It's always a pleasure to spend time with good friends. I've known Jeremy for over 15 years and we have shared a great deal together throughout our snowboarding careers. Jeremy is one of those guys you can rely on 100% of the time. He is as solid as it comes! When I asked him where he wanted to go for a Mizu Mission, he said he had always wanted to explore Blanche Lake in the Wasatch Mountain Range of Utah. The goal of the mission was to explore and scout out some potential places to ride and film this upcoming winter. I have to say, this was one of the most beautiful places I've been yet - and it's only about 3 miles from the main road. We'll definitely be back in the next few months, put to use this scouting mission and get some good riding in! Read on below for Jeremy's take on the Mission...
- Jussi Oksanen
All Photos Jussi Oksanen
Where did this Mizu Mission take you? We Hiked up to Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon Utah. It's 3 miles in and roughly a 3k elevation gain.
Why did you choose this location? I personally had not spent much time in that zone - summer or winter. I wanted to get to know it a bit this summer. Sniff out a few snowboard options for winter as well. In the winter the days tend to feel numbered, so one less day scouting zones in the winter, is hopefully one more day riding.
What was so special about this trip? Meeting up with Jussi, and TJ. A couple of friends I don’t get to spend much time with. We wanted to just shoot photos, talk crap and enjoy the scene.
What tips do you have to reuse your Mizu or choose reusable over single-use while on the road? Just pick out a sick bottle from Mizu and customize it, stickers, drawings, get creative, add handles cut from skateboards, and utilities for the backcountry. Just make it yours and you will want to use it and always have it with you. Only good can come from eliminating plastic waste on this planet, at any level.
Do you often see a lot of trash on your travels? In certain places for sure. The mountains resorts and lodges that I frequent most seem to be cleaning up, our people around here are more keen to it these days. On the flip side, the traffic is increasing so the word needs to continue to be spread.
What inspires you to get outdoors and see the world? It's mostly an addiction now, I just have to do it, or I go nuts.
Your work takes you to many exciting places – do you have a personal favorite destination? Coming back home is my favorite. Utah has the best scenery I have ever seen! I love the backcountry of Whistler. It's so vast, but accessible as well! That landscape is incredible!
What’s the craziest story you can remember from one of your past adventures? This question is so hard. Nothing ever seems that crazy. I mean, I get my mind blown by images of crazy places and have some stories of things going south or someone doing something crazy, but I always check myself quickly after a peak emotion and tell myself, "No." If I am in the moment, crazy or not, I always try not to let the moment take me - if I do, it's easy to lose control and when you are as exposed as you are in the backcountry, you need all the control you can keep, in my opinion. Anytime with Mikey and Jussi snowmobiling in Whistler, BC was always crazy fun and exciting.
What advice can you give to those who want to travel but can’t seem to pull the trigger? Start small. Travel to the nearest trail or mountain. Hike. Walk for a mile. Scramble a small grouping of rocks. Jump in the river. Then take it bigger. Maybe the next town or state over has a bigger trail system, go there. Just let it infect you, the feeling of exposure, people, the uncertain. Let it creep, its so so good!
What does “enjoy the journey, leave nothing behind” mean to you? Well, I have never really thought exactly how that syncs in my life. I suppose just take in the moments and enjoy the space your in, crazy or not. Minimizing your material output into the earth the best you can.