Chris Coulter in his element in Haines, AK

Photo: Andrew Miller

Chris Coulter / Ambassador Guides

Bio

Home ZoneWastach, Utah and Silverton, Colorado
SponsorsBluebird, Cheetah Factory Racing, Eddie Bauer, Smith Optics and Helmets, Spark R+D
Where do you guide backcountry snowboarding? I work as a guide and patrol for Silverton Mountain in Colorado in the heart of the winter, SEABA Heli-skiing in Haines, Alaska in the spring and SASS Global Travel in Argentina from July-September. 2013 Season Highlight Getting to work with Xavier De La Rue in Haines AK. Seeing the way he looks at the mountain and interprets terrain was an eye opening experience. Favorite Jones Boards Mountain Twin is good in all conditions and terrain. I like being on the same board as much as possible so I can get really in tune with the way it rides and responds. I like a board to feel like an extension of my body. For touring I ride the Solution splitboard. By not carrying the weight of the board on your back you save a ton of energy. Why do you snowboard? Snowboarding takes me to a place where the fast pace of life and all mental distractions go away. It puts me in the moment where nothing else matters. I snowboard for exercise and peace of mind.
If you only got one pow day for the entire next winter, where would you ride? I would ride at my friends cabin in the Colrado backcountry - the Bonnie Belle. I love the Bonnie Belle because it's perched on a 12, 000 ft ridge and you can ride a lot of different terrain there. It's truly a magical place where I have made some of the best friendships I have going today. What is one splitboarding tip or lesson every aspiring splitboarder should know before hitting the skin track? Chest out, butt out, back straight. Stand on your heels and take smaller steps when your slipping on the steeps. The straight edge of the board gets better purchase on firm snow. Cut your skins short of the contact point. That’s one tip right? Hahaha What pre-trip advice do you have for riders who want to go Heli-riding in Haines, AK with SEABA? I asked Jeremy Jones a similar question several years ago. What to do to get ready for AK? His answer was a bit unexpected, but it was spot on so I start with his advice. He said to practice riding the steepest ice or firm snow you can ride. Shredding steep ice might not sound fun but it truly makes you a better rider! This advice has helped me turn rough conditions into some really fun and progressive days. Other than that, we crush lots of vertical at SEABA so get your legs strong. Also bring a big board for flotation and stability at high speeds. Oh, and start smiling a lot to get the cheek muscles strong. You don’t want to get cheek cramps from all the face shots your going to get! hahaha