On The Road with Nate Abbott: Cruising the Wasatch with Orage
Crew checking out the jib-ability of this wall. p. Nate Abbott
The word of the day is conglomeration, which is a noun that means a bunch of things that is put together to form one bigger entity but still maintain their own unique characteristics. Or something like that. The two conglomerations I dealt with last week were the Orage ski team — for my week with them consisted of Kaya Turski, Phil Casabon, Matt Margetts, Banks Gilberti, Taylor Seaton, McRae Williams, Anais Caradeux, and Chris Logan — and the greater Salt Lake City snow shred mecca — which we sampled from jumps at the Canyons, the skate park in Park City, powder skiing at Brighton, powder jibbing in both Little and Big Cottonwood canyons and some downtown jibbing in Sandy.
The Orage team certainly has variety spanning skills from style and unique outlook on skiing of Casabon to park slayers like Turski and Logan to all-arounders Gilberti and Williams to pipe jocks (who all also were comfortable chucking themselves of big cliffs) Margetts, Seaton and Caradeux. All piled into a sweet crib in Sandy, UT we spent the week sampling the quickest of highlights of the aforementioned SLC snow scene.
Day one we tried to take advantage of sunny weather by hitting up the Canyons and riding what is quickly becoming one of the best parks in the country. Unfortunately the high pressure that brought out the sun also brought winds, so we headed into Park City and set up a couple of jibs in the skate park which is filled with snow. As the snow rolled in that night, we planned an early attack on Brighton the next morning. More than a foot of fresh snow greeted us and we spent all day spinning laps on Brighton's pillows and cliffs — highlights including Margetts' cork 3 off a cool cliff, Seaton's huge send to flat and Caradeux's first ever cliff drop (how is that possible??? She's from the Alps).
Chris Logan possibly misjudged the speed on this Brighton cliff. p. Nate Abbott
And what would you do after a long day skiing powder? Well, Casabon, McRae and Logan took us to a closeout rail with and opposite transition landing. We spent the next 12 hours either at the rail building the tranny, getting food or shooting. 5 am came very fast, but with shots in the bag no one complains too much about an 18 hour day.
After the long day, we spent our next day in a bit of a haze. But Gilberti and Margetts took off for Little Cottonwood Canyon. After hiking around enough to decide that the snow wasn't worthy of jump building they found a cool wall ride to drop. We went back after dark and hit it enough times to get a shot, but unfortunately got shut down by security before the big tricks came out — such is life.
With the snow falling again, our Saturday turned into another couple of missions. Bank Gilberti put in some work at a worksite up BCC — getting some Magazine shots in the process. Then the whole crew went back up to Park City to session another rail with Turski, Casabon, Logan and Williams all getting shots. Another two feet of fresh fell overnight, and the crew dispersed to either shred pow, slide a rail or head off on their next adventure. All-in-all, a week of success.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.