Last winter, following up on a legion of impressive video parts, multiple women’s Rider Poll and Rider of the Year awards, and plenty of accolades from both male and female peers, Desiree Melancon set off to do something different. The partial catalyst for the change-of-path while directly related to an injury suffered the winter prior, was more about redefining her own relationship to the thing she loved to do so much, which is of course, snowboarding. Instead of defining her season by spots and tricks, she decided to embark on a multi-year project in which she would visit every ski resort in the USA, ticking off regions the way she had previously collected video part shots, riding the trails, exploring the mountain towns, meeting local residents, and inviting friends along for different parts of the journey, all with the goal to preserve, document, and share the American experience of spending time in the mountains. The project, which kicked off in the Pacific Northwest last December, was deemed appropriately, The United Slopes of America.
Desiree, along with lensman Tyler Orton, climbed into a 2002 Toyota Tundra outfitted with a camper that she built with her father and set off for five months on the road, traversing Oregon, Washington, and California for both the maiden voyage of the adventure-ready rig, as well as of United Slopes. And as luck would have it, Des, Tyler, and their fledgling journey were welcomed both with plentiful West Coast storms and by numerous local communities of snowboarders who wanted to share their locales. So with that, enjoy the first installment of The United Slopes of America. Follow along as Des and Tyler traverse the most western mountain ranges, finding the solace in going to heel to toe and back again at every stop they make.
Stay tuned for more and follow along on Instagram: @unitedslopesofamerica.
Words: Mary Wals