matthew_tufts Matthew Tufts

Photojournalist📸 802🍁 • USC Alum✌️ Terrible Skier, Sub-par Climber, Oatmeal Pro, Type 2 Fun Addict, Livin’ in my Truck. 📍Getting Rad in the Mountains
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matthew_tufts: Many of my fellow photographically inclined friends and

Many of my fellow photographically inclined friends and I often joke about places (like this) that have blown up on social media. And some of it (most of it) is quite laughable—yes, that’s probably the same photo of Moraine Lake everyone else shot; no, Horseshoe Bend is not “out there,” it’s a few football fields from your BMW which is parked next to the highway; and the question of all questions: why the hell is everyone sitting on southwestern styled blankets wearing felt hats holding a cup of coffee and dangling fairy lights from their hands?? . Truth is, for all of the absurd trends, the over-glamorized trips and the insistent geo-tagging of these places, I’m stoked so many people are getting outside. There’s a reason Moraine Lake, Lake McDonald, Avenue of the Giants, Tunnel View and Glacier Point (just to name a few) are so crowded and so popular online: A) They’re absolutely stunning... B) They‘re just off the road. But I’m happy that—no matter how contrived social media becomes—at the heart of every one of those photos, there’s something legitimately natural and beautiful in that photo that motivated someone to get off their phone and out of the house and see the beauty of nature with their own eyes. We generally care about things we know and we’re apathetic towards things of which we’re ignorant. The more people experience these wild places, the more will fight to protect them. . So next time the Valley is crowded or you find yourself at this spot with a hundred other tourists, please curtail your bullshit whining about how it’s all gone too mainstream. PUBLIC land is for ALL people. And anyone who appreciates the environment should be stoked that getting outside is the cool thing to do these days. . p.s. lastly, if you want solitude and pristine wilderness, there are literally MILLIONS of acres of backcountry waiting just for you—all you have to do is put in a little more effort.

189 22 Jan 18, 2018

“Shithole”: a place that doesn’t fit our lifestyle, makes us uncomfortable, and doesn’t meet our standards for living. . We all heard Trump use it to describe developing nations, but it’s just as much of an issue at home. Right here in America, the vast majority of us have all driven through somewhere we didn’t appreciate and thought, “What a dump.” And that thought—whether conscious or passive—negatively affected the way we looked at its residents. . But here’s the truth about 99% of these flyover, drive-by “shitholes:” for what these places lack—in infrastructure, in wealth, in well-funded education, in entertainment—they abound in hard work, kindness and a sense of community. And when it comes down to it, I’d much rather have those in Podunk, Wydaho, than any number of surface-level amenities in comfortable suburbia. Besides, there’s a special beauty in simplicity.

229 11 Jan 17, 2018
matthew_tufts: It’s crazy how much better this past

It’s crazy how much better this past week has felt. There’s something about the road that motivates me in a way that few individual places have come close to matching. I know I’ll eventually find somewhere, something, someone that will inspire me and help me grow in the same way this constant state of movement does... but until then I’ll keep it pointed down the dotted yellow lines of long highways in far off places; as it were, the journey may be more valuable than the destination.

334 7 Jan 17, 2018
matthew_tufts: Took a detour to the quiet town of

Took a detour to the quiet town of Stanley, Idaho, on my way to Salt Lake. Kind of a whim, slightly motivated by the work of a friend, mostly because bathing in a natural hot spring sounded like the best option after 12+ hours of driving. . As it were, I could’ve saved a lot of anxiety (and gas money) if I said f*** it, I’m gonna sleep in a Walmart parking lot in Boise and continue to Utah after that. The road into the Sawtooth Range was twisty and icy, rock slides littered the road with debris, a low cloud layer made visibility beyond 50 feet impossible and when it lifted, it gave way to a white out of snow and sleet (a good ol’ “wintery mix” as we like to call it in New England). . Nevertheless, I’m glad I made the drive. I’d never seen Idaho, and driving along the interstate doesn’t count if you want to understand a place. The tub, an old mining cauldron, was hot—too hot actually—so it took plenty of icy river water and about 10 minutes of just sitting on the edge to ease in. But after soaking for a half hour, or could’ve been an hour, I wasn’t counting, I drove the spectacular stretch of highway through the heart of the Sawtooth Range, stopping probably all too frequently for someone who had seven hours of driving left that day. But that’s the thing with traveling and photography—it’s very rarely the planned stops and carefully crafted shots that you remember. It’s those moments you just decide to roll with an idea because to hell with your plans, you want to soak in a giant pot of steaming water.

282 28 Jan 14, 2018
matthew_tufts: Shot this image last April of Tyler cruising

Shot this image last April of Tyler cruising a bulletproof Sierra hallway after we summited Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Couloir. . Tyler loves the “Spring corn harvest” in the Eastern Sierra. Last year he was chasing steeper, narrower, gnarlier chutes on the Eastside till mid-summer. I, on the other hand, love the up almost as much as the way down. And I could bounce through waist-deep powder in the beautifully spaced trees of the Kootenay backcountry for the rest of my days and feel entirely fulfilled. Corn is for cows and spring is for other activities, in my opinion. . But you know what? They’re both skiing. In the end, we’re both having the time of our lives sliding down snow, plain and simple. And it’s pretty rad that something so simple can bring so many people together at any level.

267 8 Jan 13, 2018
matthew_tufts: Meet “Layla.”
She drives like a tractor and

Meet “Layla.” She drives like a tractor and steers like a boat. She’s almost as old as I am. She has dual bench seats because bench seats are rad and if you don’t agree you’ve probably never sat in one before. And by the looks of it, she’s right at home on these country roads. Bring on life in the slow lane.

338 40 Jan 12, 2018
matthew_tufts: Cold take: storm skiing beats bluebird days.

Cold take: storm skiing beats bluebird days.

409 15 Jan 10, 2018
matthew_tufts: Bruin prepping for PyeongChang 2018... He’s an

Bruin prepping for PyeongChang 2018... He’s an ice dancer. ⛸💃

242 6 Jan 10, 2018
matthew_tufts: Eastbound. Don’t know how far—kinda prefer

Eastbound. Don’t know how far—kinda prefer it that way, honestly. Few stops in mind, but I’m sure I’ll find more along the way. I’m definitely addicted to the road—being stagnant feels like hell, freedom is a two-lane highway through the mountains or along the coast. I just like moving I guess, feels productive, feels natural, for now.

299 10 Jan 8, 2018
matthew_tufts: I slept well over 300 nights last year

I slept well over 300 nights last year in this bag. I also used it down to -36* F in Alaska (its a 0* F degree bag, but hell, I’m still kickin’...). Truth is, I get really stoked on adverse conditions. But it takes the right tools for the job to toe that line between stoke and foolish arrogance. I’m incredibly thankful for the support of local brands like for helping me replace vital pieces of gear that let me operate in the most inhospitable of conditions. Mountaineering reminds me “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun;” but with the right gear... well, it can actually be pretty fun.

231 11 Jan 7, 2018
matthew_tufts: Light—like life—is fickle. It’s fleeting,

Light—like life—is fickle. It’s fleeting, ever-changing and just when you think you can predict what it’ll do, it surprises you. As a photographer you learn to adapt and compose the light you’re given in the best possible way. The more I apply this way of thinking to life, the more appreciative I become.

571 34 Jan 5, 2018
matthew_tufts: Today kinda sucked. This day last January didn’

Today kinda sucked. This day last January didn’t suck. I love how photography can transport you to another place in time with different emotions and a better perspective. (Now if only that worked when I’m hungry and look at food photos...)

203 5 Jan 5, 2018