Oregon, Pete Alport

words: Austin Smith

photos: Pete Alport

Pete Alport has a history in the ski world of filming all the hot shots and producing park shoots that push the riders to their limits of what is possible. But, he is a snowboarder himself, and for past few years documenting snowboarding has been his focus. First, he is a father and prefers spending time close to home in Oregon, making the most of his surroundings, which he proudly acclaims rivals anywhere. But it is his desire to be in the mountains that sets him apart from anyone I’ve met. Even when the conditions are terrible, he's out there building quarterpipes on flat lakes. He will set the bootpack or skin track with his camera bag on, build the feature himself if he has to, just in hope someone will hit it. And a lot of the time he is not doing this for a brand or job; it’s just his typical Thursday fun.

Austin Smith, Ben Ferguson

Penguin Club. Austin, Ben, Gabe, and Dru.

Pete has so much energy he can come off as a bit crazy, which he is. He talks a lot, not about the weather, but things like sexual habits and desires. I swear the man does not sleep and I have some suspicions that he may be extra terrestrial. Whenever he calls, I know he is going to propose a mission that requires me to miss a night’s sleep. I do most of my snowboarding trips on the road while traveling and when I am home I like to have some R&R, casually riding the resort with my friends, so generally our timing doesn't align.

Travis Rice

Cover of next month's Snowshoe Magazine. Gabe and Drew.

Travis Rice

Shoveling three feet of snow off the road at 3am. Not how I imagined I would start the first day of winter.

Travis Rice

Once you get up and get out of bed, you never regret an early start.

But, from time-to-time I get a wild hair and join along for an Alport Adventure, as was the case this morning. He's familiar with and experienced in the Oregon backcountry, to say the least, and is a weather hawk, so when he says it’s going to be good, you can trust he's done his due diligence. This morning, without hesitation, he guided us through the foggy dark night into the Sisters Wilderness with his headlamp at 4:30am. This was after 2 hours of digging out the snowdrifts in the road and getting trucks stuck, which he expected and was part of his reasoning for a 2:30am departure from town, which I initially thought was a little excessive.

Austin Smith, Ben Ferguson

Ben and I with the best runs in North America of the season, thus far.

Dru Brownrigg

Tina of the Month. Austin Smith.

Dru Brownrigg

Who did it best? Dru Brownrigg.

Gabe Ferguson

Gabe Ferguson vs. Dru Brownrigg.

Ben Ferguson

October 6th. Ben Ferguson.

Austin Smith, Ben Ferguson, Oregon

Building park jumps in the backcountry.

We climbed above the fog to the base of the mountains just as the sun was rising and they were covered in snow and glowing. It’s not my favorite word and it gets used far too often, but it was epic. The unreasonable 2:00am wake up and shoveling roads was worth that little moment of glory. Ben Ferguson and I headed up the face of the mountain and dropped in to our first powder runs of the season at 8am on October 7th. While Ben took a couple more laps up and down the mountain, Gabe and Drew built a jump and I took a nap. Once I was thoroughly sunburnt, the jump was finished and a little session was underway.

Gabe Ferguson

Fun fact #37 - Gabe's dad is my dentist.

Austin Smith

Mediocre slash at best, but I'll take it for October 6th. Austin Smith.

Jake Price

I'm not religous, but I was praying Jake Price would hook a rock and tumble into the lake.

Luke Winkelmann

Pete yelled at me, saying my skin tracks were going to make his photo ugly. He was right. Austin Smith.

Ben Ferguson

Ben on his third lap of the morning.

The night before, I had tried talking Jake Price into coming with me on the Alport Adventure, but he said it was a little too early. When he saw my Insta story at 7am of the sunrise/powder/lake/mountains, Jake got out of bed and headed up. Five hours later, he showed up in the distance across the lake on a ridge. A little late to the party, missing out on the 3:00am truck rally experience, but he got a few runs in before we headed home. Pete had to pick his kids up from school that afternoon and the Fergusons were off to New Zealand to ride halfpipe. It was a quick glimpse of winter that was worth the missed sleep. Thanks for motivating and your un-relentless youthful over-stoke to be in the mountains. Let the Alport Adventure continue, but not too often...I need my rest.