Riding Pow with the Urban Ghetto Kids


by Brooke Geery

Went to sleep at eleven and started dreamin’,
Woke up, looked out the window and started screamin’.
Mutty didn’t wake up and so I yelled louder,
Mutty check out the bloody bloody powder,
Lookin sweeter then South Boston’s clam chowder.
And so we drove to Sunday River,
Powder up to our knees,
enough to make you quiver,
good thing it wasn’t cold enough to make ya shiver,
or we wouldn’t have cuttin’ it just like Fiskar scissors.
And so we kept it tight,
riding through the powder fluffy and white,
Mutty, Myself and Brooke representin’ style so hype,
and sweeter then a Florida orange when it’s ripe.
It was nice droppin’ cliffs and tree slides galore,
by the end of the day we were lookin’ for more
powder there was none, so we had to go,
but now it’s time to end this flow.

-a freestyle rap by Mike Otto

Mike Otto likes chowder, and he eats it louder, just so it rhymes with powder. Photo Andrew Mutty.

Amazingly enough, snowboarding has come to the inner city. Now that railslides are cool again, kids who live miles from the mountains can now be snowboard superstars just by sliding a rail or two in the hood. Sometimes you have to wonder if these kids could even make it down a mountain, since the only time you ever see them is on a rail or dropping a parking deck. I know I wasn’t sure, but all my questions have been answered, thanks in part to one of the biggest storms in New England, and two such urban snowboarders.

Andrew Mutty and Mike Otto, two of Boston’s finest, were in the Plymouth, NH area when they let me know they were going to Sunday River to ride the freshies that were falling from the sky. I thought it only appropriate to force them to let me tag along. In true ghetto style, we braved the elements on Route 2 and made our way to Maine. Unlike your usual Massachusetts residents, these two didn’t let a little snow on the road stop them, and soon enough, we had arrived on the doorstep of some kid they kept referring to as “Chris Elliot.” They thought it was pretty amusing they hadn’t let him know we’d be staying at his house that evening, so it was not really a surprise when Mr. Elliot wasn’t there. Instead, his mom opened the door, and invited us in. She then proceeded to cook us a few meals, and I pretty much felt like the scum of the earth, taking advantage of this poor woman. She didn’t seem to mind though, so we made ourselves at home.

The next morning we awoke to more then a foot of new snow on the ground, and made our way to Sunday River. Eight o’clock we got on the Barker Mountain quad, watching the snow get tracked up beneath us, after all, it was Saturday. However, since most of Mutty and Mike’s time during the week is spent on Municipal handrails, and their only trips to the hill are on weekends, they didn’t seem to phased by it. It’s also possible that they didn’t notice, as they were busy trying to find words that rhymed with powder for their freestylin’. Shit was nasty.

First off, we headed to Jordan Bowl. It’s out-of-the-way location leaves it virtually untouched by crowds until mid-day. Once we made it to the other side of the mountain, it had pretty much been established that these two could do more than just slide rails. Following Mutty through tight east coast trees, I struggled to avoid obstacles, while he sped right through them. His freeriding was just as impressive as his jib style, off the hook!

In between freestyle rap time on the chair lift, we also discussed all the dope things to do throughout the day. Although there was of course mention of a rail to slide later, Mutty also knew the trees and every cliff drop at Sunday River. They had full intentions of doing it all.

Our morning was spent in knee deep snow, finding ridiculous amounts of untouched trees. For a kid from West Roxbury, Andrew really knew where everything was. One of the benefits of living away from a mountain is that you don’t get stuck in the local rut. These two seemed as local here as they do at Killington (where they now reside), or Wachusett. It seemed like every time we did one thing, they’d have four more spots to check out. It went on like this, until Mike’s binding strap was about to give out, and we had to make a stop at the lodge for some repair.

At Ride On, Sunday River’s snowboard shop, they sold him a Burton strap to fix his Drakes. Frustrated with “the man”, Mutty decided to fight back. Using my screwdriver, he helped himself to the strap off the display bindings. Pretty soon, Mike’s binding was as good as new. Since we were already in the lodge, we decided to grab some food. Here’s where growing up on the mean streets of the inner city come in; for some reason our meal was free. I think it was Mutty’s charm and Mike’s Backstreet Boy good looks, that allowed them to walk right by the cashier without paying, that must be it.* It was nasty.

Our stomach’s full, it was time to head back out to find more shreddable gnar. We headed up to a trail called Bim’s Whim. This might be the most extreme trail at Sunday River, because it requires a bit of a hike to get to it. The hundred yards of extra energy exertion were worth it though, as the trail was basically sick lines through the trees. Mike and Mutty tore through them, leaving no snow unslashed. It was off the hook.

On top of being able to pick lines with the best of them, for some reason, they were able to find every fallen tree slide in the woods. They didn’t hesitate to slide them all. At one point, Mike 50-50’ed a small jib, and then immediately crashed into a tree. This is because this tree was growing naturally, and landscape-wise wasn’t supposed to be there. It was nasty.

At one point, we ran into Attitash local Noah Hale. He told us that some trail was sick, and we should check it out. We followed him down, and after about three mogul turns, Mutty ducked into the trees. It seems that he was the one to follow, rather than the tri-state kid who obviously didn’t know what was up. Mutty was off the hook.

This railslide was wicked pissa.

Once the pow was kicked, we made our way over to the course from the Boardercross Sunday River had held that day. Here we found a couple of nasty jumps and a quarterpipe. While the urban kids did all the latest tricks, I made powder turns down the side of the course. After a run of this, I was ready to call it a day, but Mutty and Mike still had the weekend warrior spirit, and wanted to keep riding. Our next run we rolled by a slidable rail. They wasted no time in hiking up to slide it for camera. This out of the way, I felt we had an overly successful day, probably the best of the season so far. A few more runs, and it was finally time to head back to New Hampshire. My boys were heading home that evening, but we all agreed that the day was off the hook.

Since Mutty and Mike were on their way home, I figured that would be the end of the story, so you can imagine my surprise to find them hiking the Cannon Mountain ski jump the next day. It looks the ghetto snowboard experience wasn’t over yet, in fact, it was turning into a tour.

A few more inches had fallen that morning, and when I trekked up to the jump, they had just finished building it up. Although no one did anything two spectacular off the kicker, due to it’s extreme sketchiness, it still made for a good time. The kicker itself wasn’t huge, but in order to land comfortably, you had to clear about 45 feet. After one stab at going straight, Mutty decided to throw some backside 360’s. No one else even attempted to spin. To add to the Ghetto experience, Rhode Islander’s Dan Potter and Shane Flood were hitting the booter as well. Shane is usually good about throwing ridiculous tricks off crappy jumps, but today, he did nothing of the sort. Actually, Sunday’s festivities weren’t that exciting.

To finish out the weekend, Mutty decided to slide the rainbow rail he’d attached to his car. If you ever see a Ford with a rainbow rail on top, you’re probably seeing the Mutty mobile. Until Sunday night, this rail had never been slid, and even though I missed the session, Mutty was nice enough to slide it one more time for me. This shit was off the hook, and overall, I’d say the urban ghetto weekend was a smash success.

*Yo Beat Magazine does not condone getting free food.