June 23rd, 2017

Spring Trip to Revelstoke for the 509 Film Shoot

I am a cattle rancher in eastern Oregon. My job is totally dependent on the seasons; springtime is calving season/fencing/turning out, summer is spent irrigating/putting up hay/moving cows around, fall is gathering cattle/weening/projects. But my favorite season is winter. In the winter all we have to do is basically feed and ride sleds.

Even though I get to spend a lot of time riding in the winter, there is one drawback. I can’t go on many sled trips because the cows have to be fed every day. It only takes two and a half hours to feed if I hustle, so I get up early, get it done and hit the slopes as soon as I can.


Stacking Up Footage

Each winter of sledding begins with high hopes of getting good footage. This season was no different. As soon as the snow was falling, I was itching to get some shots.

Luckily, these days it’s possible to get decent shots with only a smart phone and a buddy. When we’re out riding, I am constantly handing my phone to a buddy, saying “Hey, will you get a shot for me?” On deep days they reluctantly say yes, wishing they were still slashing pow turns!


Spring Trip


While we are all up there to have fun, I am always trying to get that next Insta to promote my sponsors. This year it paid off when I received an invite from 509 to ride in their spring shoot. I felt like all my hard work and pestering buddies for shots had paid off.


Spring Trip to Revelstoke

The spring trip was set for April 28 in Revelstoke, BC. It was perfect timing to coincide with the end of branding season, which is also the end of feeding season. Our last day of branding was actually on the 26, so to get away for a sled vacation after 122 straight days of feeding was a dream come true.


This is what feeding the cows is like. Look at all those hungry cows! – Ed


I took off from Baker City, Oregon on April 26, and met up with 509 in Spokane, WA where we began our adventure north. The drive was great: from mud slides near Bonners Ferry, ID, to seeing bighorn sheep run through town in Radium Hot Springs, BC. The next amazing sight was Rogers Pass, between Golden and Revy. It was awesome, with a half dozen avalanche tunnels and the remnants of huge slides throughout the winter. Oh and by the way, the mountains were HUGE! Next stop, Revy.

After a good 14hr drive, we got in around 10pm. A steakhouse was still open, so we had some beers and good food. Once we finished, it was time to get some sleep, since next day we would meet up with the boys and hit the mountain.


Time to Ride

The first day did not disappoint. We met up with Reagan Sieg, Cody Borchers, and Riley Suhan. Everyone was scanning the terrain for booters, and snow conditions were great. We took turns picking out features and getting our sleds upside down. There were hips everywhere, a sledder’s paradise. We rode until the sun set behind the mountains; by that time we were beat. Good snow and weather, it was an epic day.


Spring Trip


I was totally blown away by Reagan on his snowbike; he was throwing down. This was my first season on a snowbike from Moto-trax. Watching Reagan definitely gave me something to strive for next year. I can’t wait to use what I learned from Reagan to dial in my set up.


One Window Closes, Another Opens

I had brought my bike up along with my sled, thinking that if my sled broke I would still be able to ride. It only took one ride for that to happen. While I was fixing a bent spindle on my sled from the day before, I noticed a primary clutch tower bolt had sheared off. We checked everywhere in town but there was no matching bolt to be found, so I rode my snowbike instead. I mean, it wasn’t all bad. I had the chance to ride snowbikes with arguably one of the best riders in the world.

Later, I talked with Shuswap Xtreme Recreation in Salmon Arm, BC—an hour’s drive away—and they said they would pull a bolt off a unit in the showroom. Big props to them for helping me out! My sled was good to go for the next day but it would be Reagan’s last day there so I thought I would take advantage and ride my snowbike again.

My second day on the bike was amazing! Reagan pushed me to new limits and we had a blast. Even though my suspension wasn’t nearly stiff enough, I was still able to send it and get a little sideways. To be able rip around with a legend like him was so rad, probably the highlight of my trip.


Spring Trip



Making The Most of Down Days

In the meantime my good bud Jay Mentaberry had arrived and I was pretty excited to go out and send it with him. Unfortunately, the next day was stormy so the whole crew decided that golf would be a great way to spend the day. Indeed it was; good times were had by all and shenanigans ensued. From teeing off at the driving range, racing carts, to making an all-time putt for the team, it was a killer day.


Riley Suhan Cody Borchers


Golf was fun but we were there to ride, and the forecast for the next day was better. We headed out early, to a riding area that was new to me. It was socked in, and after banging our heads against the handlebars all morning the sun finally came out. We shovelled out a cool hit, and it made for a great moral booster. The rest of day was all-time, with great light to end the day.

Day 6 was another rain day and since we were all feeling the last few days of riding, we thought a trip to Halcyon Hot Springs would feel good. It was about an hour drive from Revy with a ferry ride, which was exciting since I had never been on one before. The hot springs was pretty sweet, located right on the water. It was a misty day, and felt great to just relax.


Spring Trip

Ryan Phillips Jay Mentaberry


Last Day on Snow

Our last day on snow was May 4. The snow had definitely deteriorated from the beginning of the trip, but we were determined to get in one more day. We went to another new area, which was just as amazing as everywhere else we had been. I wish we could have spent more time in there, but Jay and I had to call it early to start our trek back home.

It was a great spring trip. Meeting new people and seeing awesome country never gets old. It makes me realize how fortunate I am. Life is good.

Spring Trip



— Ryan