A Look Into The Third Annual Torment Summer Retreat: A Poem From Keenan Cawley

A Look Into The Third Annual Torment Summer Retreat: A Poem From Keenan Cawley

| July 27th, 2022 |

2022 Torment Summer Retreat

Timberline Lodge, Government Camp, OR

Poem by Keenan Cawley


I was blessed with an invitation to cover the Summer Retreat at Mt. Hood for a week. Having already tested the waters at my new warehouse gig, both in actually working as well as learning how to jump through corporate hoops, I knew that they would not be excited about me taking a week off. So I waited until I was already in Govy and then called in with COVID. There’s a part of me that feels bad for using the ongoing pandemic to my advantage, not to mention the guilt that always comes with telling a lie… But I’d never been before! I’ve been watching my friends go to Hood for the summer since I was 15. That’s 16 years of FOMO and here, at the behest of Torment, Fat Tire, K2, Howl, and Timberline, was my opportunity! I really didn’t have a choice. 

And I’m so glad I saw it that way because I had the time of my life. So much so that I had to write a poem. It was the only way to properly convey the rhythm and emotions I felt on my vacation. With that being said (and with appreciation), and without further adieu, here it is:


Is Winter Still Coming?—A Snowboarder’s Perspective on Climate Change

Is Winter Still Coming?—A Snowboarder’s Perspective on Climate Change

| June 25th, 2022 |

Is Winter Still Coming? Article

I have something to admit: I thought we had more time. More years to be carefree, riding winter to winter, like bookends holding all the other snow-free seasons in between. I spent the early years of my academic career reading articles on the science of climate change, selfishly thinking at least the worst wouldn’t hit in my lifetime. Truth be told, what we are seeing globally is happening faster and more intensely than the climate models predicted: the planet has already warmed nearly 1.1 degree C, and will probably reach 1.5 degrees C of warming within the next two decades. 

Life in the mountains can resemble something of a living logbook, each of us internally documenting the subtle and unsubtle shifts occurring in our climate time. If you’ve lived long enough (20+ years or more), you’ve picked up on these signs and signals. You’ve noticed these days winter takes longer to show. Every year the snowpack seems to settle more inconsistently and erratically. More rain instead of snow. Dry spells that stretch longer. Resorts shooting snow guns more often to fill in thin strips of white. This isn’t your mind playing tricks on you; it’s happening, and it’s a consequence of the slow changing but rapidly approaching reality of climate change. The new global order.  

We’re programmed to run from or towards prey and predators, to think on what’s directly in front of us. It’s much harder to visualize how an invisible gas is warming up the planet. But then again, so much of what we do is unnatural compared to how our ancestors hunted and gathered. (Imagine explaining snowboarding to a caveman.)

The science is clearer than ever, but we still have our heads in the sand–at best refusing to think about what’s coming down the pipeline, and at worst denying that it’s happening at all. These reactions are natural. Climate change isn’t like so many of the problems our ancestors dealt with. We’re programmed to run from or towards prey and predators, to think on what’s directly in front of us. It’s much harder to visualize how an invisible gas is warming up the planet. But then again, so much of what we do is unnatural compared to how our ancestors hunted and gathered. (Imagine explaining snowboarding to a caveman.)

According to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), our window to avoid the worst impacts of climate change is narrowing, especially if we don’t meaningfully decarbonize our global society in 10 years. Remember how fast your last ten years went by? Yeah, me too. When we arrive at the scenario where we surpass warming the planet beyond 1.5-2°C (that’s about a 2.7-3.6°F increase) above pre-industrial levels, lack of rideable snow is going to be the least of our worries. This is scary stuff, not only when we take stock of what it all means for our snowy mountains. 

The question is: Is winter still coming?

Torment mag snowman
Photo by Bryden Bowley

Mt. Baker Resort has long been one of the core centers of snowboarding culture in Washington because of its location in the North Cascades, where moisture-laden Pacific systems dump upwards of 600 inches on the mountain in any given year. In one epic winter of 1998-99, Baker received 1,140 inches of snow. The halls of Baker’s Heather Meadows Lodge house a museum of photographic history depicting overwhelming amounts of snow from winters past. But Mt. Baker resort is slated to be one of the earliest casualties of climate change due to its low elevation of 5,089 ft. 

“Oftentimes, it will be 33°F and pouring rain at the base of Mt. Baker, while it’s 29°F and dumping feet of snow at the top,” explains local glaciologist and professor of Geology at Whatcom Community College Elizabeth Kimberly. “It’s often a matter of 1 or 2°F, and as temperatures warm with climate change, that rain-snow elevation band will creep higher and higher on the mountain.” 

This intersection of low elevation and increasing air temperature doesn’t bode well for other nearby resorts characterized by the thin rain-snow band, like Snoqualmie and Steven’s Pass. According to some of the latest science, the snowpack in the Pacific Northwest is predicted to decrease by  about  70% by 2100. What does that mean for the next 20-30 years? Given that we are locked into warming until at least mid century 2050, Bakerites and Western Washington can expect to see more of what is happening now: shortened winters, more rain on snow events at increasingly higher elevations, longer dry spells interspersed with dramatic snow events, and warmer storms. Studies from The Climate Impacts Group suggest that the average length of snow seasons will decrease by up to 46% by the 2040s. As the window for winter shortens, once dependable corn-snow (crystalized snow due to repeated melting and freezing) cycles will continue to fade away due to a lack of cold nights and warmer spring air temperatures rapidly melting the snowpack. 

Joseph Goder Incinerator | Torment Mag
Photo by Marc O’Malley

But what does this mean for higher elevation zones like Mt. Hood in Oregon? Home to Palmer Glacier and one of the most legendary year-round snowboard spots, Mt. Hood is still part of the Cascades and generally shares the same maritime snowpack as the Pacific Northwest at large. 

“When I go to ski resorts, I feel like I’m a doctor, telling patients that they have cancer,” says Anders Carlson, PhD in Glacial Geology & Oceanography and president of the Oregon Glaciers Institute. He points to the winter of 2015 as an example of what the snowpack of the future may resemble. That year, Mt. Hood ski resorts like Timberline closed more than a month earlier than planned as they experienced the worst snowpack on record. “For the mountains of the PNW region, it’s like having a hose on all the time,” said Carlson “The question becomes, will it be cold enough to turn water into snow?” 

Carlson, who consults with resorts on the future of their snowpack, goes on to explain that as the tallest mountain in the Cascades, Mt. Hood has a better outlook than other Oregon-based ski resorts. Still, the long-term diagnosis for the region does not look promising. Combing through local historic data with IPCC models, Carlson has tried to estimate the probability that a 2015-style winter occurs in a climate-changed world. Under the “business as usual” model where warming hits over 4 degrees C by 2100, the historic low-snow of the PNW’s 2015 winter would have an 80% chance of occurring every single year. For the “ideal” scenario of limiting warming to 2 degrees C by 2100, the chances of a 2015-style winter drop are about 17% annually, which is lower but still troubling. 

“Enjoy the mountains as much as you can”

“We’ll start having these bad years more frequently,” says Carlson. “And how many bad years does it take until the revenue model for a ski resort doesn’t work anymore?” 

The snowpack in the region has already changed and is going to keep changing. Carlson explains that motorists traveling to Timberline Lodge used to put their chains on at Sandy, Oregon, but now put them on at Government Camp, a roughly 3,000 foot increase in elevation. “That snowline is just going to keep marching upwards.”

But what about other regions? Can winter lovers find refuge in higher elevation areas like North America’s Intermountain West? Maybe. 

Keep Frozen Image for Is Winter Still Coming Article? | Torment Mag
Photo by Marc O’Malley

Amato Evan is now an Associate Professor of Climate Sciences at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, but he grew up around Salt Lake City, riding at Snowbird and Brighton when snowboarding was still in its infancy. “It was so punk back then,” he says. “I remember when it was all cloth bindings and wintersticks, and now my kid’s friends’ parents are snowboarding.” From his scrappy years as a young snowboarder, Evan’s life has become laser-focused on understanding how the snowscape is shifting in a climate changed world. “When I was snowboarding at 14, I wasn’t thinking of how long the seasons were,” Evan says. “But my kids are just starting to ski and when they are my age, I guarantee they will definitely be able to see the change in snow. I suspect we are all going to see a noticeable change.”

Along with his colleague Ian Eisenman, Evan’s research uses SNOTEL data to pinpoint which regional snowpacks are most sensitive to coming temperature shifts. “It’s helpful to think of snowpack in terms of sensitivity, not just how much less volume snowfall we will see,” says Evan. And what his work shows is that interior high elevation snowpacks like those spanning parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah may have more room to experience warmer but still snow-filled winters. “You have to think about places where ski resorts are already in a marginal area, if the snow season is like half the year, you have quite a bit of buffer.” 

It isn’t that climate change won’t affect the snowpack in the Tetons. It’s that a temperature change of a few degrees C is unlikely to shift winter temperatures above freezing. “Global warming isn’t affecting everywhere the same,” Says Evan, and there’s hope in a place like Jackson. Simply put, what happens will significantly depend on an area’s geographic location, and even localized storm patterns. For instance, within the Salt Lake City region, most of the snow dumps on the Cottonwood Canyon side of the mountains. That means that the prognosis for areas like Snowbird or Brighton look fairly decent, while resorts on the other side of the rainshadow already have less reliable snow and therefore a lower margin to deal with climate change. Evan says, “I look at a place like Park City and think that’s not a great place to buy real estate.” 

Our lives are fractions of seconds in a timescale we will never fully comprehend. Maybe the true gift of winter is the reminder of our insignificance.

Even for the locations that seem well suited to weather warmer winters, there will likely be a cost. Anyone who has been to Jackson Hole or Snowbird in the last 5 years will know the way these mountains have become mazes of cars and bodies–frothy aggravated folks from all around jockeying to get on the lifts. If warming doesn’t kill the vibe, the rapidly deteriorating riding experience will. 

When asked what he would tell winter lovers today, Evan says “Enjoy the mountains as much as you can.”

Our lives are fractions of seconds in a timescale we will never fully comprehend. Maybe the true gift of winter is the reminder of our insignificance. We are each here for a short time, leaving behind ephemeral signatures in the snow. Climate change can be seen not as a fight, but an opportunity to reflect on the legacy that we leave, and what it means to live a good life. The changes are coming, and are largely outside of our individual control, but that doesn’t give us a hall pass to neglect our agency. The collective awareness and energy of the snowboarding community can help alter the course we’re on. Together, we are a living logbook that documents both the subtle and drastic shifts occurring in our climate time. In a world that’s still figuring out how to admit that climate change is even real, the stories we tell become more and more valuable. The spring melt erases the evidence of our powder-turns, but our impact will be felt in the mountains long after we’re gone.” 

Dustbox: In The Age Of Wonder

Dustbox: In The Age Of Wonder

| May 31st, 2022 |

Words by Mo Jennings

Photography by Oli Gagnon & Colton Morgan

Addictions come in many forms. Drugs, sex, money, pride, fame… But why be obsessed with freezing cold temperatures, dirty vans, cheap shitty sleeping arrangements, and poor nutrition? Because somewhere in between all that lies a unique type of euphoria that only comes from solidarity, and having a shared purpose with the ones around you, and being committed to each other’s success and failures unconditionally. Maybe that purpose doesn’t make sense to 99.9% of the world, but for the 15 of us in the “Dustbox” van, it’s all that mattered for 60 days.

Origins

The Dustbox is probably recognized by less than .0001 percent of the world’s population, but in the snowboarding world, it’s become a household name. Some might even say that although the Dustbox crew is following a tradition of street snowboarding, they’ve committed to the road with a type of occult dedication unlike anything we’ve seen before. The D.B.’s success can be attributed to its power in numbers. They’re grossly obsessed with jumping in the van in search of snow and spots, constantly doing whatever it takes for everyone in the crew to get clips. Like a bizarre love triangle, the Dustbox supports each other in this romance, but like any kind of sick and twisted love story, it’s uncontrolled.

Their origins remind me of the Dead Poets Society. By the time they were together and decided they were an Item, most of them should still have been living with their parents, but their folks must have recognized the unique spark in the crew and let their chicks fly the coop before they’d even hit puberty. See, they all met and came together like this. A bunch of like- minded individuals with sophisticated worldviews and specific intentions. Their independent motivation drove them together and once that happened they were almost unstoppable.

I would like for this story to unfold like one of those conversations you have late at night, on the road in the middle of a long drive with your close friends. So get comfortable, crack a beer, roll up, do what you do, and follow along as we dive into an “unexpected journey.”

Photo Oli Gagnon

The majority of the Dustbox were on snow before they were even able to form true sentences. Some of them were even deemed extreme sport prodigies via media outlets like the Disney Channel. No lie. Sure the boys may have found some success in contests as kids, but still they saw an opportunity to turn in their USASA jerseys and dive in on some different shit. Some of them ditched the east coast super young to head to Colorado to snowboard every day. The Colorado kool-aid didn’t hit as hard as they expected and they soon found themselves looking for something different. But like I said this origin story is complex, so I am going to let them fill in the pieces.

“Me, Noah, and Ryan all met young through like Salt Lake City and Milo. We rode Brighton together, Noah and I worked at Milo. Ryan and I went on a trip to Colorado a week after meeting at his ski cabin. The first song he played when got to his cabin was “Only Time” by Enya. And I was like damn this is the guy. We’ve hung out every day since.”

-Jonas

“Way way back I met Cody in 2010 at Nationals, we were 10. That was my first time going west and being introduced to like a Colorado snowboarder. I thought Cody’s Oakley A-frames were sick. Cody was already cool back then, I knew he was cool before they put him on the Disney Channel haha”

-Robby

“At that point when I knew the gang, I was over the Colorado contest scene and it was all about us doing something together and that’s what felt right.”

-Cody

“We were all in Colorado trying to be slopestyle heads and it just didn’t feel right and then we all met, started jibbing together. We’d sneak off to Red’s backyard and just learn as many rail tricks as we could and that’s when we thought we could maybe film something together.”

-Cooper
Bean front lip | Photo Oli

Then came the summer of 2017. They talk about the summer of 2017 at Mount Hood as a very sacred time in all of their lives. It was that lightning in a bottle type moment for them as a group. Some of them by plan, and others by chance, all came to stay or hang around the Burton Demo Center under the supervision of Dave Massie.

“Dave Massie hooked us up to stay at the BDC, shout-outs to Massie for having our backs and setting us up. We were all still on our own shit at that point, but that summer we all got on some together shit.”

-Cody

They were all together and they soon realized they were all on the same program. To keep things going, the next move was SLC. Again, one by one, the whole entire squad eventually invaded the home of a young skier named Garret Whaley. Apart from the members who already lived in SLC, the majority of them fell upon Garret’s house which was given the name “the Dustbox.”

Cody, Roby, Jill, Nate, Bean, Dean | Photo Oli

“Everyone kinda heard Reid was moving to SLC to go to the University. I had to get the fuck out of Colorado, so that was when we all stated migrating. I linked with Reid and his roommate Garret aka “The Body”. Then everyone started moving in and the bodies piled up at Gare’s house—he was cool with it. It was the classic “we are just going to stay a month.” We started living so communally back then. For example, each week it was one homie’s turn to go buy a bunch of boxes of cheap pasta and a big box of cookies. We’d just switch off buying that and living off it for as long as we could. We were saving bread.”

-Cody

“We all wanted to keep filming and the whole gang was pushing for it. When we dropped the first edit, Commonwealth, Tommy J at K2 hit me up and said he fucked with it. It was filmed that year prior with Miles, Robby and I. We didn’t know what we were doing but Tommy J told us he was down to help get a trip going, and would support us making a vid.”

-Cooper

DUSTBOX PRESENTS: YEAR 1

Roby and Ryan by Oli, group portrait by Colt Morgan

Everyone has to learn some time, and year one was just that. Some of the gang had a pretty good handle on the process, others had never really even hit a street spot. But they kind of had a plan… well if they didn’t have a plan they at least had a squad and they also had an old peach orchard van named “Chains.”

Headed to a place where they didn’t speak the language or had a guide, they fell on the mantra of “all for one, one for all,” as they barged the Canadian border. Somehow border officials let the group of teenagers driving a Mary Poppins van into Canada. Like peas in a pod the whole squad soon realized their dreams were becoming a reality. They all felt they were right where they needed to be and that feeling shines through in “Dustbox Presents.” They did it, through the goddamn stoney fog they did it. And they did it their way, as they explained:

“For Dustbox Presents, it was a combination of a lot of things. We were all getting to know each other and not all of us had filmed before. So we were all learning at the same time we were trying to make something happen. Marc and Seamus helped us out a lot becaue they were filming Flickering and gave us daily advice on what to do—they watched us do a lot of stupid shit.”

-Jonas

“That was the coldest I’ve ever been, no heat in the van. We were bad at keeping our shit dry, we just relied on body heat to not freeze. The windows were frozen, you had to scrape the frost off to see anything.”

-Noah

“Dan had a personal morning ritual to get the van warm. He’d wake up early, get it running and scrape the windows. He was trying to make it easier on the squad in the morning. He had a little personal heater that he would have to hold with one hand to defrost the windshield so he could see while he drove. It wasn’t perfect, but we had each other’s backs and that’s where the whole vibe and program for the Dustbox came from. It’s just homie shit, we were out there all day and all night and nobody complained.”

-Cody

DUSTBOX, I WANTED MOST: YEAR 2

Oli photos

After the Dustbox Presents, the whole group was energized seeing the potential of that first year come together. Colton was filming Snooze Global and showed a video the night Dustbox Presents premiered. I happened to bartend the event. Colton and the Dustbox had been talking about joining forces for the upcoming winter. Colton was basically my snowboard filming professor and when he asked me to jump in the van with them that year, I went from Dustbox bartender to Dustbox filmer.

“Colton was one of our favorite filmers before we even met him. He could film a jelly bean on the ground and make it look interesting.”

-Reid

“Cooper sent me a rough cut of Dustbox Presents two weeks before the premiere and I was blown away. They did it and created an infectious vibe. We kept talking and that’s when I was like, “Do you guys want to do that again?”

– Colton Morgan

The squad that came together was Dan McGonagle, Cooper Whittier, Robby Meehan, Cody Warble, Noah Peterson, Jonas Harris, Reid Smith, Brett Kulas, Benny Milam, Peter Cerulo, Jordan Morse, Colton Morgan, and myself. We had a big gang and “Chains” had a space heater this time around. Spot after spot, the box ran with the momentum they had gained. This is where the 60-day formula came from. Everyone was having such a good time they didn’t want to leave. Covid literally forced them to put a pause on the good times otherwise the van probably wouldn’t have made it back to SLC until April.

“That year our Airbnb account got trashed—all of our reviews said we were horrible guests. And we had to leave Canada because of covid. But it felt like we had really stepped it up a notch and the amount of content we had was way more than any years prior.”

– Cooper
Coming to an Airbnb near you

The formula for editing a Dustbox video is similar to the formula used to film the video. First, it’s collaborative. No one person has first say or authority over anyone else. The group’s voice is the loudest voice and that’s the way it is. It takes a lot longer than say one person editing all the footage, but that’s just not the Dustbox way. The collaborative process of editing continued to bring the whole gang closer and it was a saving grace during covid.

Honestly, the response to the release of the video was more than anything we could have expected. To see people enjoying the vid gave us the sense of accomplishment we needed. And not only that, but it was a catalyst to outdo ourselves that next year. Because of course the Dustbox was going to make another video as soon as the snow started to fall. It was an exciting time, we had some new additions to the squad that year, we had Tommy Towns and Ryan Collins in the van. Bean was also planning to come on a couple trips and then the Dustbox laced the #1 snowboarding draft pick of all time. Jill Perkins. She really wanted to get in the van with her friends—we were honored to have her.


WINTER 2021: YEAR 3

NYC

Colt Morgan Photos

Then one fine mid-December day, while we were in the studio together, a storm announcement for NYC hit the airwaves. It had been a while since we’d seen a snowmageddon in New York City where the snow really stuck. If you street snowboard, being able to film in NYC is like getting to the final boss, NYC is Bowser from Super Mario. Now, normally the Dustbox vans set sail January 5th each year. That gives the gang time to finish school and visit family for the holidays. But shit, a chance to go to New York before Christmas was too good to be true.

“Snowboarding has never really had a place in New York, maybe it’s because the snow doesn’t last beyond a day or two there. But I think we all wanted to see if snowboarding did have a place in the big apple.”

– Cooper

“We honestly had talked many times over the years about going to New York if the opportunity ever came up, like it always seemed like the sickest idea. It’s the concrete jungle, the city that never sleeps, and we actually didn’t sleep our first trip there haha.”

-Noah

Initially, Cooper was leading the charge, but it didn’t take long for everyone to follow. We had a problem though, normally the Dustbox keeps it cheap: drive the vans and split gas. That wasn’t going to work. So we had to figure out 12+ flights, lodging, and rental cars. But we didn’t have the budget. With Dan at the head of a stoney strategizing session, he suggested that some of us go to Boston, stay with his family, drive his family’s car, and ease up the financial burden. So for the first time, the Dustbox was splitting up.

Cody Warble bs lipslide, NYC rail gardens | Photo Colt

Colt went to New York with “A Squad” and I went to Boston with Jilly P & the boys. “A Squad” got on their flights early the next day and made it to NYC before snow even hit the ground. Budget was tight, so the best option was a U-H moving truck and two seats upfront, with the rest of them thrown in the back like John Candy and his polka band in Home Alone.

“There was no snow on the ground when we arrived. But you could feel the electricity in the air–snow was coming. Then we go to the U-Haul and see a christain ministry billboard, like a “lust drags you down” one, and we took that as a good sign.”

-Cooper

At this point, Jilly P and the boys were feeling the FOMO. Our flights didn’t take off till the next day and A squad was already in New York scrolling through Google Earth screenshots and getting eyes on them.


Peter Cerulo | Colt Morgan

It really didn’t take long for our plans to completely shit the bed. Flights direct to Boston from SLC are rare and expensive, so we hit Dallas, Texas for a quick layover. It hadn’t started snowing yet, the layover was short in Dallas, so we were feeling confident we’d make it. I was wrong, so wrong. Never go to Texas. Period.

To make a long story short, our flight to Boston got cancelled so we decided to rebook through Philly, but it was snowing when we got there, and again, our flight was cancelled. We could have walked outside the airport and set something up–except we couldn’t. Our bags were tagged to Boston. In this situation you have to try and make a request to an airline employee, who hates their job, to go out of their way to go through all airline luggage to find your bag. So we waited.

Colt Morgan Photos

Finally, like a fucking bridge over troubled water, American Airlines baggage claim employees had a shift change. We bribed a kind employee the first chance we got. We didn’t care whose ass we had to kiss, we told him we would give him 100 bucks. We needed those bags—our mental well-being depended on it. After 8 hours in Philly, we finally got our bags and around 2:30 am got on the road. It didn’t matter how much of a blizzard was between us and New York, we were going to get there.

“Honestly everything from Dallas to Philly seems like a blur, like everything that possibly could go wrong did. I mostly remember getting cash out of my wallet to bribe the homie.”

-Noah

Meanwhile, A squad was in New York rallying. Reid didn’t hesitate to step to some big shit early on. The whole gang was vibing, getting clips. Cody had finally made it after waiting to sneak on a standby flight out of SLC, classic. At the first spot Cody pulled up to, Colt locked the keys inside the U-Haul at the same time they were about to get kicked out. Somehow Cody finessed getting the keys out with a stick, then he quickly got the trick before they got booted.

Jonas Harris 50-50 ollie | Colt Morgan photo

Jonas looked right at home in NY, it was a nice compliment to his aesthetic. Robby was actually home–like he’s from Long Island–bumping 22gz and sliding through kinked rails. Everyone was riding a snow induced high that could only come from being in New York. Even as the snow started to melt, the boys scraped up what they could to keep it going.

“Once we got there it was game on. We slept a little, but it really was like spot after spot after spot. And we really didn’t have a lack of spots.”

-Cooper

“This was my first time in NY. I remember being head to toe in snowboard gear walking through Harlem feeling so out of place and then walking up to the spot, strapping in, and that out of place feeling disappeared, it was crazy.”

-Noah
Benny and the bike | Photo Oli

I was able to get in a few days with Jilly P and the boys while we were traveling towards Boston. We thought we might not even get to snowboard, but the group made the drive from Philadelphia to Manhattan after the airport dilemma. We spent our first day at Jerome Banks, Jill got a last minute banger, and then we hit the road. We were leaving NYC with a stack of clips, on our way to Boston with smiles on our faces.

“Looking back on it I was excited to jump into a trip with the box. A little insecure at first, but I was ready to expect the unexpected. Coming off the year prior, I was trying to do something different and being with the DB was an opportunity to be with friends and that was huge to me. It also set the pace for the whole year, that was key to how that year shook out.”

-Jill Perkins

Both squads had felt like this early trip in December was a bonus round. New York provided and was the gas this fire needed. Over the course of the next 4 months we drove over 10,000 miles through Omaha, Iowa, Milwaukee, Minnesota, NYC (again), Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Denver–just to name a few. The trips had their highs and lows, but the highs always out weighed any deficit we faced. Over the next handful of pages the gang tells the story of the year: the good, the bad, and all that weird shit in between that makes what we do so memorable.

Colt Photos, NYC

Brett Kulas Mentality 

Brett Kulas, ready | Colt Photo

It was mid-January and this winter was heating up, literally, but the low temps of Minnesota allow the snow to stick around. So we headed to Minneapolis. For once, we had a decent Airbnb. The squad was at max capacity, we had Brett Kulas back on board after coming off an injury from last year. You could tell Brett approached this year differently, he had a strategy.

“Last year I just wasn’t mentally prepared for the exhaustion of the road. I felt like I failed myself, I got injured and I wanted to redeem myself. This year I went out and bought a book about mindfulness. It breaks down how your mind influences your physical performance. I highlighted passages from that and read a little bit of it every day while on the road. That for me helped me out so much, it helped me approach battles differently. I’d read at least a page in the morning and feel ready for the day.”

– Brett Kulas

PARTY VAN: BACK TO NYC

Cooper oververt wallride | Colt Photo

“We get to Minnesota and in an instant, two weeks flew by. Then February 1st, early in the morning, Dan and Cooper are like on some straight Art of Flight shit, looking at the weather patterns and snow forecasts. They were like it’s happening again in New York. Meanwhile, we still got 15 homies who haven’t even woken up yet–and the Airbnb is trashed. We were supposed to stay a handful more days, but Dan and Cooper were like “we got to leave right now, we are already blowing it.” It was big Rob Roethler’s bday that day and he had taken time off work to fly into Minnesota to meet us. Initially, he was like “shit I got to go back to work,” then he was like, “hell nah it’s my birthday I’m going to New York.”

“It only took 5 minutes to get everyone onboard and packing. We knew it was going to be snowing, but it was Rob’s birthday and we honestly started boozing while we were cleaning the bnb before departure. Dan drove the white van, now in full casino mode. Mo drove the black van which was in full theater mode. It started fun, but soon turned into the most unrelaxing journey of the year. Every couple feet there was an accident on the highway. Dan was left to drive solo, 19 hours, because everyone was boozed up. But Noah stayed awake with him the whole drive. And Mo drove the whole time because everyone else who tried to drive was falling asleep at the wheel.”

-Robby

“I remember being so uncomfortable, Jonas and Ryan were switching off laying on top of each other for comfort, it felt like we were hallucinating from being awake for so long. We pulled into New York at 8:30 am. Rob got on a work call. We drove around in circles, chain smoking until they let us into our Airbnb.”

– Cody

Dan, do you have a favorite van moment?

“When we were leaving New York and heading to Pittsburgh, Reid had to pee and attempted to pee out the window of the van. He was just pissing in the wind and it was just blowing back on Jonas in the back seat. At first Jonas didn’t know what was going on but when he realized, it was absolutely hilarious. That’s where the piss jug got created. Pee in the jug, pass it around.”

-Dan

This is, and always will be, Dan’s ledge. Nothing else will go down on it | Oli Photo

DES MOINES HAUNTED HOUSE

Robby Meehan fs lipslide | Colt Photo

“Dan and I go outside to have a nightcap doobie. It was midnight and everyone had gone to sleep already. There was a big mudroom, giving the house a two-door entry. We walked out the first door into the mudroom and literally watched the door slo-motion latch behind us. We didn’t have a key. After a small “oh shit” moment we figured we’d smoke then figure it out later. So we walked outside the mudroom, stepped onto the sidewalk and started to formulate a plan as we got baked. The house was like four stories, and already seemed spooky. The architecture was so strange, there were these massive wooden crosses all over the ceiling of the house. One room had a massive cross right above the bed, like the perfect room for an exorcism. Naturally, Noah slept there. So we realized our only chance to sneak in might be through the second story window. Luckily, in the back of Benny’s truck was a ladder. We quickly felt like two burglars–like the sticky bandits from Home Alone.”

-Robby

“Robby was holding the ladder as I tried to climb to the second story window. We had already been calling everyone inside the house the whole time, but no one was answering. Getting up to the window I could hear phones vibrating and shit, but no one was moving. I just started yelling people’s names, we were tripping that neighbors would see us, but we were like fuck it we want to get inside.”

-Dan

“I remember being asleep and like hearing voices while I was out of it, so it didn’t seem real. The voice was carrying loud through the house, echoing almost like some horror movie shit. But as I started to pay closer attention, someone said my name and then asked, “Is anyone awake?”

-Colton
Can’t not love him. Tom by Colt

OMAHA

After the holidays and the New Year, we started with a long ass drive to Omaha from SLC. We watched all the extended versions of Lord of the Rings and felt inspired by the success of the young hobbits. Pulling into Omaha, it was low tide and the rain had washed most of the snow out. Once again the power of the green shovel army proved successful. If you have 8-10 homies scraping snow, in 30-minutes, odds are you’ll have enough to make something happen. We stole Tommy Towns from the Torment crew and our worries were wiped clean by his natural ability to make the whole gang smile. And he pulled off one of the largest slappys ever seen.


John P from the Bronx Interview

Many times in NYC we found ourselves all hanging at the spot walking back and forth from the bodega, interacting with people walking by. John P from the Bronx greeted us with some true hospitality that nobody would be able to forget. I caught up with John P to talk to him a bit about his interaction with us and his life in the Bronx.

Mo: So we are doing this article for this snowboard magazine and I am trying to describe what our vibe for the winter was and what it was like to snowboard in New York City.

John P: Don’t get it twisted, people do snowboard in New York, hit a hill or a slope with snow on it or whatever, but the way I saw those guys doin’ it was unfathomable. They were on 199th Street launching over shit from all over. Shit you only see in videos bro.

So tell me about yourself?

I’m from the Bronx, I know New York like the back of my hand. I was a chef for many years and my profession took me all over the city. I skated back in the day, my favorite skaters were like John Cardiel and Ray Barbee.

Where did you see the Dustbox at? 

I was on my way home from work, it was snowing. I was having a drink, about to pop into the bodega, and I see the homie flying down this rail eating shit and jumping right back up. It brought out some type of youthful emotion for me, I just started watching and they let me be a part of it. I realized they lived in Utah so I eased up on the energy—I didn’t want them to think I was on some funny shit. They told me they hadn’t had a bacon egg and cheese yet from BX Metro Superette. I lost my shit. I bought them all bacon, egg and cheeses right there. I was moved by their vibe.

What is bodega mafia?

It’s like being a part of a fraternity. Being from New York you kinda grow up as cornerstore boys. Ya know the bodega raised us, that’s where people would congregate for good and bad reasons. But nonetheless the cornerstone watches you grow up from a boy to a man, watching you grind through life everyday. That’s what the bodega mafia is.

Is Dustbox bodega mafia?

JP- Definitely, they down, when you come back to New York imma jump you all in.


ESCAPING IOWA

Tommy Towns fs 50-50 creeper ollie out | Marc O’Malley Photo

Iowa was different this year, the year before it was fun and new. It felt like we ran out of spots fast and it was blown out with a ton of other crews. It was March and we were operating as a skeleton crew at that point–not full capacity. Ryan, Colton, Jordan, Cooper and myself wanted to see if we could catch a miracle march in a small city in Iowa. But we were greeted in Iowa with a bunch of gnarly kickouts from local business owners. And the cops had all our info from the start. We couldn’t catch a break.

Soon the local law had seen enough and they were trying to get us to come down to the station to discuss damages claimed by a local business owner. It was nonsense and we were feeling like we needed to get the fuck out of Iowa. We packed up and set sail for SLC. But first, we attempted one last spot that ended with us meeting an adorable elderly couple that brought us a 24 pack of Busch Light.

Captain MO by Colt

Four hours later and we were almost home free. So we hit a couple souvenirs at the Flying J crossing. As soon as we gained speed, we heard a loud pop and the engine started to sputter and we lost all ability to accelerate. We weren’t going anywhere, the van was toast. It felt like Iowa was trying to trap us. We called for a tow truck, couple hours they said. Luckily my parents live just across the Nebraska border in Omaha. They were willing to come pick up some of us and leave a car for Colt and Cooper to have when the tow truck arrived.

We thought what better way to stay positive than to get baked. Our foggy haze was quickly interrupted by lights pulling up behind us. Perfect, the Iowa law. Quickly, the boys opened the doors, and Ryan ran down the hill to chuck the doobies. The cop’s flood lights perfectly captured the clouds of smoke billowing out of the van. He walked up to me on the drivers side where I calmly smoked my cig and explained the noise the engine was making. As I looked at him I could see him analyzing the scenario. He looked at me and said “sorry boys the only thing I can do is check back on ya to make sure the tow truck arrived.” We jumped back in the van and took a deep breath. Close call. My parents arrived with an extra vehicle so Colt and Cooper could stay with the van till the tow truck came. Colt and Cooper ended up hanging in the extra vehicle listening to music while they waited. 2 am rolled around and it was evident the tow truck wasn’t coming. Colton and Coop just figured they’d drive to Omaha and head back in the morning for the van. Upon trying to turn the key to fire up the car, they realized they had drained the battery listening to music. Time to give up, Iowa wasn’t going to let them leave. Luckily they had sleeping bags in the van, so they got cozy for one last night on the side of the highway, semi trucks rocking them to sleep.

Cody, Jonas, Jill, Dan | Colt Photo

DENVER: THE LAST STOP

Ryan Collins Roof Rider by Oli

We finally made it back to Salt Lake after 60 days in the van. It was grueling no doubt, but it was the time of our lives. Right when we thought it was over, it didn’t take long for talks of a last minute storm to start buzzing around. So we found ourselves in Denver, it was an exciting thought to get everyone back together in one last chance for romance. Plus, mystery guest and Snooze Global vet, Pete Cerulo, would join us after being out with a knee injury all year.

Peter Cerulo 50-50 to Vespa by Oli

Coincidentally, Oli Gagnon hit the Box up about trying to make it to Denver. For someone who has shot pinnacle moments in snowboarding for the last 20+ years, that call was insane to get. Not to mention—we are all fans. It was on. He flew to Salt Lake, jumped straight in chains, stuffed his feet in the trash, and got cozy. He was the first out of the van to throw a shovel and was never bummed when we sessioned something till 4 am with no success. Not only is he one of the best behind the lens but he is tip top human. Thank you Oli.

Denver was like a magic carpet ride. We got clips, we hand marked some enders, we got to see our friends, and it was a great way to end the year. It felt like everything had come full circle and again we were able to find magic on the road. We left Denver feeling rich with priceless memories, immensely grateful for the opportunity to have so many good days together.

Benny at Red Rocks | Oli Photo

These last years have proven that the Dustbox have not only found a way to make great snowboard videos but they have a great way to live their lives. Their riding is undeniably great, but it’s so much more than that. In a world full of turmoil, they’ve built a safe haven. Built by homies for the homies, and the more homies the merrier. If they aren’t doing it together, then they don’t do it at all. If one of them is down, they’re all down. If one of them is up, they’re all up. If you have bought a tee, smashed the like button or just said some kind words about the Box, ya family. Everyone desires to build or be a part of something that outlives themselves. The Dustbox is here to stay and the Dustbox is for everyone.

Noah Peterson, last stop bomb drop, denver | Oli


First Annual Ojofest—Photo Gallery

First Annual Ojofest—Photo Gallery

| March 27th, 2022 |

“NEIGHBORHOOD” a film by Cole Barash

“NEIGHBORHOOD” a film by Cole Barash

| November 15th, 2021 |

Directed by Cole Barash

We are always after insight. Especially when it surrounds a subject of interest. Hearing Blake Paul and Dan Liedahl explain what snowboarding means to them, at its most basic and premature element, the art of resort riding, scratches that itch and provides context we may have overlooked. And most importantly, you end up wanting to ride and replicate those expressed feelings. With a lot of the same these days, this is not your average snowboard film, as Cole Barash explains: 

Neighborhood is a short film that taps into a place from where and why I began snowboarding. A place that is about the feeling of riding your local hill, doing a million laps and having a shit eating grin the entire time with your friends for no reason than to just be. It was what you had and you made the best of it because it was the best.  

Within this piece, I went to spend time with Danimals at his home in Minnesota, and got a taste of the absolutely amazing rope tow culture—so rooted it feels ahead of its time. Then I spent a chunk with Blake Paul where he lives in SLC riding Brighton. The access to terrain, big squad vibe and the Milly chair.  

I hope in the end, some crew of young-ass groms from the middle of nowhere sees this film and gets them hyped.  Hyped to not need a helicopter, fly to a city to jib, or to be stressing on stacking. Just fired up to go up and take some laps, talk shit to each other and have a good time. As at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.” 

Directed by Cole Barash

Edited and co/directed by Pep Kim

Cinematography by Michael Cukr, Harry Hagan, Pep Kim, and Cole Barash

Music by Thom Pringle, Billy Mcfeely, and Ray Barbee

Supported by Vans Snowboarding


This film was made in conjunction with Hillman, a zine shot by Cole. If Neighborhood is the motion picture version of the project, then Hillman is the photographic, tangible extension. As said before, it comes free with each copy of Torment Magazine Issue FOUR.

“living room” a short film featuring Cole Navin

“living room” a short film featuring Cole Navin

| October 27th, 2021 |

Torment Mag proudly presents “living room,” a full feature film showcasing the movements and renderings of Cole Navin and his friends. Join us as we document the deep dive into Cole’s altered world.

Additionally Featuring: Tommy Towns, Reid Smith, Spencer Schubert, Savannah Shinske, Forest Bailey, Jill Perkins, Mark Wilson, Parker Szumowski, Nick Erickson and Dan Liedahl

Directed by: Cole Navin & Jon Stark

Filmed by: Jon Stark

Produced by: Ian Boll & Jon Stark

8mm shot by: Cole Navin, Marc O’Malley, Jon Stark, Ian Boll and Tanner Pendleton

16mm shot by: Ian Boll, Jon Stark & Tanner Pendleton

Additional Filming by: Harry Hagan, Jake Durham, Tanner Pendleton, Marc O’Malley, Cole Navin, Savannah Shinske, Cam Boll, Colton Morgan and Reid Smitht

Locations:
Portland, OR
Providence, RI
Omaha, NE
New York City, NY
Worcester, MA
Denver, CO
Mt. Hood, OR

This film was made possible by:

The North Face

Vans

Ride Snowboards

living room | trailer

living room | trailer

September 15th, 2021

Coming October 27th…

A film based on the snowboarding and mindset of Cole Navin.

Alongside Parker Szumowski, Savannah Shinske, Dan Liedahl, Spencer Schubert, Jill Perkins, Tommy Towns, Forest Bailey, Reid Smith, Nick Erickson and Mark Wilson.

Presented by The North Face, Vans & Ride Snowboards

Join us for the world premiere of “living room” October 23rd at the Torment Mag Issue FOUR Magazine Release party in SLC, Utah along with “Good Sport.”

An ode to Chris Brunkhart

An ode to Chris Brunkhart

June 26th, 2021

Written by Tanner Pendleton

There’s a tendency to separate the artist from the work they create. That is to say, how often does one consider the complexities of the person behind the shutter when thumbing through their favorite magazine? Chris Brunkhart’s work demands such consideration. Opting-in to a deeper understanding of Chris as a person enriches our perspective of his vast archive of black and white photography—including the many years he spent documenting snowboarding pioneers, like Craig Kelley, Barrett Christie, and Bryan Iguchi. Similar to the impossible task of learning to turn with the finesse Craig had, Chris’ photography has delicate layers that will never be duplicated. 

When I first heard that Chris was gay, I was met with mixed emotions—giddy at the idea of a queer lens shaping the early years of snowboarding, while heartbroken knowing that Chris is no longer with us. I learned that Chris struggled with his sexual identity, keeping it a secret for the majority of years he shot snowboarding. As I explored Chris’ photography, I was perpetually drawn to the work he created in his later years, outside of snowboarding. As if racing against time, he documented everything—from travels to Morocco and Hawaii, to years spent living in New York City. These images are poetic, mysterious, and brimming with a feeling of angst. Perhaps I’m projecting, but more than likely, these images are touching on an experience shared by myself and many LGBTQ+ people. 

photo by Chris Brunkhart

In his monograph How Many Dreams in the Dark (2010), Chris describes his affinity for photographing swimming holes. Many of these images portray youth observing the sheer beauty of water surrounded by dense forest; sometimes on the edge, as if contemplating taking the plunge; sometimes in mid-air, surrounded by a void of whiteness, as if jumping into the unknown. It’s hard not to connect such imagery to the queer experience—the swimming hole becoming a metaphor for self-acceptance and tranquility; the unforgiving terrain surrounding the pool of water representing the journey to get there. Whether or not these were Chris’ intentions, I can’t say. However, there is no shortage of similar themes and motifs throughout Chris’ work. One can only wonder if these internal dialogues date back to the snowboard years. At this point, we are only left with conjecture and a stack of negatives—but most importantly, a call to revisit and re-evaluate Chris’ work.

To end this week of queer pride in snowboarding, we would like to honor Chris, recognizing his queer identity, and the many contributions he made to the world of snowboarding. With the help of Chris’ husband Zeke, we are running a limited sale of three images from the archive. 100% of proceeds will go to Outside In. Since 1968, Outside In has transformed thousands of lives by helping break the cycles of chronic homelessness, poverty, and poor health among Portland’s LGBTQIA+ community, people of color, those experiencing homelessness, and the underserved.

Click here to purchase Chris’ Prints

photo by Chris Brunkhart

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