The Burton Blog

Dawn Patrol – A Morning with Burton HQ’s Weekly Splitboard Crew

It’s 6AM.

Cars huddle up in the parking lot at Burton HQ as the morning's first light breaks the clouds. A group of Burton employees load their gear in a truck and file in to carpool. They’re half asleep, but committed. The goal: to score a quick splitboard mission and make it back to work for the regular nine-to-five.

For a dedicated crew of Burton employees, this is a weekly routine – for some, even daily. They wake up a few hours early and head to nearby Bolton Valley Resort. The size of the crew varies throughout the winter, along with the snowpack, but the mindset stays the same: winter is here, this is our time, and we’re getting after it no matter what.

A well-loved set of skins, ready for another trek uphill.
Gear check in the parking lot.
The whole crew is strapped with our splitboard specific Hitchiker Bindings.

The conditions are irrelevant. It’s all about the send. For some, summiting a mountain and catching a view of Burton’s home city on the horizon is the most satisfying way to start the day.

Everyone has their own technique.
A first timer, ready for the inaugural self-ascent.

They’ve done this enough times to develop their own inside jokes, routines, and rhythms. The parking lot scene unfolds like a well-oiled machine, with folks unloading cars, applying climbing skins, and donning packs. The banter bounces between stories of previous days, talking about the other regulars they see on the dawn patrol, and of course, gear talk is a constant.

  • Who says you need pow to bust out the split?

    Who says you need pow to bust out the split?

  • No need for a single-file skin track here.

    No need for a single-file skin track here.

  • Classic new guy move.

    Classic new guy move.

  • Making good time, and it's only 7AM.

    Making good time, and it's only 7AM.

  • The final steps before the summit.

    The final steps before the summit.

The climb flies by. Dom from shipping leads the charge, followed by a mosaic of faces from every department at Burton HQ: graphic designers, product developers, IT specialists, HR representatives… Up here, office roles take the back seat, which seems to be the whole idea.

Packing up for the ride down.
Pop the champagne. We made it.
The crew, riding the natural high of a speedy ascent.

Every day on hill is an opportunity to test some product. A few mysterious boot and binding prototypes are in the mix, and a developer from the softgoods department tests out a new base layer fabric. Taking little opportunities to combine work with play keeps the priorities in focus. We’re hell bent on making the best, most sustainable, and rider-driven product; but inside, we’re just a bunch of riders.

And the reward: a top-to-bottom run of soft turns.
Empty trails, ripe for a party lap.

After a pleasant ride down, it's time to head back to the office. We roll in the front door at 9AM. Our other co-workers are just starting the morning. Here we are in our snow pants, grinning after some turns, champagne, laughs, and snacks. Not bad for a hump day.

Same time next week!