Will Wesson's Summer Road Trip
For pro skier Will Wesson, late-season park skiing is an annual tradition. "Every spring for the last eight years, I've packed my bags, called up friends and set out in search of melting snow," Wesson says. "While most western resorts close in mid-April, I always plan around the few spots known for maintaining quality parks well into summer. This usually means a California road trip, and this year was no exception." The photos and words that follow are his road trip up the West Coast in search of snow.
On one of the last days of the winter season, Khai Krepela and I went to Northstar to try and conquer this 80-foot circle rail. It was one of the most unique and challenging rail setups I've ever seen in a public park.
Woodward Tahoe, Calif.
The Lake Tahoe area is notorious for its spring sun, but every now and then a storm will come through. A few friends and I escaped the snow, wind and rain in Woodward Tahoe for a day. In this photo, Sawyer Deen boosts on the resi ramp.
Squaw Valley, Calif.
This year was a below-average year for Squaw Valley and Tahoe resorts in general, but closing day at Squaw was still awesome. The upper mountain had plenty of snow and I snapped this photo on my way out of town. Next stop: Mammoth.
Mammoth's park in late April this year was all-time good. Perfect sunny weather, warm temperatures and loads of features. In this photo, Marcos Lagoria hits the largest six-kink rail I've ever seen in a park.
Death Valley, Calif.
After Mammoth, I drove south for a couple of hours to Death Valley National Park and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. It was a relatively mild afternoon by Death Valley standards, climbing only to 106 degrees. I'd originally planned on camping in the park, but it was so hot that I decided to get out as fast as possible.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Calif.
Next, I picked up my friend and fellow skier Niklas Eriksson in Los Angeles and we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping to check out beaches and state parks. After visiting friends and family in Santa Barbara and the Bay Area, we continued north toward Mt. Hood, Ore.
Newberry Nat'l Volcanic Monument, Ore.
On the way to Mt. Hood, we explored a mile-long lava tube at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, just south of Bend, Ore. If you ever check this place out, I recommend renting a lantern. We figured we could get by with cell phone flashlights and almost got stuck in the dark.
Mt. Hood, Ore.
After over 1,000 miles on the road from L.A. to Hood, Niklas and I rolled into Windells Camp for the 7th Annual West Coast Session. In this photo, Rob Heule tests out the big jump with a smooth cork 3. A week of sun, slush and filming was over before we knew it and the road trip continued north.
Our next destination was north of the border for Level 1 Productions' last shoot of the year at Whistler Blackcomb. Unfortunately we spent most of the time in Whistler waiting out snow, rain and clouds, but still managed to sneak in a couple solid sunset shoots. In this photo, Nick Miles hits the second jump of two.