Some early-season Utah box and tube dancing from Flyinggg: Gravedigger, Bobby Van Houten, Pete Cerulo, Mike Rav, Bryan Watson. Video by Keith Skyta.
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.
Rough job guys. Rough job.
Riders: Austin Everingham, Unkle Andy, Ryan Ting, Chris Frost, Josiah Goedecke & Evan Wilcox.
Film/ Edit: Leif Draznin-French
Shootout to injured homie Dylan Hallowell, get well soon dawg.
Be sure you’ve already read Part 1, so you are not totally lost.
As our giant conversion van pulled onto Canadian soil, I started to get a little bit excited. My first trip as a real photographer–I hoped I wouldn’t blow it. We picked up Kalle Ohlson at the airport and then headed to our first hotel. At the desk, Josh asked how much it was, and then said, “We’ll take three rooms. I’ll split the first with Nova.” I was confused, but bit my tongue. The older Justin spoke up and said we’d probably only need two because they were on a budget, and then asked me to pay for a third of my room for the next two nights. Interesting, because “lodging was paid for,” but I was already there. $77.92 after the Canadian exchange rate.
The town we were in was called Trois-Rivieres. It smelled like a paper mill and was blanketed in about six feet of snow. The next day we would meet Max Baillargeon, who was nice enough to take us to a few spots. Of course, I didn’t learn Max’s full name until after the trip, since Josh never bothered to learn how to pronounce it.
The first spot we hit was called “The Perfect Rail.” After three hours of digging, we uncovered a low down-rail that looked like it could easily have been in any snowboard park. I figured it was a warm-up rail, and/or some seriously tech stuff could go down, which made sense for the first spot on the trip. As I tried to figure out a way to make it look decent in photos, including attempting to dig myself a hole at the bottom of the rail so I could shoot up at it with a fisheye, Josh just shook his head at me and said, “Brooke, I’ve never seen a photographer shoot from there.” Yeah, photographers never shoot from the bottom of rails… But I hoped he was just concerned for my safety, and tried to ignore it.
A few hours later, it had already become very clear that the only one in this crew that could really hit rails was Nova. Unfortunately, he also fell super-hard on his shoulder, and didn’t think he’d be able to ride for the next few days. After a while attempting to make turds look like diamonds, I went to sit in the car. Josh, who’d already landed some hideous spinny trick, was already there. I finally asked what, exactly, they were filming for. I mean, it certainly wasn’t Mack Dawg. I’ll admit, my phrasing probably wasn’t the most gentle, but Josh’s response was basically, “Why do you think we have a 16mm and an HD filmer here?”
After The Perfect Rail, we went to check out a double kink. More digging. (I should note that it never occurred to me to bring a shovel, so I couldn’t really help–and I got a lot of dirty looks for it.) Josh got mad at me for asking if I should try and build a kicker at the top of the rail, saying, “OBVIOUSLY.” I’ll spare the gory details, but the only ones who ended up hitting this thing were Max and the injured Nova. No real tricks went down, and Josh and Kalle claimed they wanted to come back tomorrow.
Tomorrow came, and we went back. The rail was too frozen, or something, so no one hit it. No one hit the triple kink we went to next, and the last rail was too buried. We decided to just head to Quebec City, where plenty of spots were fabled to exist. We drove around the historic city for hours. We saw a few spots (most of which had been hit in various videos over the year) and marked them in the GPS. The snowboards never came out, though. Eventually it started to get dark, and it was time to give up pretending we were going to snowboard. I suggested we book a hotel room; maybe even a suite, so we could all split it. I was shut down by Josh, who said, “We’re staying at the Ozone. It’s where everyone stays.”
Of course, finding the Ozone was the first challenge. We had a GPS, but Tom-Tom didn’t seem to know where the Ozone was (Not a good sign, right?). So, being the only one with a Canada plan on my phone, I called information and got the address. Unfortunately, the free text message with the info didn’t come through, so I had to try and remember the exact address. After the boys were sufficiently pissed that I failed them by trying to help, we finally arrived.
Sure enough, two other film crews were also staying at the hotel: Runway and TransWorld. I must say I was excited about the prospect of seeing other people I knew on this trip, because at this point I was trying to plan my escape. I never really intended to end up this deep in Canada, and the plan had always been that one of the crew would drive me back to Burlington in time to catch my flight. But now we were five hours away, and Josh suggested there were probably buses. But, I thought, maybe having other riders around might make the trip a bit more bearable.
I dragged my bag through the biting cold to the warm lobby of the hotel. There, it had already been decided that I would room with Justin and Nova (it turned out he snored, so Josh didn’t want to share a room with him, but he pretended he was trying to split his time evenly…or something.) At this point I was over it, so as they told us we had to pay in advance, I told the guys I would probably only be there one night, even though they would be there for three. They looked at me, then at the girl behind the counter, and just said, “Yeah, can we split it in three?” So, another $100 worth of “free” lodging, most of it for days I wouldn’t even be there.
That night I went to hang out with Leanne Pelosi and Raewyn Reid. They showed me their pictures from that day–the day we’d driven around and done nothing because the weather wasn’t perfect. They had tons of pictures using the amazing scenery–tail blocks in front of horse-drawn buggies, etc. Nothing super epic, but man, it looked like they were having fun. After a little venting, I headed back up to the room, where I was happy to find no one was around. I did my best to sleep in the loud, drafty hotel, and tried to figure out how I was going to get home tomorrow…
TO BE CONTINUED.
Check back for Part 3, the conclusion of the trip, and my snowboard photography career, next Monday.
All photos taken at Loon Mountain by Paul Miller.
Ah yes, there she be, Plymouth, NH. Now the home of such superstars as, ahh, nevermind. No superstars live there, but it is the new location of the home offices of YoBeat. Over the coming season we shall be changing our comprehensive East coast coverage over from the Green Mountains to the White ones. To give you a little taste of what you’re in for, we present the NH preview — photos of riders who attend Plymouth State College, and will be getting way more coverage than they deserve over the coming months. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Lodge resident Chris Mulcahy enjoys Play Station, and, well, that’s all I’ve ever seen him do. I guess he snowboards as well though.
Matty Ryan, who is slipping out of his down-with-NH status by dissing on his boyz, yet still has a few photos to come in this section.
Matty Ryan makes his second appearance. Surprisingly, his friend Jordan is nowhere to be found.
Mike Parziale is cool because he’s wearing a wife beater and lives in a box.
Andy Benhardt, sign jib.
Token girl shot. Bostonian Meghan Burke.
Mike Parziale, fully clothed.
Matty Ryan, again. Indy to Fakie.
Sky Shaw is from Vermont. Technically he shouldn’t be in this section, but he is riding in NH so he must be somewhat down.