Ever meet your heroes?
I met John Morrison on a rocky summit high on the Toiyable Crest in central Nevada. When you meet your heros, you mainly just want it to go well. You hope you don't say something weird or flubb the handshake. I extended my hand and said, “Hi, I'm Max Rehkopf.” John took it and said, much to my surprise, “I wondered when we were going to meet.” Today, I'm proud to call John my mentor and my friend. Meeting John was my “genesis moment," the beginning of a radical change in my community-orientation, lifestyle, and a major step up in my backcountry achievements. To better tell this story, let's start with another genesis moment in the lives of Jim and John, the Morrison brothers.
To the Palisade Crest and back
In 1993, brothers Jim and John Morrison embarked on their first backcountry ski mountaineering adventure together. Their goal was to climb and ski the Palisade Crest, a coveted and daunting set of high altitude peaks in California's famed Sierra Nevada mountains.
The brothers were armed with mountain knowledge gleaned from backpacking and climbing forays into the "High Sierra" as teenagers. Supplemented with extreme ski techniques honed on the slopes of Palisade Tahoe, the two brothers set out on an epic adventure, complete with too much gear and not enough food. They spent a week climbing and skiing the couloirs that they had read about as children, and were encouraged to tackle by other established Tahoe locals. Step by step, couloir by couloir, peak by peak, they learned their lessons, strengthened their skills, and achieved their goals.
The Morrison brothers returned to Tahoe with expanded dreams and dove into the mountain community, seeking mentors. The next winter was spent chasing Glen Poulsen, Jim Zellars, Otto Hub around the Tahoe basin.
After many trips to the Eastern Sierra, the Alps, and the Tetons, they began to explore Alaska, first by ski plane & helicopter and then on foot. Balancing family and local business endeavors, the brothers strength and sheer will led them across the globe in search of the perfect turn.
Skiing the High Sierra and Beyond
In Skiing the High Sierra and Beyond, you'll join Jim & John on a walk & ski through iconic peaks and destinations, including Lake Tahoe, the High Sierra, and the remote mountain regions of the world. From the old growth trees of Rubicon Peak to the steeps of Red Slate couloir, from the ruggedness of the Matterhorn, to the intensity of the Messner, from sunrises in Emerald Bay to sunsets over Mt. Everest, the Morrison brothers eptiomize how the ski dream is meant to be chased.
Thanks to Jim & John's sponsors who are putting on incredible giveaways for our in-person and online audiences. Jim's sponsors The North Face, Black Crows, Bub's will join John's sponsors Patagonia, Technica/Blizzard, and POC in offering over $10,000 in giveaway prizes.
The Morrisons nonprofit beneficiary: The Send It Foundation.
Send It provides outdoor adventures for young adult (ages 21-40) cancer patients and survivors, removing them from their cancer experience and creating the space to play, connect, and have fun in the outdoors. Send It programs are multi-day adventures in Lake Tahoe and the San Francisco Bay Area, designed around activities such as mountain biking, skiing, surfing, climbing and backpacking; creating a vital community through shared experience.
John's Athlete Picks
We asked John to choose his favorite products from Alpenglow Sports. We're stoked to carry a few of John's Sponsors like Blizzard/Technica and Patagonia.