So Lucas, how did you get involved with Karakoram?
As soon as i heard about the innovative split board design company from the Northwest karakoram was on my radar. it wasn’t until i tested the product the following season that i was sold for life.
What does splitboard product evolution mean to you, and how has binding design impacted your mountain experience?
For backcountry snowboarding right now it is all about catching up to the skiers in terms of product and efficiency. karakoram is leading the charge to get us on par
What do you feel is the holistic impact of having a local Washington supply base, and riding bindings that are hand built in the USA by snowboarders with passion?
It doesn’t really get any better than that.
If we made a binding that had a glow-in-the dark fluorescent orange heelcup, with overlaid glow-in-the dark Dinosaur action figures, would you ride it?
NO, i hate that shit
Any futuristic design features you want to see? A mid-air computer controlled Ride-to-Tour mode changeover, perhaps?
I think canting the bindings are next step
Your riding is downright inspiring. You seem to have an ability to go absolutely huge off of any feature, find the tranny, and do it with organic style. Is this a Mt Baker influence, due to spicy Italian Food, or have you apprenticed with ninjas in Japan?
Its all about Mt Baker. that place morphs you into that kind of snowboarder. The terrain up there is exactly what made me the kind of snowboarder I am.
In addition to freestyle riding, you’ve also developed an impressive supply of climbing and mountaineering skills. How do you see this element influencing your snowboarding over the lifespan?
Jones explained to me once about how limited the terrain we usually access is. once your under your own power and not reliant on anyone else’s agenda, you can go wherever you want. With this exploration comes the necessity of mountaineering skills.
Let’s talk about Xavier de la Rue for a second. What makes him special?
He’s french. He has this ability to charge hard on any conditions. No one else rides lines at the speed he does.
Which is the most RAD: Pinning an aesthetic technical cliff line at the Verbier Extreme, a BC pillow line, a steep Cascadian face in perfect corn snow, or a 60 degree Alaskan spine wall?
Variety is the spice of life, but I would go for a splitter AK day over anything else.
Which turn has more meaning to you: Toeside or Heelside?
Toesides are unbeatable, bot only because you have to be crazy talented to make a groovy heel side turn.
Speaking of risk management, we’ve all now experienced the loss of friends. What do you feel is the most important factor in making sure you come home from the Backcountry?
Keep your head up. complacency is the number one killer
How would you define a successful day in the mountains?
Coming home with a giant smile and wishing that you could do it again the next day.
What is your personal significance of going into the mountains? Why do it?
It is one of the only places where i am completely content with everything that life is.
What would you say has been the most powerful splitboarding / mountain experience you’ve had thus far?
I think having the opportunity to camp in the Wrangells with Jones and Ryland filming fore Further was probably the best split board trip of my life
Which in your view is the most exploratory: Skinning into a remote valley in the Cascades, ice climbing with Xavier in Chamonix, sending an 80 foot air in the Supernatural, or breaking open a 100 year old preserved bottle of scotch from Robert Falcon Scott’s failed return mission from the South Pole?
Whiskey! i think its all been explored, but i would say that some of the creepier, darker, mysterious areas of the cascades may have still never been fully explored.
Being a native to the Cascade Mountains, how do you feel about bushwhacking? Any special thoughts on Devil’s Club?
I would say percentage wise I’m probably better at schwacking than snowboarding. But if you take it all in as part of the experience, there is even some joy to be found.
I heard that in preparation of the coming winter Olympics, that guy Ralph Backstrom wants to use Sled Dogs to haul a bunch of weight lifting equipment into the Olympic Mountains. I also heard that the Olympic Mountains are full of Devil’s Club. Are there any correlations here?
Not sure. never been to the olympics, i bet the devil is up there somewhere
Any adventuristic stuff you want to add?
Some of the greatest exploration can be done in our own back yard.