Photo Essay

Temple Cummins and Alex Lopez

You Can’t Capture That: Temple Cummins, Alex Lopez and a Winter in Washington

Early season at Mt. Baker, WA, can be magic. On a good year, like 2017-18 and its 844 inches of snowfall, the terrain changes rapidly as each passing storm stacks into pillows and fills in billy-goat lines. Short days and a low-hanging sun preserve the crystalline blanket as it deepens by the day. And this year, Alex Lopez learned all about early season at Mt. Baker from one of the more knowledgeable Washingtonians around: Temple Cummins.

Alex, who’s from Bend, OR, usually spends the bulk of his season at home, with a few trips to chase powder in places like Japan and interior British Columbia. But in December 2017, he joined Temple in northwest Washington state. Those early days of winter had him hooked—he remained in Washington for much of the year, bouncing between Baker and Temple’s Olympic Peninsula home below Hurricane Ridge. It was a loose mentorship, with Temple schooling Alex on the intricacies of Baker and beyond with a follow-my-track curriculum. 

Temple and Alex make a symbiotic pair on the mountain. Alex shares some of Temple’s fluid style, along with a quiet-yet-mischievous demeanor to match. Both ride fast, but Alex is more inclined to stop to line up an air and maybe grab his board. Temple rides as if he’s barely there, with an ultra-smooth fall-line approach that’s hard to capture. At Baker, it’s a momentum game of full-speed top-to-bottom flow; hovering through the trees, adjusting on the fly when necessary. Alex learned that. He hooked into that upper-left mindset and stayed the course as the mountains transformed in front of his eyes and under his feet. Late in the spring, they found a quiet spot in the trees and sat to talk story…

Buy issue

Subscribe to start your collection of The Snowboarder’s Journal.


The Snowboarder's Journal mailing list

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.