Freeing the Heel, stoking the mind in Montana.
Photos By Ned Gall and Patrick Clayton
If you have been lucky enough to spend any time choking on Bridgers cold smoke these last few years, you have no doubt seen this guy ripping around. Hair flying wildly around more reminiscent of the sixties, smiling, laughing; the kind of ski bum you think of from a bygone era; every line he skis seems to end with him airborne. Matt Shortland stands out here in Montana as the embodiment of positivity and stoke. Much like this small community run nonprofit ski hill, he is not concerned with making a name for himself, getting rich, or being the biggest anything. Existing in the now and living for the feeling of floating through feet of low density blower somewhere north of everybody else. Matt arrived here at 18 having never skied a day in his life, 7 short years later he sets the bar, skiing the same craggy limestone clefts that Scott Schmidt, Doug Coombs, and Tom Jungst made famous. His skills have taken him to the podium at telemark skiing’s premier freeride competition and his passion for the sport has made him a friend to us all. A photo tribute to a person and place:
Matt is the portrait of a young man with an indomitable spirit. Through grit, persistence, and determination he has been able to fashion his life in a way that reflects the essence of a die-hard ski bum. Who would have ever predicted that a kid from a land without snow would have grown into a man who has become a testament to the happiness and freedom that can be found in skiing? It is our pleasure to call Matt our friend and it means more to me than you will ever know to be able to call him my brother. -Daniel Ryan
Thanks to Ned Gall, Matt Shortland, Daniel Ryan and everyone bringing the stoke.