Jesse Hoffman: Hello skiers, this is Jesse Hoffman for Altacam.com. And I'm here with AltaCam podcaster, Johnny B. Johnny, how's it going?
Johnny B: It's going good Jess. Good to see you.
Jesse Hoffman: Well Johnny, the reason we're here today is so that the audience can get to know you a bit better. Know the man behind the questions. So why don't we start with some basics? Where are you from, how, when did you end up in Alta?
Johnny B: Well, I'm from a town in New York, Upstate New York called Schenectady.
Jesse Hoffman: Schenectady?
Johnny B: Yeah, Schenectady. It's a, believe it or not, it's an Indian name for beatin' down factory town.
Johnny B: That's right. And I ended up in Alta in the fall of 1994. I met a friend skiing back East. Her father told me that Alta was a great place, we've been here on vacation and we decided to take his advice and travel on out.
We made it to Utah, rolled down to the Goldminers driveway there, got hired on the spot at Goldminers by Trainer, you might have heard of him. But yes, didn't have a place to stay, didn't have any, hardly any money. And next thing you know, I got a place to stay, a pass, and a meal. It was a dream come true for me.
Jesse Hoffman: Nice. So what was your first job there at the Goldminers?
Johnny B: Well I worked in the cafeteria, Trainer, he was the manager. And I worked making deli sandwiches alongside Dave McReynolds, you might have heard of him. And Turkey Creek Johnson, Mike Bennett, the whole crew. And we all just worked together. And obviously, our main mission was to go powder skiing.
Jesse Hoffman: So obviously, you came out there to ski powder. Where you killing it right away? Coming from Upstate New York, I'm sure you were prepared for the deep powder that you were about to experience.
Johnny B: Oh! I thought I was. I'll never forget my first run in Alta. I click into my Elan MBX's, a long 204-205 one of the worst skis ever made. Unsafe at any speed. I click in, walk up to Wildcat. I go up the chair, and I'm thinking "Oh my God! Look at all the untracked powder." It was like 2 and a half 3 feet just dumping. And I get off the lift and I skate down the cat track and right above the Sam Howard Fall-line which the old timers call Johnson's Warm Up.
And I'm like, I'm just going to annihilate this. This is going to be great. I'm just going to rip this up with my East Coast hard pack experience. So I drop in. I put all my weight on my downhill ski, my outside edge, I mean all of it. And I get through half a turn, and explode right away. Both skis come off double eject. I've never experienced looking for a lost ski in powder before.
So I barely can walk. And I finally find my skis, I click back into them. Make it through another half a turn, explode again right underneath the lift and everybody's heckling me. This is my welcome to Alta moment. And then, from that point on, it was just like for the rest of the season I just continuously dug for my skis. So no, to answer your question. I wasn't killing it right away. Not like I am now.
Jesse Hoffman: So now that you're a cagey Alta veteran, what advice would you have for someone who's just coming to Alta for the first time?
Johnny B: Hmmm. A guy like me probably have a lot of advice. But I guess, my best advice would be, if you're skiing deep powder, pay attention to where you wiped out when you lose your ski.
Don't worry about where you are, worry about where you were. 'Cause you'll end up further down the hill when you end up looking there when you should be looking up the hill a little more. A lot of times, your ski ends up where you first clicked out.
So listen for that click and pay attention to how many times you somersault. And recreate the wipeout and somersault back up the hill and start looking for your ski. I guess, my other advice would just be, respect the locals and enjoy your trip. I guess that would be it.
Jesse Hoffman: Right on. That's good advice. So you know Johnny, when we ski together, I feel like I'm skiing with the mayor. In the lift line, at the top of the lift, in the cafe, it's a constant barrage of "Hey Johnny B! JB, what's going on? Johnny where are you skiing?" How do you deal with that notoriety? Do you thrive on it, and do you have any political aspirations?
Johnny B: Well, when I go to Alta, it's kind of like, what it was like for me to go to school on Monday mornings. I was just really stoked to see all my friends and have everybody say hi to me and me say hi to all my friends. And it really kind of uplifted my spirits. And I've gotten to know a lot of people up in Alta, have some great friends out there. As far as political aspirations, I think I'm going to leave that up to Craig Dillon and the current mayor Tom Pollard. I just really don't think I'm cut out for that. I'll just enjoy my role as everybody's buddy.
Jesse Hoffman: I guess that's not a bad role to have I suppose.
Johnny B: I enjoy it.
Jesse Hoffman: So Johnny before we go skiing. I'm going to take a question out of your book and ask you: What does Alta mean to you?
Johnny B: Well, I guess first of all, I'd have to say, like with many people it means, deep powder skiing. It means being outside in the nature, in the wind, in the blue skies, the camaraderie that I feel when I'm standing in line early morning for a powder day, talking to all the heavies up front, it's pretty cool. It means I mean, it just means everything to me. It's so far from where I came from, it's really become home to me. I can't say enough about it, it really saved my life.
Jesse Hoffman: There you have it folks, Alta has saved Johnny B's life. And now that you know him a little bit better, hopefully you'll get to enjoy more of his interviews and understand a little bit more about the man behind the questions. Johnny, thanks for taking time to talk to me, I really appreciate it.
Johnny B: It's my pleasure Jesse.
Jesse Hoffman: Let's go skiing!
Johnny B: YES!!
Discuss this Podcast on the AltaCam Skiing Forum