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03-01-19 | RIDE OF PASSAGE

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
Story by Jack Wise
 
When one door closes, another opens.
 
Tanner Rosenthal, aka “TanSnowman,” the Panda Chief, has lived this cliché, especially over the last two years.
 
Last winter season, TanSnowman received notice that he was being investigated for commercial operation of a drone on United States Forest Service land (leased by his local ski resort) without a permit. The potential $25,000 fine for the violation would have likely meant the end of Panda Poles. Fortunately, the Forest Service let Rosenthal off with a warning.
 
Still, the episode left a sour taste in the Chief’s mouth. Not only had he been dealing with the Forest Service’s fine looming over his head, TanSnowman had been dissed by his home ski hill.
 
Even though he had spent decades skiing there, and years promoting it, the resort’s management pushed back on TanSnowman. He couldn’t understand- was it due to the change of ownership and operations, or out of other ulterior motives or circumstances? The resort officials were less than transparent when asked for their reasoning behind turning Rosenthal in to the feds.
 
Around this time the Panda Chief was invited to film an event at Powder Mountain, UT. After learning of his Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or Part 107, certification, Powder Mountain’s marketing team offered TanSnowman a season pass for the 2018/19 winter season.
 
TanSnowman reached out to a friend from the early Panda days in Little Cottonwood Canyon, your author, who now lives in Ogden, UT and works at Powder Mountain. The two-hour drive from his home in Pocatello, ID would be more manageable with a place to crash for multi-day missions.
 
With the advantage of a friend and guide to show him around, TanSnowman started to settle into the new digs.
 
Powder Mountain has the largest skiable acreage in the United States, with the lowest skier-per-acre ratio. “PowMow” or, simply “Powder,” as the locals refer to it, has so far experienced a stellar winter, beginning with its earliest opening date in its history. As is the case for most resorts, though, the terrain openings were incremental.
 
TanSnowman was introduced first to the Timberline lift. The 900-vertical-foot, three-person fixed grip lift creeps and shakes to the top of 360 degrees of skier access. The hunt for early season sends got TanSnowman juiced and warmed up, going big on some creative hits and hidden stash-slashes.
 
As the snow continued to fall, the open terrain quickly expanded. To the east, Hidden Lake lift and the Saddlehorn surface tow, beyond that the Sunrise Poma, Village and Mary’s lifts. To the North and downslope, Paradise lift ascends over a ridge that bisects Powder’s steepest terrain with exposure, cliffs, and steep tree skiing.
 
To the South, Powder Country is accessible through gates that open onto ungroomed, open glades to the bottom of State Route 158, where a bus shuttles guests back to the base areas. The first stop on the way back is at Sundown lodge, South-West of the Timberline base.
 
Sundown is the night skiing area, but during the day, the lift mostly accommodates ski school. But for TanSnowman and like-minded big-mountain-shredders, a quick traverse west from the top of Sundown to the Lightning Ridge snow cat. From the top, Lightning Ridge accesses chutes, cornices and most of the ski patrol’s avalanche mitigation terrain. Terrain to which TanSnowman had unlimited access through his media pass. From the ridge, hikers can boot or skin up to the top of James Peak or traverse farther to Y Chute.
 
After a quick scoot across wind-affected BMX-style rollers and rimed trees, Waterfall and Big Middle drop fall-line back to the bottom of Timberline lift. The two chutes are wide enough to open up the turns and speed, and are littered with airs to boost and waves to slash.
 
On January 2, the coverage at PowMow was thin but the snow was fast and soft. It was sixteen degrees Fahrenheit. Wind whipped at the top of Lightning Ridge, but after the traverse over and looking into Big Middle, it was only a breeze.
 
With icy fingers, visible breath and palpable excitement, TanSnowman launched his DJI Mavic Pro toward the cobalt sky.
 
A few minutes later, TanSnowman skied to the bottom, high-fiving his friend/ski-actor (and author,) beaming from accomplishing a goal that was years in the making and the primary reason for attaining his Part 107 certification; TanSnowman had filmed a skier from the air.
 
This moment christened TanSnowman’s adoption to the PowMow family. Introductions from his local connection have blossomed into new friendships with the energy that only comes from sharing rad and silly moments.
 
Friends like Marko Djordjevic, another Powder-fam adoptee. Born in Wisconsin, Marko raft guides the summers in Southern Utah but skis and climbs and hot-springs harder than the average ski bum.
 
Young blood was injected into the crew through Alec Finke, a 21-year-old Utah State University marketing graduate who skis for Fatypus.
 
Powder Mountain is a community. For all the press it receives, the soul of the mountain is kept alive through the employees and local shredders. A lot of days, workers outnumber guests. Busy days still see minimal lift lines, if any. Day tickets are capped at 1,500 and season passes are limited to 3,000.
 
Even though he put on a resilient face, another door had been closing on TanSnowman. At the beginning of February, he announced on Facebook Live that he would be closing the Panda Dojo at the beginning of April. For the last nine years, TanSnowman has been wearing multiple hats and trying to climb out of debt. Some days, the pressure of the business weighs heavily on the Panda Chief.
 
But again, doors opened. The outpouring of love from the community, local and abroad, was enough to lift his spirits and encourage him to crowdsource and crowdfund for the future of the brand.
With over sixty volunteers to help propel the next version of the coolest bamboo ski wands in the galaxy, Panda Poles 2.0 plans feature new interchangeable grips and baskets and a telescoping design.
 
The energy from the Panda Tribe is strong. TanSnowman sometimes reminds himself that Panda Poles came to him in a vision. Seeing Alex Hall winning Slopestyle Gold at the X-Games and Andrew Pollard taking second place in the Freeride World Tour stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria have restored some faith in that vision.
 

 

So look out, and look up, Panda Tribe. Exciting things are yet to come.
 
Tribe UP!
Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

In 7 years, Panda Poles has never done a sale for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. To us, it's a gross representation of where capitalism and consumerism has gone wrong. Regardless, we're stoked to announce our brand new Pow Day Discount!

That's right! Anytime Powder Mountain receives 12" or more in a 24 hour period, we'll be kickin' down 25% OFF all products on our site!

So make sure to get the full deets at PandaPoles.com/PowDay, and stay up to date with Powder Mountain's forecast at PowderMountain.com!

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Thanks for joining us on yet another installment of Panda Chief Theatre.

If you haven’t already joined us, we invite you to take a dive into the Panda Vid archives, to rediscover some of our most prized videographic treasures from the past.

In Episode 1, we explored the very first Panda Vid ever created. For part 2, we will be studying the most viewed Panda Vid currently in existence. Oddly enough, we never expected this video to get even more than a handful of views, as it’s just a series of 10 photos with some silly narration. But when Youtube made it a featured video, we watched the numbers climb well into the tens of thousands. And it now sits at almost 100K views.

Without further ado, we present to you “Tips n’ Tricks: Nose-Butter 360”, filmed spring of 2011 at Snowbird, UT (which is by the way private property).

Check out our entire library of Panda Vids at PandaPoles.com/Video!

Original "Nose Butter 360" Edit: youtube.com/watch?v=gFCmo8aDiag

Author: Tanner Rosenthal

11-15-18 | NINJA GRIP ACCENTS!

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
"Ever since I was a child, I've absolutely loved accents...
 
But seriously though, when people select the shorter grips on our website, we trim off the extra grip length (The grips come in 9" length, and we usually cut off about 2.5" for the shorter grip style). I've made sure we saved all the cutoffs for the last 7 years. We had used some of the supply for our longer Katana grips, which over the last 3 years had used up about 20% of the cutoffs. But now that our grip manufacturer has discontinued offering colored grips for that model of grip, we lost our use for the colorful cutoff material. But rather than throw away all of this 'unusable' scrap, we came up with the idea to repurpose it as 'Ninja Grip Accents'... Ta-da!"
- Panda Chief TanSnowMan
 
Check out the new Ninja Grip Accents at PandaPoles.com/GripAccents!
Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
New #Panda_Vid! WHOA! After an almost 9 month hiatus, the Panda Chief returns to his post, as chief cinematographer and storyteller of Panda Poles... 
 
In the world of skiing, names come and go. New faces arrive on the scene, just to be replaced by the next commoditized player in the game. Whether it’s the gear, the fads, the media, the companies, or the people involved, there is a continual flux of energy and attention within and around the snowsports industry.
 
But for one small stubborn brand--a brand which seems to be firmly rooted in the past, yet grasping for the hopes of tomorrow--the pace is much more akin to the rhythm of nature. And in order to explore the vibrational intricacies of such a company and it’s melodic pace, we must return to its roots, and explore its underbelly.
 
Hello, and welcome to Panda Chief Theater. I am your host--Panda Chief TanSnowMan. In this stunning new series we will go into the Panda Vid Archives, dusting off some of our most noteworthy treasures from the past. We will dig up the remains of our Youtube and Vimeo libraries, replete with almost 200 original feature edits. Many of these edits are off limits for us to talk about in this series, as they were filmed in the forbidden territories of the US Forest Service. But you are welcome to explore the archives and discover them for yourselves in the links provided below.
 
To kick off this series, we are going to return to the very first Panda Vid ever created. Filmed in December of 2010, this edit features myself, my business partners, and my roommates shreddin’ hard at The Bird (which is by the way private property).
 
#TribeUP "Panda Chief Theatre"!
 
Check out the rest of our videos HERE!
Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
Check out the honest, thorough review from Phil Tomlinson at Mountain Wagon!
Author: Tanner Rosenthal

11-17-17 | GIVE THANKS!

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
We at Panda Poles refuse to be involved with the madness that is Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and have always chosen to sit out the sale. We feel that BF/​CM represents the worst of consumer buying habits, and is a big part of the destructive ​unconscious​ consumption which is so intertwined with society.
So rather than run a big sale the weekend after Thanksgiving, we have decided that we would like to give thanks to the planet, and will be donating 11% of all online sales today through Thanksgiving Day! Choose from one of the following 4 organizations at website checkout: EDF, NRDC, Pandas Intl., WWF
And as a way of saying thanks to our fans and customers, we are offering $25 OFF any strap upgrade, bamboo upgrade, or any of our SWAG, with the purchase of any pair of Magic Ski Wands thru Monday (11/20/17) at midnight! Promo code: GIVE THANKS
Tribe UP Give Thanks!
Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal
www.PandaPoles.com/DropEverything
Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Over the past 6 and a half years, TanSnowMan has produced almost 200 videos for Panda, totaling over 3000 hours of editing. However, due to the time constraints of raising a 4 year old child, and the rigors of growing a business, he doesn't currently have the personal bandwidth needed to sustainably produce the volume of content he was once able to. But thankfully for Instagram Stories, the story hasn't stopped... The Panda Chief has been able to document much of the behind the scenes action that happens on a day to day basis with the business and his personal life. These stories glimpse the true inner workings and spirit of Panda Poles at its deepest level. So, if you happen to be a die hard Panda fan, we invite you to join us on a chronological journey into our Instagram Stories. To start, we’ll recap May…

And remember, if you aren't doing so already, make sure to follow us on Instagram @pandapoles, and stay up to date with our story...

 

 

Now for more behind the scenes with TanSnowMan, #MozesMontana, and our Instagram Stories from June, 2017!

 

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Panda Poles Presents:
100% Real Bamboo Shafts - HandCrafted in the USA - Lifetime Warranty - Starting at $65!

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles and Trekking Poles
PandaPoles.com
@PandaPoles #PandaPoles

Panda Trekking Wands from Panda Poles on Vimeo.

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

There's a new ski on the block!

However, with full bamboo cores, eco epoxy, and a full coat of Panda magic, these are more than just skis. These are 'Panda Planks'!

Available only at PandaPoles.com/Planks!
Dimensions: 138-105-132
Lengths: 172, 180, 188
Stiffness: 6 out of 10
Pureness: 11
Magic: 11

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

With 48 seasons under his belt on the Pebble Creek Ski Patrol, and over 4 decades of sewing experience, we are honored to know that most of our straps are sewn by Pocatello local Jerry Waters...

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
PandaPoles.com
@PandaPoles #PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal

06-02-17 | UNDERSTUDY

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

To Panda Chief TanSnowMan, his 8th grade season was a breakthrough year on skis. There were a few older skiers who took him under their wing, helping make it one of his best seasons to date. And a few weeks ago, the Panda Chief spent the day skiing with two of his idols from that season...

Join TanSnowMan as he tags along with TJ Budge and Andy Millward in the side country of Pebble Creek Ski Area...

Music
Lafa Taylor
"Out Here"

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
pandapoles.com
#PandaPoles @PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Although his methods might be unorthodox, and his theories ambiguous, TanSnowMan has a certain depth of character, and zeal for honor that only a trained master might exhibit...

Go behind the scenes, to learn the story of how Josh Jeffreys, Bo Ferro, and Jordon Beesley came to meet their 'sensei' at The Panda Dojo...

Note: Yes, we know that Pandas are from China and sensei is a Japanese concept. This is satire.

Filmed and edited by Jordon Beesley
Directed by Tanner Rosenthal

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
PandaPoles.com
@PandaPoles #PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal

06-02-17 | TEMPLE

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

"To me The mountain is a place to commune... with friends and family… with nature... And most importantly with oneself. The mountain provides a pattern for living in tune with spirit. A template for working constructively through our fears. A release from the tensions of daily life. And a sanctuary for connecting our hearts and minds. To me the mountain is more than simply snow, dirt, and rock. To me the mountain is a temple."

- Panda Chief TanSnowMan

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
PandaPoles.com
#PandaPoles @PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

 

That's right! You heard us correctly! Now, thru Aug. 15th, all items on PandaPoles.com are 25% OFF!

Promo code: SUMMER17

Tribe UP Summer!

Author: Tanner Rosenthal

06-02-17 | HOME

Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

"You know, even though I’ve skied half way around the world, I’ve somehow managed to ski the same chairlift for most of my life. It’s not that I don’t like other chairlifts. And it’s not that I don’t like hiking. It’s just that this is home. It’s where my heart lives. And no matter how hard I try to leave, my heart keeps coming back. The Skyline Chairlift will forever hold its place in my heart.

And now I have the honor of giving that gift to my son…."

- Panda Chief TanSnowMan

Skyline Chairlift. Tribe UP!

PandaPoles.com
PebbleCreekSkiArea.com

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
#PandaPoles
@PandaPoles
Facebook.com/PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

What most of our fans probably don’t realize, is that if not for Icelantic Skis, Panda Poles probably would not exist today. This is the history of the Icelantic x Panda Poles collab...

Thanks Icelantic Skis!

IcelanticSkis.com
PandaPoles.com

@PandaPoles #PandaPoles @Icelantic_Skis #Icelantic
Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Part I of the 2016 Panda Poles Season Highlight Reel, this is "Shred The Rock"

Filmed entirely on GoPro Hero 4 and iPhone 6.

The Panda spirit is a gentle soul. Although they could so easily shred flesh, they choose to mostly shred bamboo. However, such as with the balance of black and white, there are moments when the Panda spirit is placid, and yet there are times when the Panda fire comes alive! It is in these moments that the Panda spirit chooses to shred that of snow and rock...

For Part II of the 2016 Panda Poles Season Highlight Reel, join the Panda Chief as he relives his favorite helmet cam shots from last season at Pebble Creek Ski Area...

"What I probably love most about using my helmet cam, is that it doesn’t really get in the way of the flow. I love being able to capture the candid, unexpected moments following my friends around the mountain… It’s guaranteed to be a rodeo everytime!" -TanSnowMan

And for our grand finale, tag along with the Panda Tribe for part III of the 2016 Panda Poles Season Highlight Reel! Because it's not the size of the mountain that matters, it's how it feels when you're going down...

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
PandaPoles.com
#PandaPoles @PandaPoles

 

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
Posted by Tanner Rosenthal

Panda Poles have always been crafted with a deep sense of playfulness and authenticity. It’s not that they are just eclectic and rootsy. It’s that every person who has ever had a hand in crafting them is a passionate, die-hard skier. Their connection to skiing has been entwined into this brand at its deepest level, and our love for the mountains, air, water, animals, plants, and people is present in every pair of wands that goes out our door. We love life on planet Earth, and we celebrate skiing To it’s core…

And that, my friends, is just another reason that Panda Poles are more than just ski poles. Panda Poles are magic ski wands...

Panda Poles Bamboo Ski Poles
PandaPoles.com
@PandaPoles #PandaPoles

Author: Tanner Rosenthal
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