RIPPING | GABRIEL JACQUES
Interview by Max Trudel Photos by Renrob Gabriel Jacques Age | 25 Place | L’Ange-Gardien, QC Sponsors | Bataleon snowboards, Dragon, Vans,...
A skate-rat from Montreal is now living in Pemberton with cats. Todd Easterbrook became snowboard obsessed on the easterly Laurentian Mountains before visiting Whistler in the winter of 2000. There he discovered photography and inspired by the West Coast wilderness he returned to Quebec to take commercial photography courses at Dawson College. He rebounded to Whistler to ride and capture images of the local talent. After years of documenting snowboarding, Todd has travelled the world, his photos have been published in all leading action sports publications, and he has accepted awards for his work. As a ripping snowboarder with a great attitude and unmatched work ethic Todd’s talents continues to be sought after. Here are seven` stories behind a few of his adventures.
Follow Todd Easterbrook | @ToddEasterbrook
Charles Reid, Frontside Double Cork, Whistler Backcountry | 2014
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve brought my lighting setup into the backcountry. But knowing that we were getting a late start on the day, which became even later due to sled issues, I was stoked to put an idea, inspired by an Ashley Barker cover, into action. Charles Reid, Geoff Brown and Charles Beckinsale were trying to get clips for the When in Whistler web series. By the time we built this classic Whistler jump named “Cover Jump” (a la Matt Beardmore and Brian Hockenstein), it was dumping super heavy and neither the riders or my gear were that hyped. But I was, as it was quickly becoming the image I had envisioned. By around 5:30 PM Charles put one down and closed out the session. We packed up and sledded out in the dark.
Craig Beaulieu, 5050 Alley-Oop Redirect, Kelowna | 2015
With a slow start to the season in Whistler, Craig Beaulieu, his winch and I spent two separate weeks in Kelowna, BC cruising around and finding features. This image is from the first week there in early January which was very successful. We won’t talk about the second week.
Jess Kimura, Ben Bilocq and Mary Rand were also there that night. I always loved working with Bowl-U, his creativity, positivity, ability and work ethic are hard to beat. Shout out to Phil George’s Dad for letting us crash at his sled shop, Black Mountain Motorsports.
Aaron “Pnut” Johnson, Boardslide to Drop, New Brunswick | 2015
2015 was a low snow year out west but the east was getting hammered. With over four feet in a week, plans were made and flights were booked. Craig Beaulieu, Andrew Burns, Geoff Brown and myself headed to New Brunswick where we met up with Fredericton native and snow legend currently living back east, Aaron “Pnut” Johnson. What was meant to be a couple of weeks turned into almost a month. Pretty sure we never got busted at any spot. In fact, we were a big deal there, made the cover of a local paper and even had a spot on Global TV news. This particular spot is actually on top of a government office and we hit it mid-week during the day. I remember at one point seeing a cop car show up on the rooftop parking and thinking, “I guess we’re done”. But to my surprise, he told them to “be careful” and drove off. Surreal!
Beau Bishop, Turing & Burning, Alaska | 2015
Another one from 2015, the year winter skipped Whistler. Andrew Burns and Beau Bishop decided to head to Haines, AK for some heli time. They invited filmer Dave Craig and myself. We flew into Whitehorse and rented an RV that would be our home for the next 10 days… which actually turned into 30 days. It was the first of many for me and a trip I’ll never forget. First time to Alaska, first time living in an RV, first time shooting with a heli and first time shooting “doors off”. It blew me away and I’ve wanted to return ever since.
Eero Niemela, Front 180 to Switch Backside 900, Pemberton | 2016
I received a text late one night from filmer Brian Hockenstien, who was working on the new Wildcats movie, asking if I was available to shoot the next day in the Pemberton Backcountry. They were a big crew that day but we’re going to split up and I’d be with him, Devun Walsh, Eero Niemela, and Ryan Tiene. I was down! I recall not being able to sleep much that night as I was overly anxious and slightly intimidated to get out with those legends. We spent the first half of the day building a jump but it was losing light fast as it was still only mid-February. The riders went to scope and build this classic double line and I hung out with Brian while he filmed the other half of the crew. Devun radioed Brian when the build was almost done, we started to make our way to it but had a couple of hiccups. At first, going in the wrong direction then followed a few stuck sleds. Once we got there the light was fading fast and Devun had to bounce to pick up his kids from daycare so Eero and Ryan had a quick session and we called it a day. It wasn’t the dream day I had hoped for but definitely still memorable.
Geoff Brown, Switch Backside 900, Whistler | 2016
In 2016 I was on contract with Geoff Brown for the Out of Service web series. Geoff was the first rider that I ever shot with in the backcountry once I got a sled back in 2013. I owe a lot to him and the opportunities that have come from working together. This was captured in late March. I remember the freezing levels were rising but if you stayed high enough and mainly North facing you could still find good snow and “Cold Gap” delivered on this day.
Chris Rasman, Cab 900, Whistler | 2018
This was my first day getting out with The Manboys and it was a good one. It had snowed about 2 and a half feet then went full blue. Rusty Ockenden, Matt Belzile and Jody Wachniack were there as well. This was the last feature they sessioned that day. I recall when we were building it that Rusty sledded up to join us and a small face above the run in slid. You can also see fractures in the landing and we had a feeling it might slide but fortunately, it didn’t. I knew that Rasman goes big and I almost lost him out of the frame for not shooting wide enough. Lesson learned.