Mikey Rencz and Eero Niemela

Bode Merrill

We ran into legendary Tahoe-based filmmaker Tim Manning one day and he was deep in the process of filming.

Bode Merrill

Forest, in his natural environment. The forest.

In the early 2000s, Lake Tahoe, California and its surrounding terrain was the Mecca of freestyle snowboarding. The legendary Tom Burt left the doors of Tahoe open long before then, but it was the brothers Hatchett—Mike and Dave—who opened the floodgates in multiple Standard Films releases, and soon, dozens of pro snowboarders flocked to the promised land. However, in the last five years, due to record lows in rain and snowfall, Tahoe—and frankly, the entire state of California—had literally run dry. Tahoe was closed. All done, they said. Never again. Well, those days are now a thing of the past.

Bode Merrill

Bode Merrill

Jake gets pitted at the end of his line.

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Forest, exiting his line at terminal velocity.

Bode Merrill

When Blauvelt and Bailey are happy, we’re all stoked.

Bode Merrill

The man behind the powder in Resolution, Kyle Schwartz. Dude’s a legend.

Bode Merrill

Blauvelt and Forest, in it for the long haul.

Bode Merrill

Forest and Jake, very pleased with what lay in front of them.

Bode Merrill

The Vermonter has done it his own way since day one. Blauvelt is on his own path, and that path is paved with powder.

Bode Merrill

Kyle Schwartz is as sick in front of the lens as he is behind it.

Bode Merrill

Ya gotta bless the peak with sage.

Thanks to a monstrous El Nino winter, California has officially turned on once again, as resorts like Bear, Mammoth, Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley counting the inches of accumulation by the hour, and crews have been weaving in and out of the Lake Tahoe area all winter long. But if you’re one of those die-hards who are currently stuck in an area of the country or the world with lackluster conditions, you can’t be mad at Tahoe. Not only do they need it for purposes such as snowboard tourism, but the entire state of California needs it for much grander reasons. Reservoirs are lower than they have ever been, some of which have dried up almost completely, and drinking water in less populated towns is scarce, raising concerns about how their citizens would gain access to potable water. But things are changing ever so slowly with every single flake that bonds to another, and Lake Tahoe—one of snowboarding’s most revered mountain communities—is alive and well at the moment.

Bode Merrill

Bode Merrill

Forest Bailey, letting one loose.

Bode Merrill

Jakey B. The kid can roost!

Bode Merrill

#CabinLyfe.

Bode Merrill

Forest draws some of the coolest art. If you want an original print, DM him on Instagram. He’ll draw ya somethin’ up

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The kid can cook!

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Eatin’ good in the woods.

Bode Merrill

Doubles run deep in the cunch.

Bode Merrill

Jake can manhandle a sled.

Bode Merrill

Blauvelt puts one up as the sun gets ready to go down.

Last week, I flew out to Tahoe to meet up with Jake Blauvelt, who has been filming there relentlessly for The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Resolution for the last month. The way Jake sees it? If it’s good, he’ll stay, and god damn was it good. With cold temps and a small reset every few days, we set out on the sleds early in the morning and arrived back at our cabins late at night. With a few down days here and there, it was the perfect break before throwing ourselves right back into the thigh-deep powder awaiting us as we got up to higher elevations. Joining us for a week was Forest Bailey, one of my favorite riders and human beings. Forest happened to be in the area visiting his dad, Barry, and he decided to crew up with us since Danny Davis had to fly out to Aspen for the X Games and Mikkel Bang headed north to BC. Toward the end of the week, Scott Blum—snowboarding’s favorite anti-hero and another rider on the roster of Resolution —drove up from Mammoth to meet us for a day, en route to his next destination. Documenting the trip in video form was Tahoe local and SNOWBOARDER filmer Kyle Schwartz.

Bode Merrill

Bode Merrill

Kyle Schwartz does it again. Deep in it.

Bode Merrill

Blauvelt doesn’t mind getting up early. The dude’s an animal.

Bode Merrill

Early morning sled fill-up.

Bode Merrill

Blurry pre-dawn drives seem like a shitty idea at the time, but they usually pay off.

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Early morning eyes.

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A little rest on the ride out. Forest Bailey.

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Post shred and post sled hot springs session.

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You don’t wanna run into this guy on a cold, dark cat road.

We rented some small cabins on the Carson River and holed up for a week, groggily stumbling to the trucks in the early hours of the morning and slogged back to our cabins in the late afternoon, soaking wet, weary and drained from a long day of trekking through the deep Sierra snow. All in all, it was a tremendous trip and much of the footage will be featured in the new SNOWBOARDER movie. Until then, if you haven’t ventured out to Tahoe yet this winter, do so, because it’s back, and it’s better than ever.

Bode Merrill

Bode Merrill

#TrailheadBoiz.

Special thanks to Amy and Todd at Carson River Resorts. If you’re a snowboarder, fisherman, hiker or beer drinker, go to carsonriverresort.com and experience the solitude and comfort of cabin life.