The leaves have changed color, and the nights have turned frosty. As a skier, this is an exciting time of year. Once those things start to happen that only means one thing; Mother Nature’s next step is snow. Snow! Beautiful, white, frozen water that coats the mountains, forests and planes with a nice soft white blanket of fun. That’s just it, snow equals fun. And it all comes from tiny flakes falling from the sky. Nature’s gift has allowed an entire culture of people to arise, dedicating themselves to the single action of sliding down or across snow on a pair of skis or a board.

I always grew up in the mountains and I was always a part of this annual “change of seasons.” My family used to have a bet regarding who could predict the first accumulation of snow of the year on our deck. The morning after the first snowfall was always so fun—making plans with my friends to go ski in someone’s backyard that afternoon or dreaming of the bigger storms to come and hoping that the winter will be huge.

And this year so far has started with a bang. My first snowfall of the season was on October 5, 2012 while up in Canmore, Alberta. I woke up to a silent snowfall outside of my place, changing the mossy green landscape to white. Luckily, I had my GoPro camera charged and ready, so I was able to capture the transformation.

My next shot of winter was the real deal and happened at my home in Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California. After attending the world premier of “Flow State”, this years Warren Miller movie that I was in, I booked it across Nevada and arrived in Tahoe just as the storm was starting. The wind was howling, the leaves were all blowing every which way and the barometer was dropping. Low and behold, that next morning I woke up to a foot-and-a-half of snow and blizzard conditions. First thing in the morning, my buddy called and we made plans to go skin up Alpine Meadows and make some turns. With 40 cars already parked in the lot, we started seeing familiar faces and before we knew it our group had swelled to eight! It’s so fun hiking and skiing with friends. Especially when it is in October and when there is two feet of fresh snow waiting after a long hot summer. That day turned out to be amazing.

The next morning, October 25, there was another two feet of snow and we all knew that it was game on! I hiked up above my house and enjoyed another early-season powder day just laughing the entire time because it was so good. I was able to ski some big lines that are normally not skiable until Christmas… what a great start to winter! 

So I hope everyone is getting fired up for the ski season. It won’t be long now until the lifts start spinning and the snow starts piling up. After that big storm, Squaw actually opened a lift for skiing for one day. Here is to a great winter. Have some fun and enjoy the snow! 

Check out this badass time lapse edit that Travis shot of the first snow of the season in Canmore, Alberta: