evo Team Update: Collin Collins Is Shredding It

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Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull Media

 

evo Team Update: Collin Collins

Collin stopped by evo this week to hang out, eat a massively giant burrito (look for that video in a few weeks) and give us an update on his travels to his home town in Sun Valley, filming with K2 Skis, the Red Bull Cold Rush and a bunch of other cool spots around North America. Here is Collin, in his own words:

By: Collin Collins

After a slow start to one of the roughest ski seasons I’ve ever experienced, the last couple months finally delivered the goods, and recently I’ve felt a midst the best skiing opportunities of my life. The reason for the slow start was a general lack of precipitation everywhere in the lower 48, which left me hungry for powder and my usual routine of exploring the backcountry, building jumps, etc.

HOME TO SUN VALLEY

Collin Collins, Andy Mahre, Lexi DuPont, sun valley
Sun Valley Backcountry w/ Collin Collins, Andy Mahre & Lexi DuPont

Things started to pick up speed mid February with a K2 team trip to my hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho.  Several of us, including superstar and fellow evo teammate Andy Mahre spent a week touring the surrounding backcountry, filming for some K2 webisodes, shooting photos, and learning backcountry safety and travel tips from the best.  That was the first dose of decent powder and backcountry I experienced all season, it felt great and was very productive. Be sure to look for various webisodes coming from K2 early next season.

Shortly after that, I hit the road to Silverton, Colorado for the coveted Red Bull Cold Rush. This was my second year being privileged enough to get the invite. Cold Rush is the utmost display of backcountry and big mountain skiing in a competition setting.  It is always an honor and needless to say, overwhelming, to ski next to the likes of Pep Fujas, Sage Cattabriga, Sean Pettit, Dane Tudor, etc.  These are guys I’ve looked up to for years and I still can’t believe I get to compete against them in the ultimate freeskiing event.

RED BULL COLD RUSH

Red Bull Cold Rush, Collin Collins
Collin Collins in action jumping the Castle at Red Bull Cold Rush. Photo: Eric Seo

This year we were also joined by evo team shredders Andy Mahre and the always hilarious Dash Longe. The conditions this year were less than perfect, but we all made the best of it and I had a great time.  Variable snow conditions kept everyone on their toes, but also made for some more reserved skiing than the event has seen in the past.  The slopestyle, which is my favorite venue and the area I feel is my time to shine, had some gnarly wind affected landings that were rock hard.  Most guys kept it conservative on the tricks, and those who stayed on their feet the whole time were rewarded accordingly.  I personally felt confident in my jump skills and tried some of the more difficult tricks of the day, but unfortunately the landings got the best of me and I did some nice tomahawks.  Dash and Andy both killed it in the Big Mountain, skiing 2 of the best lines of the day.  In the end we all watch video and judge each other, which makes the event really special and probably the most “fair” results in any competition.  Dane Tudor came out victorious, which was well deserved. Congratulations Dane!

 MT. BAKER

Collin Collins, Mt. Baker, ski jump
Building a cheese wedge at Mt. Baker getting ready to go big!

I stopped briefly back in Utah where conditions were very spring-like, and I felt an urgency to get out of there and hunt for more powder.  So I hitthe road again, this time for Washington and legendary Mt. Baker.  This would prove to be a very good decision, as I found Baker right in the middle of a massive storm cycle. The week that followed was some of the best, deepest, powder shredding on some of the most fun terrain I’ve ever skied.  We bashed pillows and got faceshots in-bounds, and venture out of the ropes to build a couple nice jumps and session one particular massive cornice that I would end up hitting 27 times over the course of 3 days… they might want to think about renaming that “Collin’s Cornice” haha.  The whole week I was filming with Ross from K2, and we logged quite a lot of epic footage, so be on the lookout for a quality webisode from K2 highlighting that trip.  Definitely one of the most productive ski trips I’ve ver been on. Happy I could catch the area with such perfect timing.

BACK HOME TO SUN VALLEY

From there I drove to my homeland, Idaho. For years, I’ve been trying to get up to Smith Optics private zone outside of Smiley Creek where they film the backcountry series “Prospecting Idaho,” and this year things finally came together for me.

Sun Valley, Mine Shaft, Collin Collins, Smiley Creek
At the infamous Mine Shaft jump site in Smiley Creek.

This area is right in my backyard, and since seeing it in Robot Food snowboard movies growing up, I’ve dreamed of being able to hit the legendary mine tailing jumps that litter this little Idaho gem.  Smith has a full operation going with a giant cabin and snowmobiles, and even a large yurt tucked back in the mountains, all used to bring in various Smith athletes and create a really unique webisode series.  I caught the tail end of the operation this year, being part of the final group to session the jumps before shutting it down for the season.  In only a few days, I helped build and hit several jumps, some large, some smaller, but all around an an amazing experience and super fun. Once again, another webisode series to keep your eyes peeled for, coming out early next season.

collin collins, evo, evo seattle
Collin filming some ski reviews at evo Seattle.

SEATTLE

That brings me to now, April! And I’m heading back out to Washington to link up with the best shop in the world, EVO! And do some more filming for K2.  I am really “living the dream” right now and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunities unfolding this season.  Hopefully it all leads to bigger and better things in the future.  Huge thanks to evofor their support, and all my other sponsors who continually have my back. It’s a blessing to wake up every morning and go skiing, it just keeps the smiles coming and hopefully the stoke is contagious!  Shred on, shredders.

 

-Collin

Thanks Collin! It sounds like you are having a pretty rad winter! Make sure you keep you eye for the edits from K2 this fall. Also, be on the look out for Collin reviewing skis  at evo and teaching you a couple tricks coming up soon!

–Are you following Collin yet? Find him on Twitter @collincollins and on check out some of his videos on Vimeo.

1. Heading into the Sun Valley Backcountry w/ Andy Mahre and Lexi DuPont]

[2. Scoping the big mountain venue at Cold Rush]

[3. Erik Seo’s view of a 7 blunt on “the castle” jump at Cold Rush slopestyle]

[4. Switch 5 on “the castle” Cold Rush slopestyle Photo Credit: Red Bull Media House]

 

[5. Stoked while scoping lines on the big mountain venue]

[6. At the infamous Mine Shaft jump site in Smiley Creek]

[7. Heading into the Baker storm with next years K2 Pettitors]

[8. Building a cheese wedge at Mt. Baker getting ready to go big!]

 

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