Tag Archives: summer

Lucas Wachs talks Volcano Voyage

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Normally summers are reserved for relaxation: some book time, summer office hours, and maybe a hike up to the lake. Well our big mountain badass Lucas Wachs spent a good chunk of his climbing, sometimes summiting, and skiing volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest. We chatted with Lucas about this aptly named Volcano Voyage, but you’ll want to take a look at his incredible 12-minute mini-movie

Dragon: What is Volcano Voyage? Give us the elevator pitch.
Lucas Wachs: Volcano Voyage is a visual representation of hiking and skiing in the Cascade’s volcanoes. I have always wanted to get out climb and ski the volcanoes of the my home state of Oregon.

DR: What was the idea behind it? What were the ultimate goals?
LW: The idea behind it was to climb and ski as many volcanoes as we could. The ultimate goal was to see how many we could do and to just experience something different than the annual Mt. Hood park skiing migration. We wanted to switch up the program and dip our toes into some mountaineering.

DR: How many volcanoes did you end up summiting and skiing?
LW: We ended up skiing 10 volcanoes. Not every volcano was summited.

DR: What was the feeling when you finished? I’m sure it’s easy to get lost in the grind of climbing and skiing these mountains.
LW: A feeling of general fulfillment in the mind and body was certainly common. Our crew was always on point so it made it easy on the grind up. When climbing a mountain you are very present and mindful of your surroundings, making sure each step counts and working together with the group to make smart decisions. That camaraderie in itself is a very fulfilling feeling as well as being in such beautiful locations.

DR: Which one or ones were your favorite and why?
LW: Mt. Jefferson. Because my father was the guide on the trip and I got to spend some quality time with the pops, which we haven’t been able to do often enough over the past couple years. We camped out for three days and soaked in the beautiful wilderness that Mt. Jefferson has to offer. We got great weather to accommodate the steep and rugged terrain, too, so that was a major bonus. It was a super fun trip!

DR: On the Vimeo it says it took you about 2 months. Was that straight through or more weekend warrior style?
LW: It was from the end of May ’til the beginning of July… a little over a month. We were doing it in somewhat the weekend warrior style to cooperate with peoples’ work schedules and also trying to time it to get the best weather.

DR: Does there have to be heavy snowfall the preceding winter to allow you to do a project like this? And does it mean you kind of had to go when it was accessible?
LW: Not necessarily, it definitely helps with the approaches to some mountains easier as well as the skiing itself. The PNW is known for a gracious amount of snowfall each year, so these peaks are filled in at high elevations, it’s just a matter of freezing levels.

DR: What are some of the dangers? We know that traditional backcountry has avalanche danger, but were there other dangers like crevasses or exposure that you were worried about?
LW: The dangers are different than in the winter but there definitely is risk involved. It comes in the forms of rock,s and yes, crevasses opening up, and possible wet slides. The avy danger is definitely mellower due to the somewhat regular freeze and thaw cycles. You want to wear a helmet for sure to keep your head safe from rock and icefall. Early morning starts are a must to mitigate the risk of rock, icefall and wet slides. Exposure is a thing as well, make every step count!

DR: How were the conditions skiing overall? Looked like a combo of crust and slush…
LW: The conditions where slushy and yeah, some crust at times. If your timing was on point then the corn was usually phenomenal. Fast, carvy, and soft. Just a smooth ride when everything lines up!

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DR: Can you give a little backstory on the jumping at Mt. Jefferson? It’s a departure from the rest of the traditional hiking/skiing that happens on all the other mins.
LW: That was actually in the Three Sisters wilderness. [laughs] I should have clarified the location there. These volcanoes have excellent jump spots and many times you walk by them on your way to the objective, but we wanted to take the time to stop, build, and session.

DR: Now that your big summer project is over, what’s up for the fall? Anything you’d like to plug?
LW: I’m going to be hanging in Bend, OR. Doing some mountain biking and skateboarding until the snow starts flying, then back on the grind filming with Good Company for the next movie!

DR: Any big projects/plans this upcoming winter? Or just going to go powder chasing?
LW: There are some plans that are in the works for sure. Nothing finalized yet, so I can’t really say anything, but keep your eyes peeled! Powder chasing will definitely be on the agenda, too.

For more from Lucas Wachs, make sure to follow him on Instagram. And check him out in this year’s release from Good Company, watch the trailer here.

For more on Dragon’s premium sunglasses and snow goggles, visit us at dragonalliance.com.

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Michael Dunphy on his latest, Collective Chaos

Hailing from Virginia Beach, Michael Dunphy recently spent his summer in Orange County, getting his fill of Lowers. We asked the young shred a few questions, but make sure you watch his latest effort, all filmed at the famed San Clemente surf zone.

Dragon Alliance: You grew up out East, how does a place like Lowers compare to some of your local haunts?
Michael Dunphy: To be honest, Virginia Beach is pretty much never comparable to Lowers. Maybe one or two days a year we will get waves somewhat comparable to a Lowers wave. That’s why you’ll always find me down there if I’m in CA. [laughs]

DA: How did you find the crowds in SoCal? Does it compare to VB? A lot of the shots don’t look too too crowded?
MD: Yeah, the crowds in SoCal, in general, in and out of the water can be pretty hectic. You really have to time your sessions at Lowers or the crowd can just drive you crazy.

DA: 12 rights and 1 left in the video. You have something against surfing left?
MD: Ask any regular footer and it’s hard to turn away from those rights when they are doing their thing!

DA: I know the video focuses on San Clemente, but were there other spots in Cali you liked?
MD: I was always enjoy surfing Newport and [Huntington Beach] as well, but for video, lowers is really the best spot to get stuff done.

DA: You just got to Europe, what’s the overall plan for the trip?
MD: Yeah! doing two 6-Star events and one 10-Star event… Two in Portugal and one in Spain.

DA: You’re from the East, lived west this summer, and are in Europe currently. Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever surfed other than at home?
MD: I love surfing in the Caribbean. It’s close to home, the water is nuclear blue and there are places you can go with no surfers around.

DA: Based on your experience here this past summer, would you move back?
MD: Definitely! I always spend my summers in Orange County. Fun waves, lots of friends and plenty of pretty girls… 🙂

Follow Michael Dunphy on Instagram.

Learn more about Dragon’s premium products at dragonalliance.com.

Rip Curl Introduces Crosby Colapinto

Our friends over at Rip Curl have just released a welcome edit of Dragon surfer and U16 Champ (twice!) Crosby Colapinto. The San Clemente bred surf grom has been making waves lately, most recently coming in as runner up at the Hurley Pro Trials. But don’t take our word for it, watch the younger Colapinto brother charge head on into his own stardom.

More more, follow Crosby Colapinto and Rip Curl on Instagram.

Liege H2O featured on Men’s Fitness

Our friends over at Men’s Fitness put together a gallery of some of the best gear for boating and the beach this summer. Amongst all the great product was our very own Liege from the H2O Floatable Collection. Take a look at the rest of the gallery.

And if you’re interested in our premium, polarized sunglasses that float, take a look at all of our H2O Floatable offerings.