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We can’t guarantee that Alex Gavic’s 100% Human Powered edit will make winter come any quicker, but we do guarantee it will have you thinking about it.

The mountains have always been the place I feel most like myself. A place of expression and creativity. I moved to Utah 8 years ago today to snowboard. I did not know what to expect. I was 19, and thought it was going to be a “one winter thing.” I never left. I don’t plan on ever leaving.

I soon grew into the backcountry side of the sport. I read a book on avalanche safety, got the gear, and went to work. Every winter I grew further from the resorts. There’s something about being surrounded by these big, wild places that is so alluring to me. Getting away from the crowded lift lines. Seeking out a first track down a mountain side. Most people don’t understand what goes into filming in the backcountry, and even fewer about doing it solely by human powered access.

There are so many variables. Avalanche hazards, ridgeline scrambling above exposed cliffs, dehydration, injury, timing are just a few things that go into getting out to a zone. You can die. It’s a risk that all backcountry goers take. I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into the mountains. I’ve put in years of time. I’ve put in years of money. I’ve walked for 8 hours, uphill, only to turn around to unsafe conditions.

All in all, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve gone deep within myself and come out the other side. I’ve made life long friendships and memories. I’ve absorbed everything that I could from the mountains and I am very proud of the person they have created. It takes an abstract mind to maintain this life.

This is splitboarding.

-Alex Gavic


Colin Balke is a content editor for who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.