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Which Mt Hood Pass Should You Buy? – Mt Hood Meadows vs Fusion Pass

To buy a Fusion pass or a Meadows Pass is a question debated every year by Portland residents new and old alike. And there’s no right answer. With three resorts to choose from, and a list of pass options a mile long, the only thing we can definitively say is you definitely should by a pass. With Portland’s dark and gloomy winter looming, this $500ish dollar investment is guaranteed to make your life in the Rose City better, while incentiveizing you to actually go snowboarding. Just trust us on this one – when the snow flies the mountain gets further away (in time, not distance) and all of a sudden getting drunk every night at Reel Em In, skateboarding, going to art shows, watching netflix, etc – sounds way more fun than doing dawn patrol with every other asshole who has their schedule set so they can skip out of work on powder days.

If you’re trying to get max days without splitting/hiking/snowmobiling, there are two main options and we’re tossing a third, more complicated, but comparably priced option, because we’re nice like that.

In bounds at Meadows, lift accessible and every bit as amazing as it looks. 

Meadows Unlimited Pass $549

Summary: For the powder hound who’s concerned with logging vertical and getting wicked extreme, Meadows is preferable. There’s more trees, more steeps, and a network of lifts that move people around fairly quickly, even on the most crowded days.

Pros:
-Steeper steeps and deeper deeps – and with several high speed quads that take you off in every direction, it’s possible to find something worth riding any day of the week, any time of the day.
-Sweet pros, young and old. Wanna see the best freeriding go down infront of your eyes? Post up at the bottom of Rock Gardens on Shooting Star on a deep pow day and watch guys like Colin Langlois, Johnnie Paxson, Ahmon Stamps, Nick Dirks and more send it off features that are at least worthy of a web edit clip!
-Sick trees – Meadows has the monopoly on wide open old growth forests that are easily accessible from the chairlifts with almost no insider knowledge.
-Exchange deals: Get five day tickets at Mt. Baker, three at Steamboat and 25% off at Big White FULL DETAILS
-Legit night riding – There’s a ton of terrain that you can access under the lights (or next to them.)

An average pow day at Meadows. 

Cons:

-Cool guys/Pow Hounds. Don’t be surprised if you get elbowed in the lines or yelled at for scraping the snow off the landing. The Meadows crowd tends to be a bit more aggro when it comes to “getting some.”
It’s further from Portland. Depending on if the state of Oregon can figure out how to fix the recently burned out gorge to prevent the inevitable mudslides in time, there’s a good chance I-84 will be closed for some of the winter. If this happens, the traffic on route 26 will increase and with no other way around, you’re stuck sitting in it for longer to get to Meadows than Timberline. However, if you live in Hood River/East of Mt. Hood, this isn’t an issue and you should disregard this statement.

The view from Ski Bowl is the stuff Mastercard ads are made of. 

Fusion Pass

This pass will get you full access to Timberline and Ski Bowl and for the casual enthusiast living in Portland (or anywhere west of Mt. Hood) this means shorter drive times and the potential for double pow days by hitting Timberline in the morning, Charlie’s Mountain View in the afternoon, and Ski Bowl at night.

This view when you come around the last corner on the Timberline road never gets old – and it’s WAY more impressive IRL. 

Pros: Way mellower. Rumor has it, on a busy day Timberline sells 1/4 of the tickets of Mt. Hood Meadows because of an agreement with the US Forest Service. Even if the parking lot is full, the trails won’t be.
Amazing parks. The Timberline Parks stuff does a great job keeping multiple parks in solid riding shape – a serious feat given the amount of snow that falls through the season on Mt. Hood.
Access to the best terrain not actually on Mt. Hood. Ski bowl lies in the foothills and the lower elevation.
Fewer ag-bros. Yeah, there’s a bit of the park kid vibe if you’re trying to lap the mega booters in the Timberline park, but for the most part, Timberline and Ski Bowl attract more casuals, and the people who ride there are mostly concerned about having fun, not showing off their sick gear. In fact, if you’ve got a boner for vintage gear you’ll probably run into some real gems in the lines at either of these two resorts that people are riding them totally non-ironically.
-Ski Bowl has a rope tow park. Many a mitten has been destroyed and many a movie has been filmed on this short stretch of terrain.
-Awesome mid-mountain bars. Timberline has a hut serving tacos and tall boys and Ski Bowl has a midmountain lodge that’s steeped in history. Or if you’d rather, the Beer stube at the base serves a minty booze hot chocolate that’ll knock you on your ass and the nachos that were the inspiration for Airblaster’s Nacho Mountain.
-Part of the Powder Alliance. This means your Fusion pass not only enables you to not only ride all of its amazing terrain, but also gets four days at places like Mt. Baker, Bogus Basin and more. See the full list here.

Forget to wax or lift up your nose when it dumps at Timberline – this could be you.

Cons:
-Timberline is “flat.” The topograpy of the resort means you will be traversing from lift to lift. When there’s more than 4 inches of snow, you’ll spend as much time digging out as riding. And while there are steep sections if you know where you’re going – your chances of happening across them by pure dumb luck are much slimmer.
-Just because it’s snowing at Timberline, doesn’t mean it is at Ski Bowl. It might be rain, rain and more rain. Hell, there have been years Ski Bowl has barely opened at all. But NOAA and all the other predictors are saying the 2017/18 season is gonna be a good one, so cross those fingers, fools!

Joey Carnera, on a rare sunny day on the Magic Mile. 

THE WILD CARD – A Ski Bowl Night Pass (TBA ~ $149) + a Meadows 5 ($299) or 10-time Pass ($409) + Timberline Spring pass (TBA ~ $99-119)

If you’re an “average boarder” with a 9-5 job, this is the combo that will guarantee you the most riding and the best combo of all of the above. It’s totally doable to work a full day, go home, get your gear and hit Ski Bowl post rush hour for three solid hours of riding. Adding the Meadows 10x pass gives you the option to ditch work any time there’s a day worth ditching for – which let’s be real, if you do more than 10 times, you’re probably gonna get fired anyway. And finally the spring pass gives ya access to Timberline parks when they’re the best. And the best part – you get the spread out the cost throughout the entire season.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Anyway you go, you’re going to be glad you bought a pass – maybe not when your alarm goes off at 5 am on a pow day, but definitely when you’re exploring the nooks and crannies of Mt. Hood with epic pow hitting you in the face with every other turn. And you have until November 5th to decide. Whatever you go for, don’t forget to buy your annual snow park permit – it’s required to park in either lot and the $25 one-time investment will pay for itself the first time you don’t get a citation from the man.

A New Twist is Added to the 10th Annual Full Sail Banked Slalom Saturday April 2

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Course venue moved to “The Tunnel of Love”

More naturally technical and fun course to challenge competitors

$5000 prize purse thanks to sponsor Full Sail Brewing

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – Registration is underway for the 10th Annual Full Sail Banked Slalom, to be presented at Mt. Hood Meadows Saturday April 2. A new twist has been added to celebrate the 10th annual event – the course will be moved to a fun and novel venue – Tunnel of Love! This natural banked slalom has been a favorite at Meadows for years, tight, natural banked turns located between Ridge Run and Chunky Swirly.

A banked slalom is a similar to a slalom course, with the turns built up to allow competitors to carry speed through each turn using the banked wall. In the past the course has been built on a traditional ski run using snowcats to build the berms.

The natural “Tunnel of Love” course will be “ridden in” and hand dug by crews with minimal snow cat work at the top and bottom of the course. This creates a more naturally technical course that many competitors have requested in the past. The start of the course will be at the Mazot mid-mountain restaurant and will provide an excellent venue for showcasing the event.

The new venue and design will be a fun and challenging course for competitors. But stepping it up will put the event on par with other national banked slalom events, attract top tier riders and create a fun atmosphere for spectators.

Registration is open now with men’s and women’s ski and snowboard divisions, in three age groups:

Junior (age 18 and under) | Masters (age 35+) | Open Registration. Full Sail Brewing is the event sponsor, putting up a $5000 prize purse for the event.

For more information or to register visit the resort website, SkiHood.com/BankedSlalom.

Mt. Hood Meadows Announces Limited Preview Day Saturday, November 21

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Buttercup Lift will serve limited terrain 3 – 7 PM
Special Rail Park and Jib Party 3 – 8:30 PM
Preview Dinner with CEO Matthew Drake 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Pray for Snow Party with Hit Machine 8 – 11 PM

MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) – Mt. Hood Meadows will present anxious skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to take some runs Saturday on limited beginner terrain served by the Buttercup lift. The lift operation and a Jib Party in a park created especially for this event will be offered, adding to the already scheduled kick off festivities of a sport shop preview, a dinner with CEO Matthew Drake and a Pray for Snow party featuring the popular cover band Hit Machine that evening.

This week’s storm dropped plenty of moisture and piled up a half a foot of wet and heavy. Crews have already begun harvesting efforts to build a snowy swath under the Buttercup lift. With colder temperatures the resort is also using it’s snowmaking capabilities to build up the Buttercup snowpack. The resort officially reports a 10 inch base at the 5400 foot level, and 27 inches at 6000 feet.

Buttercup is scheduled to run from 3 – 7 PM, allowing crews time to haul snow and create the best experience possible on the limited terrain. Snow sliders should expect a run under Buttercup that will be a few snowcat runs wide and should be well aware of early season conditions and the need to stay on the designated run.

Jib sessioning on the five rail set up planned for the rail park will go from 3 – 8:30 PM PM. A season pass or the special $10 day ticket is needed to enter the park.

Unlimited season passes, Southside, Midweek and Night passes will be honored on Saturday. Otherwise the cost for a Buttercup lift ticket which includes entry into the rail park is just $10. For those 21 and older that will also provide admission to the Pray for Snow party with Hit Machine from 8 – 11 PM.

Season passholders and locker holders can arrive as early as 11 AM to get their passes issued or to check into their lockers. Culinary services will be offered at the Higher Grounds Cafe and at the Alpenstube Bar from 11 – 4.

The High Performance Center and Outer Limits Sports will be open from 3 – 7 Saturday, offering the greatest selection of ski and snowboard equipment, outerwear and apparel of the entire season.

Ski school and equipment rentals will not be operating on the preview weekend, so those coming up should bring or rent their equipment on the way to the mountain.

A sneak preview dinner featuring Meadows CEO Matthew Drake will be presented from 5:30 – 7:30. In a brief presentation, Drake will talk about the preparations Meadows is making to not only have an awesome winter season, but diversify into a year ‘round recreation, lodging, entertainment, education and culinary company.

Meadows new Executive Chef Matthew Stine has prepared a wonderful evening of culinary sensations. The plated dinner requires advance purchase and reservation, choosing from Mushroom Ravioli, Blackened Catfish, Hood River Chicken Melt or Chef Matt’s Legendary Mac And Cheese. The dinner includes appetizers, salad, entree, dessert, two glasses of the Meadows private label wines and coffee and tea. There is very limited seating for the dinner, which is $25 ($35 includes the party with Hit Machine).

To reserve a dinner seat and/or get admission to the Pray for Snow Party with Hit Machine purchase online through the resort’s website www.skihood.com.

The evening is capped off with a live performance by Hit Machine – guaranteed to get everyone up and dancing from 8 – 11 PM. The popular high energy party band plays hits from all eras and the great vibes will help conjure up a great season. In between band breaks Meadows will present fashion shows and raffle off prizes, including a private photo shoot with Grant Myrdal Photography, a Meadows night season pass, and prizes from Dakine, Widmer Brothers Brewing, KEEN and Yakima Racks. Passholders receive bonus loyalty rewards points by attending the party.

When Will Oregon Open?

OH shit, it’s on. Snow Brainsis reporting the the storm of the century is headed toward Mt. Hood and could drop 10-20″ of mountain snow by tomorrow morning.

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Since nowhere is open yet, we may have to hike (gross) to “get some” tomorrow but we’re warmed up and ready after a couple days in California. And hopefully this enables Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline to fire the lifts back up sooner rather than later so we don’t have to drive all the way to Mt Baker for Thursday!

Link: Snow Brains

Mt. Hood Meadows Will Stay Open!

There’s been a lot of bad news here in the Northwest when it comes to this whole winter thing, as Mother Nature decided we didn’t need any snow this year. But, Mt. Hood Meadows would like you to know, they will stay open for the rest of the season, no matter what.

“So we are clarifying, with this ‘tRumor’ – Meadows will continue daily operations per our original schedule with an extension into May weekends if conditions allow, as we have the last several seasons. This week’s storm dumped a substantial amount of snow at Meadows – providing great coverage, supplemented by our snow harvesting efforts. We have no intention of closing the ski area when we have such ample snowpack, especially on the upper mountain, to continue daily operations,” stated Tragethon.

So quit yer bitching and get up there. And please note, it looks slightly better up there now, they got snow this week!

Board Over Brains – New Snow

The lack of snow in the northwest has been very sad and has had us loosing our brains. Thankfully Mt. Hood caught a little storm and got some fresh turns. Board Over Brain’s Jay Hergert and Keaton Rodgers get down in the powder and finesse some technical board control.

Film&Edit Cam Weeg

Trend Watch: Falling Off the Chair Lift

For those of you rubberneckers disappointed that this kid didn’t plummet into the waiting net, get pysched, last weekend was not the safest to ride a chairlift. Here’s yet another kid (this one old enough to know better) who had some trouble riding the lift on Sunday at Mt. Hood Meadows. We’re probably gonna have to  blame the recently legal weed for this one. And don’t worry, he escaped sans injury.

You know, not so long ago this stuff used to happen and no one was there to record it. See, the “good old days” weren’t really that cool after all.

Stan and Catfish do Mount Hood Meadows Opening Weekend

Mount Hood Meadows opened its bunny slope lift and Shipyard Park this weekend for the locals to enjoy. The Catfish and I made it up both days (albeit immensely hungover,) and got to ride with Shane Flood, Erik Leon, Mark Wilson, Colin Langlois, Darell Mathes, and many others. Lift tickets were just $15 bucks, and with the option of a park, one money booter, and even a crusty pow field, how could you be disappointed!

 

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Day 1 Texture.

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Shane Flood’s methods can cure illness. Or at least other people’s hangovers.

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Erik Leon Hand plants a tube that is about a foot off the ground. This kid knows his plants.

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HOMETOWN HERO STRAIGHT MOBBING!

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He’s got the whole world in his eyes.

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Flood in the Park.

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Colin Langlois was silently destroying all day. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but how else would you guys know he was there!

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 Indy Brand Hoodies 4 Lyfe!

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Catfish getting some air time on a gap to boardslide before he flies back east for the winter.

 

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Storm Troopers eventook a liking to the place

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Mark Wilson is a new resident of Oregon and he wasted no time in pressing tubes. He also found a dead rat later on that day.

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Darell Mathes is an OG to both Oregon snowboarding and snowboarding in general. Getting to hike and ride with him is never anything short of inspiring.

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Erik Leon got fanned out on that day, and for good reason.

Season’s End Beer & Music Fest at Mt. Hood Meadows Saturday, May 17

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MT. HOOD, OR (Immediate Release) — Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort and Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom celebrate the last day of mountain operations with a free music festival on the sundeck of Mt. Hood Meadows main lodge. The Season’s End Beer and Music Fest will be presented Saturday May 17th, with lifts scheduled from 9 AM – 2 PM, and music from 11 AM – 5 PM.

“We’re excited about throwing the free party for our guests to celebrate the end of this extraordinary season” said Meadows Executive Director of Communications Dave Tragethon. “Our friends at Double Mountain are bringing this fabulous line-up of music at no charge to our guests. We hope everyone will come up, get some runs in early and enjoy the afternoon on the deck listening to some awesome music.”

For those wanting to ski or snowboard, Meadows has some online exclusive offers: a lift pass and $20 Double Mountain gift card for just $49 (or $59 with equipment rentals). Lift tickets will also be available for purchase at the ticket window for $49. For those not hitting the slopes the concert is free.

A Gaper Dreams of Pow

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A three-day van voyage to Mt. Hood. By Pete Cottell

I don’t know shit about snowboarding. I know the existence of Louie Vito makes being from Ohio an invalid excuse, but I did have to google his name when he appeared in the 2010 Olympics to learn that he’s a pro athlete rather than a sandwich at Jimmy John’s. I skateboarded for a few years in middle school, but that was mostly because I was really into Goldfinger and The Pietasters and thought it was the logical next step to being able to rock a pair of Vans without being a “poser.” Now that I’m 30, the countercultural and athletic aspects of board sports are lost on me. The idea of spending three days on a glacier learning how to “shred” is preposterous, which may be exactly why I didn’t think twice about agreeing to do so when the editor of this publication dared me to do just that.

I grew up in Akron, a slowly recovering rust belt city that’s eons away from the kind of culture that breeds young folks with an interest in careening down mountains on waxed-up fiberglass for a living. Like skiing, snowboarding in Northeast Ohio was a dalliance of the leisure class and reserved for snow days and President’s Day weekend trips to Holiday Valley or Seven Springs. Snowboarders seemed a lot cooler to me than skiers, but I wonder where I’d be right now if I joined them in their endless pursuit of fresh powder, kinder buds and better parking lots to occupy while they baked out their Wranglers and listened to Wu-Tang Clan in a haze. Lurking in my parents’ basement with a heap of medical bills from broken collarbones and a part-time job at a car wash is probably close.

Then again, I’m not doing a whole lot better right now: I live in a van in the mean streets of Southeast Portland. The downsides are many—I pee in a jug, I’m woken by drunk people every night, and the idea of anyone wanting to date me is laughable. When I found out about Stan’s experiment with vandwelling, however, I realized the upside of being free to leave town on a whim and spend three days on a mountain is exactly why I moved to Oregon to live in a van. Living rent-free in a mobile home 60 miles west of Mt. Hood seems like a snowboarders dream come true. All that was left was the small task of learning how to ride.

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Day One

After stocking up on food and taking what I figured would be my last shower for three days, I pointed my 1991 Dodge Ram to the east and started the trek up the mountain. Some gnarly traffic on Powell Blvd pushed my arrival at Timberline back to 11:30, which didn’t seem like a big deal until I figured out what a pain in the ass getting dressed for snowboarding is. I’ve never given birth to a child, but I have to imagine the process of putting on a pair of snowboard boots is just as terrible. I spent 10 minutes balancing my bare foot on top of my left boot while heaving all my force into squeezing the right one on, which put me on my ass several times. A rusty Subaru full of young girls pulled up next to me and giggled at my sorry state while they finished the bottles of Sierra Nevada in their cup holders. I almost lost hope when I saw them slip right in to their gear and bounce up the mountain in the span of just one Jack Johnson song, but I got the boots on eventually. I chugged a stray PBR from my backpack and braced myself for a long, embarrassing day.

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After the costume, though, learning the fundamentals of snowboarding was a lot easier than I expected. My instructor was Steve Muise, the Ski & Ride School Director at Timberline. Armed with concepts like “fulcrum” and “pivot points,” the first half of my lesson with this gregarious 40 year-old lifer felt more like a fusion of applied physics and weight training than a crash course in plowing a mountain without killing yourself. He was also the only person I met all weekend that did not once refer to me as “bro.” We hit the bunny hill and put some lessons into motion, and within an hour I was carving lazy S-shaped lines in the hill.

I shouldn’t complain about being able to snowboard in May, but the weekday closure of the lift for the bunny hill was a huge pain in the ass. After Steve left me to practice turns “until I got sick of it,” the endless hiking up and down the hill left me tired and sunburnt. I took a nap in my van and woke up to find all the lifts had closed by 4. Besides a pair of 50-ish skiers seated in lawn chairs next to a pimped out Dodge Sprinter with California plates, I was the last person left in the lot. How does one kill time on Mt. Hood when the slopes close?

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The answer: Charlie’s Mountain View. Besides being a dive bar in Government Camp—Western Oregon’s “alpine village”—it’s also the perfect vantage point for getting a feel for what goes on in a resort town after the season has long-since peaked. A group of dudes with Carhartt jackets and leathery faces swilled tallboys and shot a half-assed game of pool while the ladies in their group ripped shots and ran out to the parking lot to film Vines of their friends jumping off cars and light poles. If anything exists on Vine that’s not a video of a cat or some drunk snowboarders doing courageous feats of stupidity, I have yet to find it. With the exception of the bartender and an elderly couple that watched the stunts in horror while picking at a plate of fries, everyone in the bar had a beige hue to their clothes and skin that must be the result of hard mountain living. I know they aren’t chopping lumber or paving asphalt all day, but have you ever drank for 12 hours straight then woken up at 8 in the morning to bomb hills and shotgun beer all day? It’s hard, dammit!

 

Day Two

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I started Friday off with a massive hangover. I loaded up on grease and coffee at High Mountain Café, the unofficial way station for pre-session breakfast burritos and the occasional hobo shower in the bathroom. Groggy dudes in hoodies came in one after the other, most making a beeline to the shitter of the adjacent arcade/pizza place before plopping down on the couch and searching for an outlet to resurrect their spent iPhones. I asked a guy in a tattered Ecko hoodie if the bunny hill at Meadows, the other Mt. Hood resort that’s open in May, had a lift that still worked. He nodded his head and told me to look out for tourists “playing pattycake” at the top of the hill. I assumed this was slang for “dicking around” and headed out.

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My friend at the café was right: the hill around the Buttercup lift was lousy with “gapers.” I got bored with dodging the same pair of Asian girls in John Lennon glasses and matching hot-pink bodysuits (at least they were visible!) and took a lift up to Vista Ridge, a winding green trail at the edge of the resort. In the three times I’ve been skiing, a hill this high would’ve caused me to shit my pants. Whether it was the lack of bystanders or the minimal amount of balance I picked up from skateboarding that got me down the hill is uncertain, but I know for sure that making it down Vista Ridge in one piece less than 24 hours after learning how to turn was a significant accomplishment.

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“Bro! You’re killin’ it!” the lift operator exclaimed over a tiny boombox blasting dubstep as I waited for the next chair up. I almost took out a snow fence the last time we met, so his assumption that I was a newbie was well founded. I was also decked out head to toe in fresh new gear that was three sizes too big, which made me look like someone’s little brother that tagged along to play in the snow. I hit Vista a couple more times before calling it a day and heading out to the parking lot.

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I don’t know what it is about snowboarding, but the urge to drink cheap beer is almost instantaneous the second you step in to the parking lot. I spotted a group of guys with an abundance of PBR and made my way over with hesitance. I wasn’t familiar with the music blasting from their white Toyota Previa, but it sounded a lot like the SoCal white-dude trunk rap my friends in high school listened to when they got tired of 36 Chambers. A drunk guy in a vintage NBA jersey prattled on about this being his first trip to the mountain after getting out of prison until he became obsessed with making me eat a handful of the sunflower seeds he was offering. A blunt materialized from the passenger seat and I saw my life flash before my eyes: this is definitely where I would be if I took up the sport in high school. The guy with the sunflower seeds was putting me on edge, so I thanked his friends for the beer and went back to the van. As the parking lot thinned out, picking out boarders from skiers became supremely obvious. To my right was an Escalade filled with a family of blonde-haired yuppies in turtlenecks and University of Washington hats—skiers, no doubt. To my left was a ratty old VW Westfalia being circled by a longboarding shirtless guy with his left hand clamped around a bong and his right hand making the “got a light?” gesture to anyone within 30 feet. Take a wild guess what he had strapped to the roof of his camper.

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Back in Gov’y, I was approached by a pair of blonde girls that offered me a bottle of Heineken in the middle of the street. We chatted about the overrated nature of having a “life plan” for an hour before I was invited back to the flophouse where one of them lived with a handful of other lifties. I expected the place to wreak of weed, but the smell of beer cans and old socks was far more prominent despite the various implements strewn about any flat surface that would hold them. I was amazed at the conditions folks will suffer through for the ability to snowboard 365 days a year. (And, again, I live in a van.)

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The group at the house was friendly, but things turned sour within half an hour when the girl that invited me up was told by her roommates that she was being kicked out of the house in 30 days. I wondered why a reality series about kids in their 20’s with dreams of going pro had not yet been filmed—cramming eight people in a chalet at the base of a hill is as ripe with drama as it gets. The intense sixth game of the Blazers-Rockets series was on, so the rest of house had a fortunate distraction from the Jerry Springer scene unfolding on the porch throughout the evening. I felt bad for the girl—she was just starting to warm up to the idea of spending her days doing nothing but drinking, snowboarding, and making sure idiots like me don’t fall off the chairlift and die. I was glad I had my van parked less than a mile down the road when it came time to for everyone else to jockey for a corner of the floor to call “bed” for the evening.

Day Three

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With a whole day of smashing green hills under my belt, I went back to Timberline and decided to step my game up. I figured the only way to learn my limits was to go as fast as humanly possible and deal with the wreckage accordingly, so I tackled a blue hill right off the bat. Despite the few times I wrecked on purpose to check my speed before crossing a meandering green trail that’s popular with little kids and retired Eurotrash, I was hauling ass with reckless abandon. I took a break and caught a few minutes of Yobeat Mogul Mayhem, at which point I had a brief encounter with my new favorite human, Dan Vinzant.

Without saying a word, this guy in a camouflage jacket with a lit cigarette in his mouth skidded to a stop at the far right of the orange fence that secured the perimeter of the contest area. Somewhere on his person was a speaker blasting “Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes. He looked down the hill, adjusted his goggles, and took off down the course with the cigarette still in his mouth. He proceeded to go ballistic on the course, bookending his run with a backflip off the last jump. He rode off. I never saw him again.

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In the grand scheme of things, snowboarding is still a young sport. It’s no longer the red-headed stepchild of mountain sports, but it’s a stretch to say snowboarding has grown up as it’s entered the mainstream. On one hand, you have Shaun White and the clothing he sells to alt-tweens at Target. On the other hand, you have the gypsy kids that spend the years most of us dedicate to college adrift in the west in search of powder and girls. For semi-old dudes like me, there’s plenty of comfortable space between those two poles. You’ll probably get called a gaper by some kid that rips black diamond hills in a t-shirt and a horse mask with a 40 in his hand, but what would snowboarding be without those guys? It would be a mongoloid version of skiing, that’s what. I tried that a few times and it did not go so well. I could do without the hangovers and the ex-cons and the Kottonmouth Kings, but I’ll take that over Saab-driving yuppies in turtlenecks any day.

Special thanks to Ride Snowboards, Timberline Lodge, Mt Hood Meadows, Saga Outerwear and Nike Snowboarding for Pete’s fly kit. 

Yobeat Goes to Superpark 18

With Superpark 18 going down in our backyard at Mt. Hood Meadows, the entire Yobeat staff was hyped to secure a coveted invite to the event. And man, were we gonna kill it! Not only were Stan and I ready to send it, but we’d recruited the boys from Shoulda Danished, Jeff Holce the Athlete, Oliver Dixon and even got Nagel to bring his camera. Media magic was about to happen and then… it rained. And the jumps were too big. And Nagel didn’t want to take out his camera. However, our ideas are still good and in the name of not wasting them, here’s the general idea of what we meant to do.

Oliver Doublecorks

The thing about Superpark is the jumps are fucking huge. And by watching everyone from 9 year olds to sketchy Europeans sending double corks, Oliver felt pretty confident he could do one as well. However, during our one run through the Superpark on Sunday, he didn’t even try.

Super Parking Lot

Before, during and after riding, the parking lot was popping with sweet pros, company RVs and even Jamie Lynn and Wes Makepeace jamming out here and there. Surely there was a video to be had here, but mostly, we just really liked the name.

The Snowboard Illuminati

Is it true that snowboarding is controlled by one man? We were determined to find out. Well, not that determined.

Getting showed up by 9 Year olds

Self Explanatory.

Breaking into the Industry This one was my favorite by far. Will and Dale came all the way to Superpark from Alberta and this was their big chance to break into the snowboard industry. I explained that the only way to really do it was by sleeping with someone. So they planned on propositioning every girl there (Desiree, Hana Beaman, Christy Prior, Laura Hadar and Denis Leontyev’s girlfriend) and each of them would decline but suggest maybe another girl would be down. After a few fails, they’d obviously end up going full circle, with no success. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t think this sounded as hilarious as I did.

Name Dropping There is a scene in the Devil Wears Prada where the assistant must memorize faces and facts about everyone at a party so she can tell her boss who they are as they walk up. I wanted to have one of the dudes introduce me to various same-named pros with the wrong factoid (i.e. confuse Jake OE for Jake Kuzyk), until they finally come to Pat Bridges, who even I know! Only then do I realize they’ve been fucking me over the whole time.  Jerks.

Board Caddy Every jump at Superpark is unique, so we figure having a caddy select the perfect board for the snow, speed, size and trajectory of each jump would be handy. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it went.

Instead of doing any of these things, we watched snowboard videos at Jeff Holce’s cabin, rode our snowboards and generally had a grand old time. If you ever get a chance to go to Superpark, take it. Thanks again Pat!

Superpark 18 Super Official Live Webcast

Superpark is finally catching a break in the weather so tune in and watch people attempt suicide over and over on the biggest damn jumps we’ve ever seen.

Link: Snowboardermag.com

Ben Hucke Goes Snowboarding (For the First Time Ever)

While we’ve all just been sitting around talking about whether snowboarding is dying or not, a committee of industry types was actually assembled to ensure it’s success. Now this think tank of brand owners, snowboarding pioneers, ex pros and other “been there, done that” types put their heads together and came up with a brilliant plan.

“Let’s tell everyone to bring a friend snowboarding.”

No seriously.  While this plan may not actually change a damn thing, we felt inspired. And it turns out our friend and life-long Portlander, Ben Hucke had never been snowboarding, despite living an hour from Mt. Hood. Now on his bike, Ben does stuff like this:

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So I figured with snowboarding being totally easy, Ben would be a natural. What I forgot is what learning to snowboarding is actually like. Let’s just say it was probably more entertaining for me, than him. Ben was a good sport though and for his first day, I’d say he did pretty well.

As far as saving the snowboard industry, Ben wants to go again and may just buy a Spring pass. So that’s something.

#MeadowsSpringPark is Here

Hashtag?

Check.

Long ass park.

Check.

Plenty of snow.

Check.

Now get up there and board.

Meadows is Getting A Snowpark Tech Park

Shit is about to go down!

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With the winter season scheduled to continue into early May at Mt. Hood Meadows, the resort announced today it has partnered with renowned terrain park builders, Snow Park Technologies (SPT), on the design and construction of one of the longest flow parks in the country. Scheduled to open in late March, the Spring Park at Mt. Hood Meadows will offer nearly a mile of jumps, rails and features that will begin on the upper mountain, continue on the lower mountain through Daisy Bowl, and end at the entrance to the resort’s 18-foot halfpipe.

“We’re teaming up with the best crew in the business to put together one of the longest flow parks that will be available to skiers and riders this spring,” said Dave Tragethon, Executive Director of Communications at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. “This is an opportunity not only to take our parks to the next level and give those who ski and ride access to the creative features, unrivaled construction and flow that SPT is known for, but to offer even more value to those who’ve purchased our Spring Pass.”

SPT, recognized as the leader in terrain park design and construction, will design the park and work alongside the Mt. Hood Meadows terrain park crew on the build, which is scheduled to begin March 23. The Spring Park will be accessed from the upper mountain near the top of Vista Express, and will feature medium and large features geared toward more advanced skiers and riders as it descends 1,000 vertical feet for a total flow of 4,600 feet.

“While Mt. Hood Meadows has a history of constructing terrain parks that cater to varying ability levels, our goal is to work alongside their crew to assist in taking their medium and large parks to the next level,” said Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, owner and president of SPT. “For my team, this is a cool opportunity to take an entirely new mountain canvas and create one of the most progressive terrain parks that will be offered at a resort this season.”

For more information about Mt. Hood Meadows or Snow Park Technologies, or to follow the progress of the construction of the Spring Park, visit www.skihood.com, www.snowparktech.com, or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mthoodmeadows or www.facebook.com/snowparktech.