Ben Stookesbery and Chris Korbulic represent the essence of adventure. Their most recent first descent of the Beriman Gorge in Papua New Guinea is an order of magnitude greater than any objective they had ever tackled. The 13-day, 13-gorge first descent that could only be partially scouted by air placed them in harm’s way in the middle of one of the world’s most remote jungles.
The trip earned them a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award and now the footage has been condensed into Locked In, an episode on Red Bull TV that premieres tonight. We’ve posted the teaser above and included a selection of previously unreleased images of their mission. You can read more about their mission in our first recap of the Beriman at blog.eddiebauer.com or just wait for the full episode tonight. We’re still a bit in awe.
When we bought Eddie Bauer athlete Drew Tabke a ticket to the Tetons, we told him to get after it in three days. He landed in Jackson and linked up with guide Kent McBride and photographer Chris Figenshau, who have earned a life list of impressive ascents in this impressive range. Then Tabke did just that—ticking off 12,926-foot Mt. Owen via the West Ledges and Koven routes just two days removed from catching his flight. His long weekend climbing trip turned into a master class on mountaineering, earning a coveted summit, then retreating to lower elevations for some flyfishing and a climb on The Worshipper as the weather took a Teton turn for the worse. This is his in-72-plus-hour trip report.
Eddie Bauer freeskier and two-time world champ Drew Tabke earned a third-place podium finish in the Freeride World Tour stop in the legendary venue of Haines, Alaska yesterday. On one of the world’s biggest freeride venues Tabke earned his spot with a massive backflip in the middle of an impressive run, taking home his first podium of the 2016 season in a tough field of 14 of the world’s best freeskiers who made the cut after the first three competitions of the World Tour season in Andorra, Austria and Chamonix, France.
Photos and report courtesy of Freeride World Tour/J Bernard and D Daher
Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, the live stream of the contest was unavailable but the successful event in Haines went off in the beautiful Chilkat mountains for a second consecutive year with near-perfect snow on beautiful spines and a genuine Alaskan ambiance. Finding a spot on the podium has proved elusive for Tabke this season but his typical innovative line selection and massive backflip secured his third place finish in a the only venue in his home country this season on the tour. The home court advantage added an extra charge for Tabke, who has been training as an Alaskan heli guide in a few brief breaks between tour stops this season.
As the world’s best freeriders know, everything is bigger in Alaska, including Tabke’s result from the penultimate stop on this year’s tour. The podium finish for Tabke qualifies him for the Freeride World Tour Finals at the Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland next week, giving him an outside chance to still secure a third world tour overall title on the legendary Bec des Rosses venue. Check out the replay of the ski competition in Haines, including Tabke’s impressive run, below.
Each month we will be featuring one 2016 reforestation project supported by our longstanding partnership with American Forests. Last month we checking in on a fire damaged area of the San Bernardino Mountains a few months after actor and activist Ryan Reynolds planted the organization’s 50 millionth tree as our philanthropic ambassador for the effort. Today we head south and east to Florida, where a replanting effort of the Longleaf Pine is designed to help stem the encroaching ecological impact of climate change.
Eddie Bauer guide Reggie Crist always seems to be in the zone when the words heli and extravaganza converge. That was the case in late February for the annual Croney Cove Blowout—complete with thousands of vertical feet of heli-fueled bliss, a serious crab feed and a soundtrack provided by famous musician, and verified heli skier, G Love. Reggie tried to convince us to be part or the party, but we, for some reason, declined. Now that we see his photographic proof, we’ve got a serious case of heli FOMO. There is always next year.
Eddie Bauer skier and two-time world champ Drew Tabke is poised to drop in on the biggest venue in freeriding this week as the Freeride World Tour heads north to Haines, Alaska. Tabke notched a fifth-place finish last season in Haines and is charged up to break through again for 2016 on the massive stacked spines of the legendary venue. The competition weather window starts this Thursday, but it’s Alaska and the exact date of the comp is always a crapshoot due to the shifting weather and uncertain avalanche stability. We will be posting updates on the Live Your Adventure blog and a link to the live feed in our channels—but for the latest, up-to-the-minute updates visit freerideworldtour.com.
Last fall, Eddie Bauer climbers Ben Ditto, Katie Lambert and Mason Earle migrated south to the iconic climbing destination of Joshua Tree. For decades climbers have road tripped south to this shoulder-season vortex in the high California desert, finding classic sandbagged testpieces, aesthetic boulder problems and a lifetime of weathered, granite climbing routes—many of which were pioneered during the Stonemaster era. Spending a week in an otherworldly location steeped in climbing lore, the crew experienced the stiff grades of classic routes, the harsh hot-and-cold desert environment and the distinct-but-strange culture of the towns that surround the park. And, of course, there was the iconic vegetation that gives the place its name. The stories the team discovered ran deep and it would be hard to tell the tale in a few words. So, next month, we will release a video series and a succession of personal trip reports about the J Tree mission, but today, as a preview, we’re providing a handpicked Gabe Rogel gallery of images from their time to whet the appetite for more.