Uploaded by vice on Nov 18, 2011


BRYAN IGUCHI: Yeah, this has pretty much been my playground
for the past 15 years.
I starting renting snowmobiles down the road and looking for
rideable terrain.
So you think you were some of the first
snowboarders out here?
BRYAN IGUCHI: Um, pretty much, yeah.
So snowboarding in this area, for sure.
WILLIE MCMILLON: Growing up here in the backcountry, we
probably rode for seven, eight years without a transceiver,
without a probe, like even backpacks.
We just carried our board way out in the middle of nowhere.
I mean, we had no idea what we were doing.
I feel really safe going out in the backcountry with him.
He knows his shit, and it's just like, tell
me what to do, dude.
BRYAN IGUCHI: First I want to identify--
I'm trying to identify any weak layers in the snow pack.
So looking here, I see here's a layer.
I want to test this layer.
This is the new snow that we've had in
the last couple days.
And first let's check densities.
So this is the kind of layer I'm looking at right here.
I want to test that.
I'm going to do a compression tap test.
MIKE RANQUET: Bryan Iguchi definitely embodies or
epitomizes the Jackson Hole rider, in that in, I think,
probably the mid to late '90s, he just kind of disappeared
there without a plan, just went there to
get away to the mountains.
And that's one of the few places, I think, in the United
States where you can still do that without the kind of
Mickey Mouse hype of major ski areas.

So now I'm just isolating a column of snow.
And then cut the back.
So this is a free-standing block of snow.
I'm going to do a shovel tap test, look for any shears.

I got an immediate shear right here, an easy shear.
BJORN LEINES: Down about 8 inches?
BRYAN IGUCHI: Yeah, down--
I'd say down 20 centimeters.
Really soft, so I'm guessing [INAUDIBLE]
BRYAN IGUCHI: One, two, three, four.
WILLIE MCMILLON: I think a lot of the pros these days, a lot
of what I see is these kids growing up in the park, and
then they're like, wow, I'm making a lot of money.
I guess I gotta learn how to ride powder now.
Then they go out in the backcountry, and it's like,
they can't ride a sled.
They don't know how to dig a pit.
They probably can't even find a transceiver like
buried in the yard.
And it's like I think he's kind of the regulator of that.
Like if these crews come out, he's not going to let kids get
away with that.
He's going to make them find a peeps in his yard before he
takes them out.

BJORN LEINES: Solid underneath.
SHANE GRIMES: Were you counting your taps?
Found another layer.
This typically is more of a continental snow pack up here,
where we are.
It's more inner mountain, similar to Wasatch, down in
the Tetons.
But here, it's more like Colorado-style.
Gets colder, high elevation--
BJORN LEINES: Yeah, you get all that--
BRYAN IGUCHI: Not as much snow.

Well, I wouldn't want to be riding those
big lines over there.
Wouldn't want to be out on that, anything hanging, or

Hear that crust layer there?
WILLIE MCMILLON: A lot of times, like,
we're not into it.
We'll go out, and he'll be like, let's dig a pit.
And you're just like, dude, seriously?
And we'll dig like a nine-foot pit.
And then we're worked and we can't even like strap in.
But he's diligent about it.
BRYAN IGUCHI: OK, I'll get something that pops.
Same result.
BRYAN IGUCHI: See if I can-- this is such a delicate block.
Oh, I'm seeing surface layer here.
Or no, these are preserved stellars.
Dude, come here and look at this.
There's a storm interface, perfectly preserved.
BJORN LEINES: Look at how huge they are.
Those didn't get big--
BRYAN IGUCHI: They just melt right away.
Yeah, you see how they [INAUDIBLE].
So basically, it's a storm interface layer.
So there was as temperature change or whatever.
Little density change there.
BJORN LEINES: This is what you don't want.
One from the hand, and it's easy-style breaking off.
DAVE DOWNING: Uh, Jackson Hole, yeah.
I think it's always been kind of a rad place to snowboard.
A lot of old Faultline Films were filmed in Jackson Hole.
And then there's always cycles in snowboarding, like certain
places become popular, and then they kind of fade off.
One year it might be Colorado, one year it
might be Utah, Tahoe.
And right now, I think a lot of people are
going to Jackson Hole.
They're having a killer winter.
So a lot of people are going there.
KEVIN JONES: His progression is always a step ahead.
Pretty soon, I think it's going to be protocol--
that all these riders that are venturing into the backcountry
but they don't know things about the backcountry.
It's like, this white stuff that you love?
It can kill you.
Very easily on the wrong day.
And Guch, everybody he's around, it's like just having
him around makes the whole crew more aware of what's
going on around us.
This is a crystal screen and a loupe.
So it's a magnifying glass.
You just look to see what the snow crystals of the failure
surface is on.
It's definitely some old surface hoar.
TRAVIS RICE: It's one thing if you're just going out and
riding and having fun.
But if you're trying to shoot with photographers or film,
man, it's a whole other dynamic.
You've got to time things right with what time of day
you should be at certain places.
Snow's bad here, you should try here--
all the different zones that surround this
area here in Jackson.
And for me, for like two years, it was amazing, being
lucky enough to ride here locally with a guy like Guch,
who had put in a bunch years all by himself, basically
trying figure it out for himself.
KEVIN JONES: Safety is huge, you know?
I mean, he's watched one of his friends die, right in
front of his eyes, when Tristan died that same year
Craig Kelly died and Jeff Anderson died.
It was like, holy shit.
I guess it all of a sudden isn't
happening to other people.
It's people within our--
this really hitting home now.

BRYAN IGUCHI: It's a lot more reactive here than it is in
the Tetons.
BRYAN IGUCHI: Yeah, it's all the changes in weather.
I mean, that's a really firm block of snow.

SHANE GRIMES: So that was like a couple storms ago, a real
heavy, wet one?
BRYAN IGUCHI: And you see all that?
It's just like facets like sugar.
And so you could step down further down.
It's definitely not a good-looking snow pack.
I wouldn't want to go on anything too big, or anything
with a high consequence.
I feel good about the small landings, jumps and things
we've been doing, but I wouldn't want to ride
too many big lines.
I wouldn't want to ride any big lines.
Like I wouldn't go in there, right now.
PAT BRIDGES: A lot of people say, like, why doesn't
snowboard media focus as much attention on the pedigree of
the sport, or what the legends are doing now, or guys who are
40 years old and "pro," still, and stuff.
Well, the guys who are 40 and pro still don't ride like Guch
does, or as much as Guch does.
Or they've stopped progressing or evolving themselves.
He never stopped.
BRYAN IGUCHI: So we're gonna hit some small jumps or jumps
with protected landings.
SHANE GRIMES: Try to keep it safe.
BRYAN IGUCHI: Try, yeah.
PAT BRIDGES: It just so happens, you know, because of
his stoke on riding, he's gone from riding in Jackson Hole
with guys like Lance Pitman and Willie McMillon to riding
with the next generations of Jackson riders, like the Rices
and Mark Carters, to ride in the next generation or Jackson
Hole riders.
And that's just because he's in the rev line, and he's
riding every day.
BILLY ANDERSON: He's just dedicated.
And I think that that's kind of got him to where he is, is
he loves snowboarding.
And I think he was really committed, coming from like a
pretty hard core skate and surf background in Los
Angeles, and taking that to this snow.
He kind of had like--
not a chip on his shoulder, but he was tough and focused.
BRYAN IGUCHI: Well, for a few years now, I've just start
taking some more advanced avalanche courses.
I did my level one in Canada.
It's a professional operations class.
I try to get my head wrapped around more the
science part of it.
You know, like you get experience in the mountains
and you kind of get a feeling for what's going on, and make
decisions on what you see in the past.
And you kind of get an idea of what signs to look out for.
But this is more--
I'm on more of a mission now to quantify what
I'm seeing and why.
So I'm getting more into the, you know, looking at the
structure of the snow pack and looking at the more scientific
part of it.