Getting psyched for the season is a time-honored tradition, usually accomplished with lots of jumping around in your living room strapped in, a few movie premieres, and even pretending to get in shape. But what if a couple feet of snow at the beginning of October enabled a resort to open up its lifts and let the people actually snowboard? That would be just about the best thing ever, right? Well, on October 5th, 2013, that’s exactly what happened at Stevens Pass.
Early October openings may be tradition in the land of snow guns, but out here in the Northwest, it’s not so common. Which is why a mellow 5-hour drive was definitely happening when we heard rumors of the Government De-Rail session. It didn’t hurt things that Johan from C3, aka, World’s Worst Dad hooked up some ($12) tickets and told us to “get our shit together.” So, shit together, Stan and I loaded up the Subaru and headed Northeast.
The drive up to Stevens was filled with the normal line-up of events that one can expect when traveling with Yobeat. Namely we stopped at a skatepark and Brooke made fun of a 12-year-old scooter kid, who then showed both of us up on Brooke’s skateboard. Whatever, kid. When we finally reached Skykomish, WA (pop. ~15 people) I found there to be more life in FDR’s penis than in this town, but we enjoyed the scenic views and the fried chicken at the local watering hole. I gave sexy eyes to the “knotty knitters,” a group of old people that knit at the bar every Sunday, though I think their Glaucoma prevented them from understanding how truly handsome I was looking at the time.
After that, Johan got us drunk, as any terrible parental figure would do, and then told us he’d be up at 8 but we could get there “whenever we wanted.” When we rolled up, two VIP passes we’re conveniently stashed in his gas tank (parked next to the lift for extra VIP status.) We boarded Hogsback Express, cracked and beer and holy shit, we were going snowboarding!
The top of the lift offered expansive views of shirtless skiers setting up tube obstacles, and some real hardcores hiking up to get the goods. Nate from Stevens looked on, “we didn’t really expect anyone to hike,” he said shaking his head. Apparently, he’s never met anyone who skis or snowboards before, because with pristine (looking) pillows and untouched slush to be had, it was only a matter of time before anyone with a pulse made the hike. Even I, the laziest person alive, huffed it up once.
After realizing just how bad we sucked from months of sitting on the couch and not snowboarding, it was time to jib. All the cool Washington kids were there — Derek Lever and new Seattle resident Mary Rand, the Fuck Boyz, local celebs like Aaron Cardwell and Sam Roberts, and even Russell Winfield, who was looking especially kitted out. The big time pros — Austen Sweetin and Austin Hironaka would show up later as well, (although by then we we’re already making our way to OctoberFest in Leavenworth.)
There were tubes and boxes to be jibbed, and jibbed they were. There were more swivels than Rutland in the mid 2000’s and even some airtime thanks to a propped up tube. Inevitably in the Northwest, a kicker was built and it was an open session for anyone who didn’t want to press tubes. Of course, there was a rock (or 5) in the landing, and the speed was really more appropriate for skis, but a few hardcores really went for it. Aaron Cardwell showed some of the locals the proper way to style it while pretty much everyone else demonstrated “how not to hit a jump.” But hey, it was first day and everyone was smiling and that’s what it’s all about. Or so they tell me.
Big thanks to Nate from Stevens for the glamorous Skykomish, WA accommodations and making the whole event happen! We’ll be back when there’s actual snow. For the real story on the how and why, check out WWD’s blog.