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Tess Carney

Venture Snowboards Ambassador Tess Carney

Home Town: Cora, Wyoming. Currently living in Lyttelton, New Zealand 

Home Mountain: Any high snowy peak.

Snowboarding since: 1993

Riding Venture since: 2004

Why Venture? I regularly portage my equipment across creeks and drag my gear through rock gardens to get to remote, untracked snow. With these boards I am not worried that if I run over a rock that my board will break. Venture makes quality, solid boards that pass any test that I put them through! As a testament to this endorsement, my circa­ 2004 Venture Storm is still in great shape and the base has hardly been nicked. I also appreciate that they’re a small, local company. This year I tried my very best to smash my Venture Tempest split board and solid Tempest , true to form they did not break or get any savage core shots. I am truly stoked that these boards are of such a quality and in my eyes they stand head and shoulders above the competition!

Best Snowboarding Memory: As I was summiting the broken and never snowboarded east face of Sviensindur Öræfajökull in Iceland, I was struggling. We were in a broken crevasse and had been on the go for 15 hours and it was 7 hours since I had any food and very little water. We had been shut down time and time again by the broken glacier. After a few tears I gathered myself up and we tried one more time to get through and we did. We summited as the sun was setting at 11:00 pm. It warmed our faces for the first time in hours. We were greeted by the most stunning view of the Öræfajökull volcanic crater and the vast plateau of Vatnajökull – the largest icecap in Iceland. The light was various shades of purple and turquoise. Across the crater rim, we could see Hvannadalshnúkur, a peak we had summited earlier in our trip. I thought the top section would be a little firm, and it was. However, the snowboarding itself was straightforward – but with consequences if a slip was made. I found that once I put my snowboard on, I was able to focus on each turn and any concern about exposure and consequence faded away as I connected turns with precision and fluidity. By the time we got lower on our descent, we were greeted with perfect corn snow and Shane and I were whooping and hollering with bliss for the soft turns and success. Lower still, we discovered a way to snowboard down past a section we had rappeled earlier that same day. Before we knew, it we were finishing the mission, tramping during sunrise along on the white ice on the lower flank of the glacier.

Setup: Board: Venture Tempest, Odin, and Paragon. Bindings: Spark Surge Womens, Stance: 'Goofy Duck'

Bio: I started snowboarding when I was 16. My buddies and I would go ripping down the mountain tossing ourselves off anything. We were a wild gang. I still ride with some of those guys and love that hard charging pace.

My early childhood was fairly nomadic: every year my grandparents, parents, little brother and I would pack up our trucks and station wagon and drive from the rural Red Mountains in central California through the heat of the desert to the wet pastures of our beloved ­E-­ranch in Cora, Wyoming. The sandhill cranes would arrive around the same time as us. As kids, we would go foraging for bluebells and horseradish while our parents irrigated the hay meadows by hand.My Grandmother and Mother taught me the flowers by their names. We spent some summers without electricity or running water, while always in pursuit of the largest trout. We swam in the Green River with our cousins, dodging the moose territory every day! In August we worked the hay meadows and helped run the beaver slide, a horse powered piece of hay stacking equipment. We drank our fill at the clear cold springs, ate sourdough pancakes for breakfast and canned elk for lunch. In the fall we would go into the dark timber and harvest it for fence poles, and firewood. In the winter, we would visit my aunt and uncle and cross country ski for miles into a hot spring. Sometimes the lakes would freeze clear and solid, and we would go ice skating and listen to the deep pings from the center of the lake. Finally, we'd pack up our truck and station wagon and return to California and run after the wild cows through the deep canyons on our horses.

Later on as an 'adult,' I would pack up my own station wagon and travel with my life across the country to live in big warehouses in the Bay Area, but always finding solace in nature, the high country, and connecting to the mountains with my snowboard. I have learned the best kind of travel I can do is with my snowboard.

Now, I live in New Zealand and I know the flowers here by their common, Maori and Latin names. I still drink out of streams and swim in cold bodies of water and will happily trek long distances for a remote, natural hot spring. Every year I make a different pilgrimage from the warming spring in the southern hemisphere to the colder, northern hemisphere high country. I always have my snowboard, a group of wild people to ride with, and keep my eyes open for moose or bears.

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