About the Buzzards


A brief biography of the Buzzards.

Arthur Debowski

Arthur is a native of Pruszkow, Poland but grew up in the United States. He has lived in NY, NJ, CA, PA, WA, and now calls Salt Lake City, UT his home base. He got into climbing in 1999 at his local gym in NJ and hasn’t looked back since. He’s climbed at nearly every major area in the United States as well as a few trips to Mexico. Arthur splits his time between all the disciplines of climbing with hopes to expand more into big wall and mountain routes in the near future.

As the relative novice of the crew when it comes to skiing, Arthur brings with him the traditional ability of Poles to suffer. If there is a hill to slog, meals to skip, and pain to endure, he is more than happy to partake.

Arthur is also the youngest member of the crew at 28 going on 60 (if you were to look at his overused and gnarled hands).

Phil Santala

Phil’s people hail from the northern lands on the edge of the Great Plains, also known as the Blue Collar town of Billings, MT. After spending several years (almost 6) “going to college” in Missoula, MT and accumulating 67 credit hours and a 2.02 GPA he ostensibly dropped off the face of the earth for 3 years. Like a phoenix rising from those ashes he cobbled his life back together with the noblest of aspirations: to be a ski bum. For Phil, like so many others, skiing has gone from past-time, to full-time, to religious experience. Over the last 5 years he has skied an average of 75 days a season, while finishing undergrad studies, beginning a master’s program, and regrettably, maintaining employment and a much higher GPA.

He relates the highest compliment he has ever been paid: being called a “cattle dog.” Despite consistanly getting his ass handed to him touring and skiing lift service while cutting his chops, he always came back for more, typically with a little bit of blood, torn gear, or tree branch hanging off him. His main (read only) discipline is skiing, expect to see this one trick pony tearing it up thru June on skis, then floundering thru summer till the snow files again.

While Phil grew up skiing the world’s finest “Loud Powder” (icy hard-pack) at Red Lodge, MT his travels have taken him behind the Zion Curtain via Jackson Hole. Phil’s decision to move to SLC and the U of UT was an easy one for him…it was the only school with-in a 60 mile radius of a ski hill that accepted him. Phil’s Master’s Thesis is on reverse seasonal anxiety disorder. If you suffer from depression when the days get warmer and the nights shorter drop him a line, maybe y’all can car-pool to Chile together in July.

Tristram Tarantino

Living forty feet above sea level in the suburban sprawl of the San Francisco Bay Area for his first 18 years left Tris longing for something more exciting.  A “seasonal” move to Truckee, CA ended 5 years later with a deep seated appreciation for backcountry skiing and climbing.

The longer, more involved, and absurd the approach (and objective) the better. This adage has led Tris on some unique adventures  such as traveling through Japan in winter on a homebuilt solar/human powered trike, while sleeping in snow caves,  bathing in onsens, BC skiing every day, and utilizing charades to fill the many gaps in his non existent Japanese.

The great schism in his life lies between his two loves, the mountains and the ocean. Being undecided at best, Tris, splits his time between the coast and the mountains. The main advantage of his unsettled nature is the lack of junk mail received due to frequent address changes.

  1. […] Read about the bcbuzzards here. (BC stands for Backcountry…) One guy is from Poland, one is from the San Francisco Bay area like myself and the third is a native of Billings, Montana! […]

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