Joe Lax

Sport

Snowboard

Hometown

Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada

Hometown

Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada

Sport

Snowboard

Born in the flatlands of Saskatchewan, Joe Lax traded one small town for another, when he drove west, snowboard in the trunk, to land in Pemberton, an equally small farming community that happened to be way more vertically blessed than the prairies. In 1998 when Lax arrived, Pemberton’s backcountry was largely overshadowed by Whistler, leaving endless terrain to explore - a kind of promised land for someone who, inspired by Craig Kelly, Jeremy Jones, and Tom Burt, was ready to pioneer big mountain lines and push into zones that hadn’t been ridden before. A 20 year veteran of the BC Wildfire Service, Lax has jumped out of helicopters for a living, (unabashedly using the time in the sky to scope potential snowboard lines), billygoated up steep couloirs to make wild snowboard descents, and has been one of the pioneers of Pemberton’s sled-assisted freeriding scene. He ate exclusively plants before it was trending, and focussed on a zero-mile-diet in both dinner and epic adventures before the pandemic made that de rigueur. He treats knowledge as a precious resource. Missions are missions to be cracked open when the time is right, and patience is the crowning virtue – he’s is deeply committed to place and has reaped the benefits of watching, out the back door, for the conditions to crack prime. At 42, a father of two, and about to feature in a documentary reflecting on loss and life in the mountains, Joe Lax is still laying down high-consequence lines, and seeking the pure moment that exists in the split second before dropping in - the truest place he has found to rise free of the noise of the world.

Achievements

  •     Dad of two daughters
  •     Multiple first descents in Coast range, Meager Group, Tantalus Range and Waddington range
  •     Featured as an athlete, photographer and writer, in Backcountry, The Snowboarder’s Journal,  Snowboard Canada, Powder, Mountain Life
  •     Soon to be featured in documentary film Resilience, slated for release fall 2021