Life or Death: Snowboarding through Avalanche Chutes – Abe Blair

August 28, 2017

“I felt more like I was swimming a class-5 rapid than I was snowboarding in Alaska.”

Abe Blair is the contracted photographer for a nine day Patagonia Clothing shoot with professional snowboarders in the AK backcountry. The backdrop is stunning, the peaks jagged, and the powder’s fresh. With everything going so well, something’s gotta give. Day 8 is CRAZY. You’ve gotta hear it!

Show notes:

4:50 “I received my first camera from my Grandma when she passed away.”

7:25 “This thing called “PhotoShop” came out.”

8:00 “Shattered my skull with a bunch of friends (while) jumping a go-cart…Lost all movement in the left side of my face.”

9:55 “Realized I had a choice…Chose to push myself, everyday.”

10:45 “I couldn’t accept not being able to do the things that I did.”

13:30 “We partnered to then create a business at a snowboard camp, photographing the campers.”

15:30 “Crashing on the same floors & couches as the now editors.”

18:00 Adventure Story: Patagonia Clothing photoshoot. We were given an unlimited budget and a helicopter to use for nine days.”

19:29 “Ed Shanley, our guide – who now guides trips for Jeremy Jones. Josh Dierkson, Rylan Bell and Alex Yoder.”

24:00 “No human’s ever been down that particular aspect.”

26:30 “Number one concern is avalanche or stuff. Equally as dangerous.”

28:15 “I decided to take a different run. Hooked my edge on a chunk of ice…Trying to push myself free, my stuff hit me.

29:00 “At that point, I felt more like I was swimming in a class V rapids, rather than snowboarding in Alaska…”

31:30 “Thinking of my pregnant wife, and our (unborn child) thinking, really – this is it?”

32:00 Avalanche Bag

33:00 “Very confident pilot that day…Said he could land on top…Just as he was setting the pads down, our guide radios over, you might want to look out for that cornice.”

36:00 “Nudge to the edge and see the steepest run of my life.”

38:00 “The best shot nestled between 2 knife-edge spines.”

39:14 “Ed, I can’t do this.”

40:15 “Lack of edge contact…Planning my pin-ball route…Lack of confidence.”

43:00 “I don’t recall breathing.”

45:30 Life lesson: “Always choose the harder, higher road.”


51:45 Black Diamond Avalanche Bag with JetForce Technology

52:00 Patagonia Merino

53:00 Jones Snowboards

55:00 Smith goggles

56:00 IQ3 Phase One

61:00 Eadington Gallery

61:30 Abe Blair Fine Art Gallery



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