Mountain State 2.0: Josh Daiek is Back in Search of Nevada's Best Hidden Ski Spots | Salomon TV
AS WE ALL KNOW… AS WE ALL KNOW… SEQUELS CAN BE TRICKY - [Cameraman] Summarize the last two years of the project and how you were feeling going into this season. - I think when you're making a ski film about Nevada you're gonna have some doubts and second guessing, and wondering if it's gonna line up. I had friends and people ask me like, it seems like you guys are really struggling out there.
Why don't you find something else to do? It goes back to what I said in the first film is, I'm a stubborn son of a bitch, and I know that there's good skiing out there and I'm stubborn enough to stick it out. Woo, that looks nice. Man, we struggled the first two years.
It was nothing but struggle. - Oh, God. - I mean the first year we got more shots skiing on the sand dune than anything else. The fact is, I don't care. I just love skiing.
I love seeing new stuff. I love skiing new stuff. That's what's fun to me. So if the snow is garbage and it's stable and we can go ski it, it sounds like a win-win to me. - It's vertical in here, might be hard to tell, but it's about, if I had to guess 50 degrees, 55 maybe.
- You know, there's a lot of variables going into it and it feels like a lot of times we're rolling the dice, and this year the dice were lining up. We were landing. This year was all about redemption. I've been wanting to say that. Yeah, you know, in the years past it's kind of like everything south of Highway 80 didn't get any snow.
So this year with the Highway 50 corridor getting snow it was kind of a focus of mine, I really wanted to focus on some of these zones that we've been staring at but haven't got to check out yet. So it was really cool to dip into “the loneliest highway in America”, as they call it. Yeah, it was wild. From the ghost towns, old mining towns, random bars on the side of the highway to all the people we met along the way. So, it's kind of second to none, and it's not only about the skiing but you're not gonna get these type of experiences in any other ski community across the world.
This is a very unique experience, and I think that's what draws me and attracts me to it, is not only the skiing but the whole adventure that goes along with it. It's wild. I don't want to beat a dead horse here and I already know what y'all are thinking. Not another ski movie about Nevada.
Well guess what? That's what you're getting. That was another thing I've been wanting to say. It was a stormy year in Nevada and so you know, I'm obsessed with it, so I'm watching the forecast every day. The first thing I do when I get up in the morning I'm looking at the forecast, I'm looking, you know at all these different ranges and all these different places that I have in mind where I want to go, and at a certain point you just gotta say, "screw it, we're going." Ready to go, man.
Been jonesing for some Nevada. Jonesing for some… redemption. - Yeah, when Daiek called me to go to Nevada my first thought was, I was a little nervous for sure. If you've ever skied with Daiek, one, you're always in for an adventure and two, he likes to ski gnarly stuff really fast.
- Holy smokes. That is scary to say the least. That is pretty much vertical.
Super nervous. The nerves on the climb up are...it’s all-time. It's not something we're super used to doing. I didn't know where we were going, he didn't really tell me, but once we got there and we chatted a little bit about it, I realized that we were in for an adventure.
- I wanted redemption on my crash from last year. So we hopped in the rig and went, brought along Stan Rey and- Ready to rock and roll? - Ready to rock and roll. - Got out there late at night in the dark.
Definitely a little nervous, but excited nervous. Can't say I slept well that night. Couldn't help but lay there and think about the line and I think if I had had a person with me last year I probably wouldn't have made the mistake that I made.
I'm embarrassed that I even did that, would make such a poor decision, man, I'm lucky to be alive. That makes you think twice. What the hell am I doing? It was a lapse in judgment.
I'm grateful that it allowed me to ski away that day. There's a lot of variables going on out there and so it's good to just constantly, even if it's not concerning you, even if it's not something that you're scared about but to bring it up. - [Stan] Does it look more filled in, less filled in, about the same? - [Josh] Oh, it's way more filled in. - So it just kind of put my mind at ease to have Stan there. - [Stan] I'm not gonna lie, I actually meant to do that. I just wanted to add a little excitement to the story - Next morning we got up early.
Hiked into the basin and man, as we were hiking up that basin I wasn't feeling like it was gonna be very good. The whole basin approach was all wind board and hard pack. - I'm still transitioning down here and Daiek has commenced the boot pack. We're in it now. - Much to my surprise, which is kind of like nothing I've ever experienced. Right when we got into the couloir, it turned to pow.
Damn, this is steep and beautiful. All this ripple snow. Seems like it's gonna be good. We're almost at the top, another hundred meters or so. This thing is epic.
- [Stan] Thanks for breaking trail there, big guy. - [Josh] Yeah buddy, thanks for being here. Nice work man. Woo! Stoked.
This is gonna be really fun. Yeah, it was pretty special to be able to share that moment with Daiek once we topped out. It's one you'll remember for a long time. It's a lot of work to get up there and pretty nerve-racking. - Shit yeah Stan. Enjoy buddy. - You too.
- And it's not that often you get to share those kind of moments with people. Here we go. So it's one I'll cherish for for a while. Keep it together, buddy. Woo! Man, after coming down that line, I mean I was so amped and, man, we had a good moment at the bottom Woo! Yeah-hoo! Fuck, yeah dude. And we look over and there's more lines to ski.
Whoo-hoo! Woo! We skied a number of lines in there and kind of had our way with that zone. It was epic! and really I felt like that set the tone for the season in Nevada. To come down after a long day in the mountains and a farmer rolls up on us and, "how's it going?" (laughs) So excited to see us and like, "man, I never see people coming up here," and to be fired up about it. And I was sure to thank them and be like, "man, we're so grateful to have this access."
It just keeps happening, every place we go in Nevada, it's just genuine good people. We've had nothing but warm welcomes and I'm grateful to you, farmer guy, thank you. So there's one thing I wanted to touch on is the importance of having a strong team out in these mountains, and over the years, Trevor and Hazen have become that team for me.
They've become my go-to adventure buddies. So when I got this call from Travel Nevada telling me about Kingston Canyon and the Lucky Spur Saloon, I knew exactly who to call. We rolled in in the dark and I kinda like rolling into places at dark that you've never been. 'cause then like the anticipation for the morning, "like what's it gonna look like, what's it gonna look like?" I'm excited man, there's so much to ski out here. I mean like look at this. (chuckles) There's like a little couloir over there.
Excited, stoked. We got up there, there was like two feet of blower. It was sick man, we just ripped pow laps all day. The desert pow shred. - No complaints there. - [Hazen] Was that fun? It didn't sound like you had fun.
- Woo! Yeah, what a treat. We have been camped out at Bunker Hill and looking across the canyon or across the valley we saw these mountains in the Toquima Range and, yeah, just kind of spontaneous little idea if we should come check it out. And here we are, we found a sweet little free ride zone here and we gonna jump off some little cliffs and rip some pow. Looks awesome. Dropping. Yew! Yew! Wow, what a cool adventure that was man.
So we're hanging out at The Lucky Spur mingling with the locals there and you know they're kind of pointing over towards these peaks on the other side of Big Smokey Valley. And so the boys and I went back to the camper that night and like, "Well should we do another day here or... "should we go check this other range out?" Next thing you know on the dusty road we go. That was wild man, just cruising down this, what seemed to be like an abandoned highway, and then all of a sudden you get on this dirt road. We're two hours from any town, what feels like middle of the desert, and all of a sudden you roll into this town.
It's like this crazy mining town, man, this old, abandoned ghost town. - t's like kind of just like a trip, you know, like where am I? What was this place? - I mean there must be like half dozen people still living there. Sure enough there's a little local watering hole.
These guys are out barbecuing so we rolled up and they're like, "come on in, let's barbecue "let's have a couple drinks," and. - Cheers. - Cheers, brother. You know, we kind of hit it off with these guys. I'm gone suckers! - [Person] He's outta here. - And we're setting bear traps. Up to the late hours of the morning.
lighting off cannons. - Oh! (cameraman laughs) I think I can safely say that was one of the wildest experiences I've ever just stumbled upon. And who else gets to shoot a civil war cannon? Let's be real.
It felt like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." It is unpredictable out there and it's wild, and it's raw and it's everything that defines Nevada. So let's talk about Great Basin National Park. Yeah, that's one I've been wanting to do for years now, man this has been on my list since back in the comp days since I was driving by it, and I always remember driving by and like looking out the back and like trying to get a better glimpse at these mountains because they're impressive.
You see 'em from the highway, you can tell they're big, they're rugged, they're nasty, they're right up my alley. I've been waiting to do this trip for a long time. I know it doesn't seem like it the way I'm talking, but I am fired up. Yeah. So there was a lot of wheels that had to be in motion, between snow camping and the park service and you know, all the other things, weather and variables that go on with being in the mountains.
And you know, we had a small weather window and again it was time to strike. I gave Trevor about... I don't know, 24 hour notice that we need to leave tomorrow. And you know, he was in and I gotta say I love that about Trevor. - [Trevor] Josh hit me up, I'm down in LA, he's like, "we're leaving." I'm like, "sick, I'm gonna make it back.
"Let's do it." He's like, "We're snow camping." I'm like, "Word." Never done it before.
I'll figure it out. And man, it was quite the experience. - Woo. We're here. We're all pretty worked.
(chuckles) That was a grind. What do you think Trevor? - It was a slog. But there's some insane looking stuff up there. And I think it's all gonna be worth it. - [Josh] It's been amazing having him along on these trips and this one was the same thing.
He's never been snow camping, he's never really used crampons or ice axes and I knew we were gonna be getting into some of that type of terrain and, uh. - Whew! - Nice work. - Holy shit. - Honestly, the gnarliest part was probably just the fact that we didn't sleep the night before. I was just running on pure adrenaline.
- He was all about it and I was happy to bring him under my wing and show him the ropes. - Man, I'm not gonna lie. I'm nervous, dude. Be safe buddy. - You too, dog. - Nice and easy here. - I've been wanting to ski here for probably at least 10 years and it seems rare that there's ever enough snow to even ski out here.
So to come out here and you know like we discussed the top part of the line we skied was garbage. (skies whooshing) (snow crunching) Fuck, that's intense. All right Trev, it's pretty much ice. It's edgeable. Slow and steady, buddy. You got this.
- But the bottom three quarters was quite ripping and really good snow and you know, I don't know if you get it much better than that here. Whoo-hoo! I feel fortunate that we got this weather window and it lined up at the same time as our permits, and yeah, we got lucky. Fuck yeah, brother. Nice work. It's one of those things that, goes along with this whole project is. I'm looking on Google Earth, I'm looking at topo maps, I'm looking at all these different things, and I kind of have a good idea of what's going to be good ski terrain.
But I have definitely pigeonholed myself and gone to a place where I think it's gonna be sick ski terrain, and it's just a cliff face. We rolled up there and I'm like, "man, I hope this zone is as rad as I think it's gonna be." 'Cause we just hiked six to nine hours to get in here. Sure enough we get in there and this wall is just insane.
We got to set up our camp right at the base of it. It was epic. Probably one of the sickest zones I've ever seen. Unfortunately, six inches of fresh snow, hot sun, springtime, face is shedding.
And although we want to go rip this thing, when the mountains are talking to you, you gotta listen. So we will not be skiing this face this year. However, consolation prize. We got all this north facing stuff behind us. Come on, dude.
Come on, dude. Let's go. Whoo-hoo! - Three, two, one, drop.
- Whoo-hoo! - Yeah, dude! - Whoo! - That was epic, bro. - What a day. Nice work, buddy.
That was a day. - That was a day. Stoke levels are here. - Very stoked. - Bagged levels are also here. - Yep. - But...
- Gonna sleep good tonight. Theoretically. Let's, uh... Let's drink some whiskey. It's funny, man. Nevada's become a total obsession.
Every time we leave the desert I'm like looking in the rear view mirror thinking, "I wish we weren't leaving. I wish we were just sticking it out through this next storm cycle and gonna be here for that one sunny day that pops." I'm in love with the place.
It's just so unique and unlike any other ski experience you can have. To be able to be out there on a year like this. What a treat. 'Cause who knows when this is gonna happen again.
I feel so fortunate that we got to experience it this year and... it's unreal when these mountains are filled in. It's a ski mecca. I feel like we've hit Nevada pretty good and, you know, there's a lot of other mountain ranges across the US. From east coast to west coast. There's a lot of stuff that hasn't been skied and a lot of stuff that has been, but a lot of stuff that's not well known. And those are the spots I want to go.
Cheers, buddy. - To one hell of an adventure. - To an amazing adventure.
Nice. Closer, warmer. Better. Better.
Boom bang! Connect. That's how it's done buddy. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go.
- One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. - One, two, three, go. One, two, three, go. - Oh, my god! - Yeah! - That was the most epic game of rock, paper, scissors I've ever played.
- Glad we did one and done.