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Freq Week 2015: A Decade of Positive Vibrations

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From the top of Mt Grohman, one can see a good chunk of Baldface Lodge’s 32,000-acre tenure. Ridges roll in every direction from its 7,000-foot summit, steepening through the trees, past the ladders and 45-degree face of Supernatural, to Baldface Peak and the burn in the north zone. It’s an expanisve view of the seemingly endless glades and pillows for which the lodge is famous. And off the backside, a steep face of fins rolls into the trees, a line that Craig Kelly pioneered over a decade ago, one of many that Craig rode before anyone else.

Indeed, Baldface holds a revered position near the heart of snowboard folklore for good reason. It’s one of the few cat operations started and run by snowboarders. This showed in our group atop Grohman—tail guide Kevin Sansalone, himself a snowboard legend, had kicked steep steps to a high point between a pair of cornices, before lead guide Joaquin Klein put in the final bootpack up a ridge to the peak. Present were K2 Snowboarding’s Manager Maxx Von Marbod, Mike Fox of Adidas Snowboarding, Airblaster’s Eric Wallis, frequency TSJ subscribers Patrick McQueen, Jason Bushey and Martin Watterson and, of course, the core group from the frequency TSJ office alongside a couple more friends such as Kim Eckert, who jumped a last minute flight to join us. We were atop the highest peak at Baldface to shake off the cobwebs of a trying season for many, to find a bit of soft snow down to the comfort of a waiting snowcat. Prayer flags fluttered from stunted Douglas Fir, sending positive vibrations to snowboard-kind writ large.

Below, another cat full of comrades from Dragon Alliance plied the slope rider’s right, while a contingent from Loaded Boards hunted for turns further afield. One by one we dropped, slashing windblown pockets of powder, a moment alone in the mountains yet surrounded by lifelong friends.

It was the first day of the Tenth Annual Freq Week at Baldface Lodge—a tradition that began and remains in memory of Craig Kelly, a close friend of frequency TSJ Publisher Jeff Galbraith and founding partner at Baldface. It signified a decade-plus of revelry and growth for both Baldface and frequency TSJ. And it was a trip that ran deeper than snowfall totals—a celebration of snowboarding as a lifelong pursuit, a gathering of those who have dedicated their lives to that incomparable vibe.

Two days later, we would celebrate Craig’s birthday through turns and toasts, and a party fully engaged. But each moment held its own significance, from turn to turn to up time and down time. It was a reminder why we meet in the mountains day after day, winter after winter—of a bond that now spans generations, of too many memorable moments to count. Freq Week X was another spike in the pulse of my own personal snowboard history as it was for all in attendance, reverberating out through those gathered on this, one of many trips to Baldface over the 2014-15 season, all undoubtedly special to those lucky enough to find their way to this special place in the heart of the Kootenay Mountains. Because Baldface, really, reminds us of both our roots and our future—of snowboarding as a life force, flowing ever forward with the memory of Craig held high.

A huge thank you to JP, Stella, Joaquin and Kevin, to the subscribers, friends and family in attendance for another unforgettable celebration of snowboard culture. It was a reminder that we, as snowboarders, are brought together by the simple act of sideways flow and build a bond that is so much more—a community of positive vibrations unlike any other that continues to build strength, with whichever foot forward that you may choose.

Check the #freqweekX feed on Instagram for more imagery.

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