STEVE HEMP

Social and Digital at K2, Freelancer, and Adventurer.
Sep 29
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Elton… 
Recently, I received a phone call from my dad. He had just seen Elton John live in Denver and was raving about the performance. For those of you who don’t know my dad, this is nothing out of the ordinary. Growing up I went to my fair share of incredible concerts, Clapton, McCartney, and of course Elton John. 
After the show in Denver my dad got online and decided to see if Elton would be coming through Seattle and it just so happened he was rolling through this past Saturday. He insisted that Kait and I go. Thanks to his incredible generosity we got tickets to see the legend play at the Key Arena. 
The show lived up to the hype and then some. He played all the hits and had people singing along the entire night. Huge thanks to my dad for hooking it up. Such a solid night!

Elton… 

Recently, I received a phone call from my dad. He had just seen Elton John live in Denver and was raving about the performance. For those of you who don’t know my dad, this is nothing out of the ordinary. Growing up I went to my fair share of incredible concerts, Clapton, McCartney, and of course Elton John. 

After the show in Denver my dad got online and decided to see if Elton would be coming through Seattle and it just so happened he was rolling through this past Saturday. He insisted that Kait and I go. Thanks to his incredible generosity we got tickets to see the legend play at the Key Arena. 

The show lived up to the hype and then some. He played all the hits and had people singing along the entire night. Huge thanks to my dad for hooking it up. Such a solid night!

Sep 25
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Seek and Build a Catalog Enjoy… 

We’re currently shooting our catalog for K2 Snowboarding and Skis. This week the entire snowboard crew is in town and we’re busy collecting content for the entire season. Along with shooting the catalog, we’re doing interviews, dreaming up new shapes, conducting interviews, skating, and more. Oh, we figured we’d throw a huge party at Evo as well since all of them are here so we worked with one of our photographers, Justin L’Heureux to put together a rad light box art show. Needless to say it’s been a long week! Stoked on the results though and ready for ski’s next week.

Sep 23
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Dudes-Weekend… 

Sorry about the lack of blog posts lately. We’re in the middle of catalog season at K2 and it’s been a bit hectic. However, before all the craziness I was able to escape to California for the weekend to hang out with AK and John. 

I flew into Burbank, where AK picked me up and we drove straight to Pismo Beach where we met up with John who drove down from Sacramento. The weekend activities were all time. We camped, surfed, mobbed around on ATV’s, drank our fair share of soda pops, biked around town, and just hung out. It was so much fun to catch up with these guys in a laid back atmosphere where we could be ourselves and share life. Overall, the weekend was super refreshing and I’m stoked I got the opportunity to hang with AK and John. Party on. 

Sep 15
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Lil Wayne vs Drake… 
If you asked me on Friday of last week if I’d be at the Drake, Lil Wayne concert on Sunday I would’ve laughed out loud. However, after plenty of peer pressure and the incentive to surf before the show I caved and ended up at White River Amphitheater. 
While I have my inner rap persona (don’t lie, you do too) myself, Kait, Kade, Heather, and MJ were way out of element. Which, made it an amazing experience. While it was far from a display of musical talent I do have to say, both rappers can entertain. It was an interactive expereince and both rappers were full of energy throughout the night. 
Overall, I’d give the concert a C-. The experience an B+.

Lil Wayne vs Drake… 

If you asked me on Friday of last week if I’d be at the Drake, Lil Wayne concert on Sunday I would’ve laughed out loud. However, after plenty of peer pressure and the incentive to surf before the show I caved and ended up at White River Amphitheater. 

While I have my inner rap persona (don’t lie, you do too) myself, Kait, Kade, Heather, and MJ were way out of element. Which, made it an amazing experience. While it was far from a display of musical talent I do have to say, both rappers can entertain. It was an interactive expereince and both rappers were full of energy throughout the night. 

Overall, I’d give the concert a C-. The experience an B+.

Sep 10
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Fiesta… 
This past year has been pretty crazy to say the least. A new job, new city, etc. But the greatest gift and biggest blessing has been Kait. Today is Kait’s birthday and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with her. Everyday Kait shows me what it means to be selfless, kind, forgiving, and adventurous. Her personality is infectious and most importantly she has a huge heart for the Lord. I’m blessed to have Kait in my life and can’t wait to continue doing life with her. Happy Birthday lil! Cheers to “Staying Young” 

Fiesta… 

This past year has been pretty crazy to say the least. A new job, new city, etc. But the greatest gift and biggest blessing has been Kait. Today is Kait’s birthday and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with her. Everyday Kait shows me what it means to be selfless, kind, forgiving, and adventurous. Her personality is infectious and most importantly she has a huge heart for the Lord. I’m blessed to have Kait in my life and can’t wait to continue doing life with her. Happy Birthday lil! Cheers to “Staying Young” 

Sep 09
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Grand Teton… 

Every year Jackson Hole hosts “Powder Week”. A week where media and ski companies come together to test product, hang out, party, and network during the winter. Last year, MJ was on the chairlift when she got an offer from Brenton who works with Exum Mountain Guides. The offer was to climb the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park. 

Taking Brenton up on his offer, myself and 6 other co-workers from K2 headed to Wyoming. The Grand Teton is one of the most picturesque mountains in North America. Topping out at 13,775 ft, the summit towers above the Jackson, Wyoming valley floor. 

We arrived on Sunday, a day before the climb, for a crash course in mountaineering from the pros at Exum. In one day we did our best to learn how to climb, belay, rappel, tie various knots, put on crampons, and more. A bit of a overload but super cool. 

The next day our alarms sounded at 4 am. Groggy-eyed but anxious, we got the adventure underway at 5am with headlamps leading the way. The sunrise on the hike up was unreal and made the initial climb seem “easy”. We arrived to the Exum base camp in just under 4 hours and after a brief discussion decided to make our push for the summit as soon as possible. Initially we had planed to summit the following day but after quick discussion with our guides, Breton, Mike, and Nat, we decided to push for the summit the same day. 

Group moral was high and the weather was holding out. After a bite to eat and water refill we left base camp around 10am. Up until this point it was a beautiful hike without any technical sections. However, about 20 minutes outside of base camp things got real. Harnesses on we made our way through a large boulder field with some technical sections to “Wall Street”, a rock ledge with maximum exposure. To get from “Wall Street” to the Exum ridge you have to make one move where there is nothing below you but the mountain air and a “mellow” thousand plus foot drop. After making this move and getting off “Wall Street” we were on the Exum ridge. This would be the pitch that took us to the top of the Grand. The next 3 hours were some of the most incredible moments of my life. The entire time you were gripped and fully focused on what was ahead, below, and around you. 

Only a few hundred feet to the summit, clouds started to build to the west and all our guides quickly switched from fun and playful to extremely serious. As we continued to climb, the clouds got darker and much closer. Nat guided myself and Drew to the top at a pace so fast we didn’t even have time to understand what was going on and before we knew it we were at the summit! 

After 4 hours of intense climbing we’d summited the Grand Teton! Excited and relived, Nat let us take it in for all of 30 seconds before he was yelling, “get those crampons on and let’s go!”  Crampons on we left the summit behind and began our decent. About 10 minutes later it began to snow. As we descended the “Owen Spalding” route we got to a spot where we rappelled 35 meters and then down climbed back to camp. 

Back at base camp we exchanged numerous high fives, lets out some yelps and relished in the fact that we just conquered the Grand Teton. After some rest Mike and I decided that we wanted to conquer it in one day so we continued to down climb with Brenton. The decent from base camp was rapid and quick. About an hour after leaving base camp we put our headlamps back on and continued towards the trailhead. 

After 15 hours, over 7,000ft in elevation, 18.6 miles, 50,000+ steps, sunshine and snow, we’d completed the Grand Teton. 

I think I’m still coming off a “Grand high” because it’s truly hard to put this experience into words (as you can tell by this jumbled, poorly written and horribly documented summary haha). I am truly blessed to get opportunities like this and experience it with a group like MJ, Alyssa, Mike, Drew, Zach, and Todd. HUGE thanks to MJ for coordinating the trip and Exum Guides (I can’t say enough about the guides and their service. They were unreal. If you ever want a mountain adventure, get in touch with Exum!) for giving us a once in a lifetime experience.

Now, for the next adventure! I can’t wait. 

Sep 07
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Yellowstone… 

I’m currently on the way to Jackson Hole, WY for a little mountain adventure with some of my co-workers from K2. Alyssa, MJ, Mike and I drove out from Seattle and decided to stop at Yellowstone on our way. I’d never been to Yellowstone and was stoked to check it out. 

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a National Park like Yellowstone. My mind was blown around every corner. The park had it all, natural hot springs, wildlife (bison, elk, osprey, and more), geysers, waterfalls, canyons, and more.

While one day wasn’t enough, I’m stoked we got the opportunity to cruise through the park and check out some of it’s amazing landmarks and wildlife. If you haven’t been make sure to put it on the bucket list. It’s all time.      

Sep 03
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The Best… 

This week my parents celebrate their birthdays! Words can not express what my parents mean to me! My dad inspires me everyday. From weekend adventures to ‘Stay Young’ my dad is one of my biggest inspirations and hero’s. Another one of those hero’s is my mom. She is one of the most loving and caring people I know. Always optimistic and encouraging, she is incredible. 

Happy Birthday to both of you! Thank you for all the sacrifices, encouragement, love, grace, and knowledge you’ve given and continue to share with me. You’re the best. Love you. 

The Best… 

This week my parents celebrate their birthdays! Words can not express what my parents mean to me! My dad inspires me everyday. From weekend adventures to ‘Stay Young’ my dad is one of my biggest inspirations and hero’s. Another one of those hero’s is my mom. She is one of the most loving and caring people I know. Always optimistic and encouraging, she is incredible. 

Happy Birthday to both of you! Thank you for all the sacrifices, encouragement, love, grace, and knowledge you’ve given and continue to share with me. You’re the best. Love you. 

Aug 31
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Oregon Coast Excursion… 

I motion that we make every weekend a three day weekend! This past weekend, Kait, MJ, Kade and I decided that a surf trip on the Oregon Coast would be a good idea. After confirming that we were all in on Wednesday we scrambled to find a place to stay (turns out a lot of people had the same idea for Labor Day… oops) and ended up getting a killer deal in Rockaway Beach. 

While we set out with the intentions of making this a “surf” trip, the surf is the last thing I’ll be remembering. The waves were a bit unpredictable and the line up was as crowded as a Costco in the suburbs on a Saturday. However, it was still fun to get wet and splash around. The highlight of the weekend though was packing four people and a wet dog into a 6x6 hotel room, karaoke with 6 other Rockaway locals, cinnamon roles the size of my face, angry people in the drive through, and other random adventures that we were not prepared for. Just more proof that it is about the journey not the destination haha. Overall it was a quality weekend with amazing people. 

Oh and it’s worth mentioning that the Oregon coast is one of the most amazing places I’ve been in the US. It was truly breathtaking. Blessed to have another opportunity and the ability to go on another adventure. 

Aug 25
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Photos: Jasper Newton

Red Bull Soapbox… 

In my short stint at K2, I’ve been presented with some pretty fun opportunities. One of which was this Sunday. Every year, Red Bull Energy Drink picks one city around the globe to host an “adult” soapbox race. This year that city was Seattle. Over 45,000 people showed up to the event and watched as 36 teams battled it out for soapbox supremacy. 

Rewind to earlier this summer. K2 hosted a social media contest that gave our fans/followers an opportunity to design and drive the soapbox. The winner was Andy Harris. After notifying Andy that he won, we flew him out from Wisconsin to party for the weekend and drive our soapbox to victory.

Alyssa, Dan, and I also participated. Each car had a “pit crew” and was required to do a 30 second skit before pushing their car down Yesler, a major city street in the heart of downtown. While we won’t be winning any awards for our routine, our combo of one choreographed dance routine and on stage shot-ski crushed it. 

I am also proud to say that our “Winter-bago” crossed the finish line and we placed top 10 overall. Go Team K2!