneys were bruised.  My knee was stable, my ligaments were all intact but my muscles and bone on the inside of my knee were bruised.  My left hip was similarly bone bruised.  My shoulder was alright.  My AC joint and rotator cuff weren’t damaged, I had simply severely bruised and strained my shoulder muscles.  My ribs were intact as was my spine.  All in all the doctor said he wasn’t overly concerned with anything but the bruised organs, which could rupture if they sustained any further trauma. So I was sent back to the hotel without any life or career threatening injuries, just a thoroughly traumatized body.  I have never been so sore in so many places.

The simple act of moving was a difficult dance of pain avoidance and the return drive to Montana was long and rough. Once back at home I was able to start the journey of recovery in full.  Ice baths, hot tubs, stretching, massages, and the occasional doctors visit filled my days.  I slowly improved as my muscles relented and the bruises faded from my bones and organs.  Slowly and gently I began to return to the activities for which my mind and body yearned. This is the most challenging, but rewarding aspect of the recovery process.

Recovering from a brutal ski crash takes patience. Having the patience and foresight to rest long enough, then relearning and remembering the movements which before were so natural before.  Golf was the first passion to which I returned.  The golf swing is a precise and flowing thing, and my doctor, Robert Amrine, believed it would actually be beneficial for my shoulder and back muscles to be stretched and moved. I started with just putting, then chipping, then the driving range, and finally a full round.  It is amazing how restless and pent up the body becomes after a month of inactivity and soreness.  The simple act of walking on grass, swinging a metal stick and hitting a little white ball relieved a a small, annoying black cloud of stress that had been hiding over my head for a month.

UMgolf

For me, the worst part about an injury is the period of time for which I am unable to do the activities I love. I always have a renewed energy for sports and the outdoors after having been denied them.

In a way, an injury has the bonus of giving you a different view on the life you live and the activities you enjoy.  It emphasizes how much the things we take for granted must be cherished because our ability to do them will not last forever.  My passion for using my body to interact with the world in a creative way is stronger than ever.

It is with this passion that I headed for Woodward at Copper.  I stopped halfway in Salt Lake for the night and 18 beautiful holes of golf the next morning before finishing the drive to Copper.

golf UT vista

I drove by the massive buttes and rock walls of Colorado and Utah as the sun set and pulled into the EDGE parking lot around 10.  I met up with my good friend and Revision Filmer, Mike Kvackay, before passing out for the night.  The next morning was my first real look into the world of Woodward.  Breakfast was great and it was gorgeous weather outside. We met up with the rest of the Revision crew in the lobby; Sandy Boville, Tanner Berg, and Chris McKeever, and hopped in the van to roll up to the main park.  The first couple laps are always the best when the snow is still cold and fast and it was a blast to have snow back under my feet.

The jump line was super fun to warm up on and start getting some tricks back. Especially one of my favorites, Switch Misty 9 Truckdriver:

woodward truck

 

The rail line was fun too, with some sweet down bars, a down-flat-down, a transfer rail, and a tube-spine.

woodward dfd

 

The mornings are great at Copper because you ski hard from 9-12 then get a break for a delicious lunch before deciding whether to ski more at one of two parks or have a blast doing some other activities in the Barn or at the Cage.  The other great thing about Colorado is the plethora of epic outdoors activities readily available.  Tanner Berg and I opted for a hike and found an epic CO mountain lake composed of direct snowmelt runoff, making it perfect for a short ice bath of the ankles.

COlake

 

The next day, we had a blast doing a Revision Skis Quarterpipe session on the side of the last table.  Many face-masks and stickers were distributed and much fun was had by all.  Campers and Revision skiers alike were throwing down surfs, stalls, and airs.

woodwarddubtip

The last day, we sponsored an afternoon activity, the “Ninja Challenge”, an obstacle course of our own design in the barn.  We utilized the pits, mats, wedges and foam blocks to create a challenging course and gave a pair of skis away to the fastest time.  Much fun was had by all.


Here is a camper demonstrating perfect diving form into the foam pit. Video Cred: McRae

 

 

Overall, Woodward at Copper was an awesome way to spend a week of summer.  Great crew of people, good vibes, good food, and two fun parks.  After a week at Woodward I feel super confident heading down to Chile in a couple days to film with the Poor Boyz Productions crew for the Undiscovered Project.  Keep your eyes peeled for some fresh content from down south!!

 

Just dropped: The first summer camp video of the season.Watch as Revision Skis athletes Sandy Boville, Ian Hamilton, Chris McKeever and Tanner Berg invade Woodward Copper.Video by Mike Kvackay.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153126201664877

Posted by Freeskier Magazine on Friday, June 12, 2015

 

Woodward Copper Photos

Revision Skis week at Woodward Copper went way too fast.  Luckily Chip Proulx was onsite to capture the action.  Thanks to Chip, we have a stack of excellent Woodward Copper photos to look back on and remember a great week at camp.  We are excited to go back again in the future and hope you enjoy looking back on our time at camp through the following Woodward Copper photos.

 


Woodward Copper Photos - Ian Hamilton

 

Woodward Copper Photos - The Salt Man

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Woodward Copper Photos - Revision Stickers Woodward Copper Photos - Sandy Boville

Woodward Copper Photos Chris McKeever

 

Chris McKeever Surfing Woodward Copper Photos

 

Ian Hamilton Revision Skis

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Chris McKeever Tanner Berg Sandy Boville

If you enjoyed these Woodward Copper photos and want to learn more about ski camps, visit: http://www.woodwardcopper.com/.

Typical days at Woodward Copper summer ski camp include skiing on snow at Copper’s summer version of the Central terrain park in the AM, Barn sessions in the afternoon and evening, and many additional recreational activities including skateboarding, rock climbing, hiking, music, and more. Campers live and eat at Copper’s Edge building, which is located right next to the slopes and right down the road from the Barn. The Woodward Copper Barn was recently renovated, opening the door far beyond skis and snowboards to now include skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bike . The synthetic snow surfaces were replaced with a surface compatible with wheels. New additions include a new beginner foam pit with appropriately sized jumps and a pump track designed for honing your skills.

Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week

Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week

Well, it has been one hell of a week at summer camp! We had the pleasure of hanging out with a solid crew of stoked campers both on and off the snow. The park setup was prime and it was great to have such excellent snow in Colorado in June. We made a lot of new friends while skiing at Woodward Copper Revision Skis week and can’t wait to ski with them again in the future. During our off time, we took advantage of the skate park and the barn.  If you enjoy skating, you will have a great time in the skate park, which is loaded with sick features.  Also, the trampolines and dry slope/foam pit in the barn was a great way to practice new tricks that we were looking to bring to snow.  Whether we were on-snow, at the skate park, or kicking it in the Barn, the setup was prime and we made a bunch of new friends. Revision Skis Week came and went way too fast for our crew of Sandy Boville, Chris McKeever, Ian Hamilton, and Tanner Berg. We hope you enjoy this video that Mike Kvackay put together from our time at Woodward Copper.  We had a great time at camp and hope that comes through in the video.

We are looking forward to future Woodward Copper Revision Skis weeks, so please reach out to us and let us know if you will be attending too.  It’s a great way to meet and ski with like minded individuals while learning new tricks. Skiing a prime Colorado park setup in the middle of the summer is a great way to break up the offseason and be ready for the following winter.

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Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week - Chris McKeever

 

Catskiing Canada with Fernie Wilderness Adventures

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Catskiing Canada

After a few months of somewhat hit or miss conditions here in the states, we were ready to go catskiing in Canada. The Trimmings crew along with the Revision Skis crew packed up and rallied north to go to the Canadian promise land. As we pulled up to the lodge at Fernie Wilderness Adventures (FWA), the snow had been hammering down all afternoon and we knew instantly that we would not be disappointed. Located in the northern Rockies, Fernie Wilderness Adventures’ catskiing Canada paradise has over 5,000 acres of gladed meadows, pristine pillow fields, and endless tree skiing. Serviced by two large passenger snowcats, and a handful of the happiest employees I’ve ever met, we knew we were in the right place. After day one, the common phrase repeated by everyone on the trip became, “I’ve never experienced that before!” Whether we were describing the bottomless powder, the amazing terrain, or the guides who couldn’t have been more accommodating, FWA had literally everything we could have asked for. Each day began with a delicious hot breakfast cooked by the staff before we piled into the snowcat and headed straight up to 7000 ft. Our options seemed endless plowing up and over knife ridges through blower pow as we hung our heads out the cab windows in anticipation of our next run choked with the lightest snow any of us have ever experienced. Each day was concluded with countless high-fives, a huge feast, and a soak in the wood-fired hot tub complimented by a few ice cold beers. After four days of living the life of luxury, reluctantly, it was time to part ways and return to our own lives. It goes without saying that we will, without a doubt, be returning next season to pick up where we left off! Thanks again to the entire staff at FWA for showing us the goods! Words by Jake Fagrelius.

Early Season in the Park with Revision Skis

We have spent the last few weeks getting our ski legs back, cruising the parks of Summit County, and having an all-around good time with our crew.  With the bulk of the ski season in front of us, it’s an exciting time of the year to be hitting the slopes with our friends.

“I hadn’t been on snow for six months while I was finishing up my International Business degree, so my days in Colorado were my first of the season. It was the best escape from school and I felt right at home as soon as the camera came out. Getting back on my skis was the same feeling as putting on a pair of perfectly broken in shoes that you haven’t worn in a long time. A Thanksgiving spent skiing and celebrating among friends was an amazing way to start the season,” said a stoked Ian Hamilton.

Sandy Boville shared, “Colorado in the beginning of the season is always a good time. Multiple mountains and great early season parks provide tons of variety. We’ve had a few snow days, allowing for some high speed shralping down the mountain. I’ve been skiing the 181 Talisman for all mountain riding as it gives me a bit more ski underfoot. The 176 is a blast in the park with a buttery nose to flex and a stiffer tail for stomping landings. The short size allows me to be a little more snappy. I know people will see how fun the Talisman is after watching everyone rip it.”

“Early season in Summit County is pretty good for riding some good old fashion park, especially when there’s not much snow elsewhere yet.  Getting your feet back under you is easy because of how perfect Breck’s early season jumps are. Good times lapping with the boys,” explained Chris McKeever.

Danny Arnold told us, “I had a great time riding with my friends on my days off between working at Fun For you Snowmobile Rentals, and doing my Outdoor Recreation Leadership Degree at CMC. It was great to film a little with the Revision boys and get some early season park laps in. Pray for Pow!”

“Filming my friends and riding two of the best early season parks in the country has been a blast. Armed with my new camera and a ton of creative, talented skiers, my work was cut out for me.  After shooting for just five short days mixing in sunshine, snow and clouds, I was able to get a ton of shots and make a killer video. I am super stoked on our crew and can’t wait for the season to unfold,” explained Revision Skis filmer Mike Kvackay.

We hope you enjoy this video of the highlights of our early season riding the Revision Skis Talisman in the park with Sandy Boville, Ian Hamilton, Sam Zahner, Chris McKeever, Ty Wellman, Danny Arnold, Tanner Berg and filmer Mike Kvackay. From here, we will be following the snow into the backcountry and streets for the remainder of the season.  See you on the slopes!

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