All photography by Amanda Hankison
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Every November I get ready to step into the time-space continuum that is snowboarding, knowing that in the blink of an eye it will be May. Events, projects, photo shoots, injuries, deep days, blustery tours; they all begin to blur outside the window of the DeLorean as the accelerator steadily creeps toward 88mph. Looking back you remember the best of times and the worst of times, but most of all you remember the people who were with you day in, and day out. Enter Desiree Melancon and United Slopes of America. Desiree, with her merry little home nestled in the bed of her truck, is seeking to not only experience but to document what lies in that blur – details of the human element and why we love to stand sideways. United Slopes gives context to snowboarding’s culture, exploring resorts across America in order to connect snowboarders by reminding them of the common thread we all share.
Desiree is two years into United Slopes’ mission of visiting every resort in the USA and this winter she decided to focus on the bounty Utah provides. Coal Headwear brought us together on this special day to shoot photos at Brighton Resort. I was elated to spend time with my friends and hear of their latest adventure at in Southern Utah. Desiree, with Nirvana Ortanez, Jill Perkins, and Marc O’Malley in tow, had been on a tear through the state. I was all ears when they told stories of playing music late into the night, meeting characters at unheard of resorts, and getting the local tour of rolling powder fields. They were working hard and snowboarding everyday, their dedication to experiencing life on the road was inspiring.
Brighton’s idyllic slopes offered us a moment to slow down together. Spinning laps on Milly we were privy to a host of views that no photo can do justice. Brighton is home to most of us so we took to our favorite hidden gems. The lap delivered powder stashes, cliffs, and post tomahawk laughter that echoed through the snow covered forest. Arriving back at the bottom of the lift we would run into friends, old and new, sharing chairlift small talk and soaring above others making their way down the natural playground below. This is United Slopes – the community that thrives at every resort across the country, sharing stories with strangers, coming together to experience life as it is happening. Smiles this big don’t happen unless you’re sharing something special with those around you.
I’m thrilled to see the upcoming release of United Slopes’ second season. Desiree, from the snowboard community as a whole, thank you for your passion, vision, and dedication to snowboarding. Jah bless the United Slopes of America!