Jonny Barr – What Backcountry Means to Me!
Snowboarding isn’t snowboarding without the backcountry. That’s where it all started for me! Hiking the mountains of North Wales back in 1989, with a walking axe and a backpack full of food.
Fast forward to the modern day IT’S STILL THE SAME! Just way easier with the development of splitboards. To me, the backcountry has driven my snowboarding and has always given me a sense of being. Hiking deep or high into the mountains has always given me the stoke, as I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel…Snowboarding!
The excitement of route finding on maps, prepping your kit the night before and talking to your pals on the plan is ace. Having a good crew you can trust is vital, they are your saviour. This is where your kit and backpack come into play. Having the right equipment is key, but knowing how to use it and access it is priceless. You can’t put a price on safety! Getting out there, practicing beacon searches and digging snow pits learning the layers, is all worth it in the long run, as it keeps you shredding.
31 years and I’m still buzzing more than ever on getting to go snowboarding! I might not do the tricks I could do back in the day, but getting up and touring out into my local mountains of the Cairngorms with my pals, still means the world to me. Scotland has its challenges and is possibly the most dangerous mountains I’ve experienced in Europe. With the ever changing weather conditions on an hourly bases, it really is next level when heading out Backcountry. POW POW POW!
I started in 1989 on a dry-slope in North Wales and went on to tour around the UK doing dry-slope comps for about 2 years, were I gained a shop sponsor. I did my 1st season in Chamonix France in 1992/93 and never looked back. For the next 17 years I lived and based myself in Chamonix living the dream. In 1997 I became British overall snowboard champion in Les Arc’s France. This opened the doors to more sponsorship allowing me to travel around the world freeride snowboarding. In 1999 I was invited to Alaska with a UK based magazine Snowboard UK. We were the first Brits to head over with a camera crew to document the big mountains of Alaska. The following year we went back for more…..
I worked as the photo editor for Snowboard UK for 3 years in between the snow seasons.
I was sponsored by Switch step-in bindings and helped develop the system within the Vans boots for 6 years.
Judged the world jnr championships, for 3 years. TTR for 2 years and the British Champs for 3 years.
Coached at the McNab Kommunity winter/ summer camps for 4 years
Coached at Folgafona Summer camp in Norway for a month
Coached the New Zealand junior halfpipe team in New Zealand for 2 weeks
I was the ringleader for setting up the VANS Dawn of the Shred comps up the Cairngorms for 5 years and the 2 Scottish rounds of European Vans High Standard events
For the last 7 years I’ve run the UpBattle Split-boarding demo weekender up the Cairngorms, raising money for the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.
Currently living in Aviemore with my wife and 3 kids plus wee Yogi the dawg….