The 2001 US Open

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by Rachel Cotton

This is taken from messy notes written in dark corners and fast cars. Thanks to Tom Bishop for all the pictures and to myself for the grotesque things I have done with them.


Mitko and I went riding for an hour at Killington. After days of late lab reports, filled with lentil soup and seemingly endless misunderstandings about environmental activism, we left. But we first made sure to capture ourselves in goofy romantic poses overlooking the mountain. (Evidence to come).

6:00-10:00 PM QUARTERPIPE!

Cavity (MEtttTAl) is on the radio. The quarterpipe is icy and large (it’s still daylight). Aside from all the idiots around me, I noticed a woman from Canada (Anne Boulanger) busting huge tweaked indys, later to stomp a fs 540: big news and a win. Pauline Richon couldn’t land 540s, although they looked pretty good in the air, good enough for third. Men are sick. Terje did one-footed mctwists and some fine 900 degree backside rotations. Tom Gilles 21 foot airs to fakie, later death drops to mat. James Beach did very nice switch mctwists. Romain Demarchi is insane. Everyone who snowboards is a white male frat boy who hates women and is rich. People are throwing snowballs at each other’s heads because they have no brains. Loud obnoxious drunks, the parking lot is muddy. Minor threat is on the intercom.


1. Terje Haakonsen
2. Gian Simmen
3. James Beach


1. Annie Boulanger
2. Dorian Vidal
3. Pauline Richon

Tom Gilles or Kyle Clancy? I just don’t know.


During dinner an amusing family from Connecticut sat right next to us. Discussion centered around whether or not their kids masturbate (one guy reasoned that they must because they’re in the 8th grade). Mom swore that middleschoolers in her neighborhood have giant blowjob parties (to practice SAFE SEX) “fucking Connecticut,” I said, and then I moved in closer to get a better listen. Next was something about stores that sell condoms and trying not to look at friend’s 16 year old daughter’s breasts, nice clothes and designer shoes. This was the most valuable part of the weekend by far. Puberty is a constant topic of conversation all over the world and thank god because it makes my life interesting.


Never go to Stratton without a place to stay and the idea that the world is a friendly place. In reality, the world is evil and filled with cops. We let ourselves into a nice, white hotel with plans to sleep on leather sofas and shiny conference tables. Everything was free. Then I stole three months worth of laundry detergent from the maid’s cart; people with horrible tattoos got out of the jacuzzi, made some lame jokes about poverty, sleeping bags and us and called the cops. Soon after, we were pinpointed as riffraff and thrown out onto the street.

Round 2:
In need of warmth and entertainment, I started offering people sips of vodka in exchange for bad jokes and floor space. Since the only people I indulged in conversation with happened to be German businessmen, I soon lost hope. Sitting by a fire listening to cops talk about trailer trash, thinking in front of a bar is a good place to find drunk people with lonely hearts: Jamie from The Real World New Orleans showed up and I became embarrassed because I’m not supposed to recognize famous people from TV.

The ‘copter flew around a lot. People thought they could make it crash by throwing snowballs at it. Next year I’m painting a landing pad on my chest.


Professional snowboarders wear nice clothes like wrinkle free jeans and black sweatshirts. They look tired. Success! We have broken into a small kindergarten complex gently nestled within an intricate web of hotel/recreation. This means free crackers and apple juice plus endless access to a child sized trampoline. I’m in heaven. Mitko mixed us drinks. We talked about books in Bulgarian. I took Polaroids.

This is a good picture. Stare at it.

3.17.01 THE NEXT DAY

Barely escaped the kindergarten complex alive.
Thank god for back doors and hand held alarm clocks.

Stratton is a horrible place for everything, as evidenced by an overabundance of ticket checkers and loud, whiny children with androgynous parents. We hiked the park and I broke my wrist. It was great, so I took some percoset! I put my entire arm in a sling and then went to watch the pipe finals as a crazy, possessed cripple. I must thank my kindhearted bulgarian guides for being utilitarian and NICE armholds during this whole ordeal.

(At this point, I was on drugs and the writing gets funny.)

Keir Dillon. Bruce Lee. Chris Tucker. Tza Tza Gabor.


Natasza Zurek killed: style in black and blue, late 180s to complete nice nice bs 540s. Mctwists. Kelley Clark went high. I like her. Men’s finals were like nothing I had ever seen before, progression with a time constraint. Danny Kass won because of a personal disregard for safety, order, everything, coupled with some smooth and effortless landings and a charming sense of humor. (run: method, Kasserole, cab7, lein, stalefish, something like that ). An Italian guy named Giacomo (Kratter) was wild and crazy in the pipe, young and insane. Abe Teter tweaks everything. People seem to like the way he is strong and angular in the air. Jonas Emery poached and ruled. Daniel Frank is European and has a Mohawk. He can certainly still get it up. Snowboarding fans remain as the most annoying people on the planet.

This is what the guy I was standing next to said: “You keep sliding over and taking up room. I got here at eight to get this spot.

This is what I said to him: “Dude, shut up.”

To end, I hate everyone and I’m in love with life. For the past two days, I have subsisted entirely on iced tea, and chips and salsa. There was a lot of boardslide action in the parking lot, nighttime revelry, x rays, vodka and secret clandestine hijinks that went on at Stratton. It was a special time. Nothing means anything anymore. Quit while you’re ahead. Love, Rachel

Geoff Farina, rock and roll.


1. Danny Kass
2. Abe Teter
3. Daniel Franck

1. Natasza Zurek
2. Shannon Dunn
3. Gretchen Bleiler

I’ll be back next year. And I won’t break my wrist. Gian Simmen?