A look back at my 2011-2012 season

06 Jun, 2012

When it comes to inspiration for this year, all it took was Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech. It was a reminder that there will be highs and lows, loss and love, lessons and experiences. It’s part of our journey. His simple question of “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” was all it took.

This season I was able to truly experience the winter, explore the mountains that I wanted to ride and support, hang out with friends on powder days, ride next to legends and experience terrain that I had only dreamed about. Looking back, I am pretty sure that for the past 6 months I’ve been smiling every moment of this adventure. Here’s a video of this season captured through photos.

My stats:

  • First day of the season was November 10, 2011 at Mammoth Mountain.
  • I haven’t called it quits yet but my last day of riding was hiking Stevens Pass on May 17, 2012.
  • My current total is 74 days so far but I’ll be adding to this with summer shred days.

Places I rode this year:

  • Colorado: Winter Park, Vail, Steamboat, Copper, Keystone
  • Utah: Park City, Canyons
  • Oregon: Mt Bachelor
  • Washington: Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, Mission Ridge, Mt Baker
  • California:  Boreal, June, Mammoth, Northstar, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe
  • British Columbia: Revelstoke, Eagle Pass Heliskiing, Whistler, Blackcomb
  • Alaska: Thompson Pass, 907 Snowcat

Most Memorable Days:

  • Park City 12/11/11: The trip to Utah was decided the night before and Park City was definitely on the stop. It was fun to meet up for laps with the marketing team and just cruise around.
  • Steamboat 2/1/12: It felt really good to go back to Steamboat Springs and spend a day on the mountain. I forgot how much I loved the town and even though the conditions weren’t the best this year, I was able to ride with old friends.
  • Vail 2/3/12: I finally got the chance to explore Vail with the help of a marketing tour guide! It was amazing and massive.
  • Mission Ridge Demos: After weeks of traveling, I was home in the Northwest. The demos were the perfect chance to reunite with the NW industry.
  • Stevens Pass 2/20/12: The day after the avalanches was hard but it had to be done. I get rad for Rudolph.
  • Northstar 2/24/12: Northstar was my shining light for resorts this year. Everytime I rode the parks and groomers there, it was awesome.
  • Sierra at Tahoe 2/27/12: The snow finally arrived in Tahoe during my visit. I was able to ride power with Lauren and Ashley for a girls shredfest day.
  • Northstar 2/28/12: The powder continued on at Northstar. We found run after run with freshies to ourselves, took photos of each other jumping into powder and had a blast.
  • Stevens Pass 3/1/12: Stevens kept getting hammered and hammered this season. This was a favorite day with Dennis and Erik.
  • Eagle Pass Heliskiing: I was the winner of the free heli trip at the party and it made dreams come true. Weather cleared with enough time to take advantage of the afternoon and we ripped the mountain up. Easily looking back on my season, it was the best day of my entire life so far. I heard after that the other groups could hear me laughing and shouting in the trees on my rides down, yeah I was that stoked.
  • First day on Thompson Pass: This was the defining moment for me. I was on top of the pass, staring down at the powder line realizing that I would have been sitting in my office working at that very moment. Seconds later, I dropped in for my first solo AK run…that’s pretty scary.
  • Meeting Alaskans with 907 Snowcat: This was my first snowcat trip, I ended up with a group of Alaskans and Europeans. It was awesome and we hung out the days following. Despite low visibility, we had fun and that’s what counts.
  • The second day with 907 snowcat: The Flow guys and I decided to pull together a cat day and got everyone on board with it. Kevin Jones and Danielle joined in, a couple skiers. The day was bluebird, perfect with new snow. We had fun.

Photo: Aaron Gotthardt

Best Events:

  • Grand Prix at Copper: It was worth the drive from California to come watch the best pipe riders take to the contest circuit. Plus it’s always sunny and fun at Copper.
  • Snowcial in Lake Tahoe: I wished I had actually attended the whole conference but I only made it for one night and one day of skiing. It ended up being a great experience meeting new people and seeing old friends.
  • Mt Baker Legendary Banked Slalom: Seriously I couldn’t believe I missed this every year of my life. The LBS is the best snowboard event. The vibe, the riders, the riding…you are in awe the whole time. I also met Terje.
  • Red Bull Third Shift at Snoqualmie: The concept was amazing but a storm that dropped feet of snow meant some changes to pull it off. The crew pulled it together to create a rail jam that was insane to watch…luckily the riders/skiers were all young with good knees.
  • AAI Avalanche Level I Course: I finally got to take my level I course at Mt Baker just in time before BC and AK. It was a much needed eye-opening, scary course but worth every penny. Highly recommend it.
  • World Freeride Championships Qualifiers: I almost didn’t make it up, I was sleeping in an RV completely exhausted with Nate stopped in to snowmobile up to the event. I ended up heading up and really got to experience the best freeriders charging steep, rocky lines.
  • World Freeride Championship Finals: Days later, the Finals finally took place and it was a much more mellower vibe at the bottom of the course watching. I liked that.
  • Rhythm and Bruise: I had never heard of it till this year and only by chance did I end up at White Pass that weekend. It was a good NW event, fun course with fun riders.
  • Superpark at Mt Bachelor: It’s intimidating to walk into Superpark without a crew of riders, filmers, photographers but it means the possibilities are endless. I was able to ride with different companies, riders and enjoy it. After all, how many times in your life do you watch park features get destroyed by the best riders multiple days in a row?


  • I started this blog in August 2007.  I’ve had 4,145,886 total views since then.
  • I have 2,432 fans on the shayboarder facebook page and continue to post updates and giveaways!
  • I’ve stayed in contact with twitter/shayboarder.com which everyone should sign up for, so far 3,578 followers on twitter.
  • You can find a lot of my travel, snowboarding and fun photos on Instagram as Shayboarder

Favorite Posts:

  • Colorado Snowboard History Museum: I arrived in Colorado just in time to pull into the Vail parking lot and head into the museum opening that Trent worked hard to get going. It was so rad to see the first snowboards and the progression of products from the beginning.
  • Roadtripping back to WA: Packed up the truck and left Mammoth Lakes to move back to Stevens Pass this winter.
  • 4 Million Served: I had just arrived in Alaska when I hit the 4 million mark for shayboarder.com. It was rad to be able to take it this far.
  • Pro Photographer Showdown: Honestly this is the best off-snow event of the year. The best photographers put on a slideshow of their work. It’s inspiring.
  • Visiting Endeavor Snowboards: On the way back from Telus I stopped into Endeavor to tour the company office and R&D lab.
  • 25 days in Alaska: I look back on the Tailgate AK and Valdez experience.
  • Checking In Mountain Sky: Living in a hotel for a month was an experience. If only those walls could talk.
  • 1 in 4 Domestic Violence: I wouldn’t call this a favorite post but it needed to be done. It was one of the hardest posts from the season as it took a couple years in the making to share my story.


To everyone who read this blog, a huge THANK YOU for being part of this winter with me!

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. BenRupp
    June 06, 2012

    Keep up the good work Shay…. and it’s good to see you spending time up here in the NW… the upper left is sick huh?

  2. Keither
    June 07, 2012

    It’s been awesome following your snow adventures for the last couple years. Always a nice little break away from work to see what you’ve been up to 😉 Keep it up!

    Maybe next season if you have the chance you could do an Eastern trip just for shits and giggles. There are some pretty decent resorts in Quebec and obviously Vermont……


  3. Keither
    June 07, 2012

    Ride Shakedown at Mont St Sauveur would be a great event to cover…….

  4. jenny
    June 10, 2012

    what an epic year of riding

  5. June 10, 2012

    holy shit, what an epic season you’ve had this year!

  6. June 10, 2012

    Thanks everyone for the comments!

    I’d love to make it east in the future, someday!

  7. 66jzmstr
    June 14, 2012

    Stoked to hear your season was solid, Shay!