My birthday was spent exactly the way i would want to spend it: snowboarding with cool people, getting pow turns, and eating BBQ. haha.
The day started out early as I headed to Mom’s house for home made biscuits and gravy. After that I hit the road and headed to Aly with Kelly B. and Jason Moore. Riding with Moore is like finding Animal Chin if Chin had all the newest gear from pro-form. After refusing to wear the worst bearded face mask bandana and picking up Kelly’s boots from lost and found, we pulled into the parking lot.
After gearing up and heading to the top I was informed that since it was my birthday I would need to do as many tricks as I am years old. I said even in my hay-day i didn’t know that many tricks so we compromised at number of jumps/air/tricks. In case you’re wondering that meant 38 tricks. Good thing the days are getting longer and the quad is open longer huh?
I managed to get a new line off the kitchen wall cliff that pretty much made my day. I’ll try to have a shot of it on here. High traverse also opened and was pretty decent. I traversed to where 3 ski patrollers were posted up (about 50 yards from the opening) and asked if there was a boundary since there was no fencing up. The answer I got was in typical ski patrol fashion: “where you see tracks is open, where there are no tracks is closed.” That seems about right. Ugh.
I got my 38 hits in as we made our way down the last run of the day. Hit 38 was a small cliff below picnic rock: the stuff that goes right onto the trail above brown-shorts (i know, best trail name ever). Pretty much nothing but flat landings but as I always say YORYKO (You Only Ruin Your Knees Once) so I figured I would try to sneak into some transition just below the cliff. But first I had a blast watching Moore slip down until he lost his edge and ended up on the edge of the drop he wanted to hit as though he was dangling his feet off the dock. After climbing back up enough to jump into the mogul field I was pushed and pulled by Kelly yelling that everything was flat and Moore yelling that it was all good. I think I know who has my best interests in mind and who just wanted to see me splat.
I thought I spied a little pillow of pow to land on so I set forth to do so. I also wanted to ride with my new gopro stick in my front hand. Little did I know that its not that easy to try to edge out and worry about nailing a tiny area while trying to film myself. So I opted for overshooting the sweet spot and sucking up the flat landing like a man, all to the shouts of “THIRTYYYYY EIGHTTTT!!!! THIRTYYYYY EIGHTTTTT!!!!!” from Moore. Good times.
I also have to say its been a pretty amazing season to get to ride with a woman that A) is a good rider, B) wants to improve, C) will ride and search out pow days on her own and D) isn’t scared to push herself. I know there are great female snowboarders out there, Im just saying I’ve never dated one and it’s really awesome to be able to share my joy and passion for snowboarding with someone that I care about. Thanks Kelly.
After the shredding ended we parted ways with Moore and picked up mom for some amazing BBQ at “The BBQ Pit” on Dimond. Its the only place in town to get Sweet Tea, fried okra, and corn fritters. Its truly unbeatable.
Thanks to everyone that made it an amazing birthday. I appreciate you all helping me celebrate the anniversary of my 21st birthday. Haha.
Today started late. Didn’t get to the mountain until about 1 due to thinking I would be working then getting called off. I was pretty excited to ride but as time lagged a bit that internal nagging started. “Its been a while since it snowed, its probably bullet proof up there.” and “It’s so milky in town, I know i won’t be able to see a thing.” Luckily Kelly set me straight and we headed out to kick up some snow.
The pleasant surprise hinted that it would be waiting for us at about Potter’s Marsh. I could see the sun laying heavy right around the arm. Sure enough, as we got around the turn it cleared right up. So step one of a great day was complete. Step two came together as I stepped into the lodge and saw my work buddies ready to shred.
For me its nice to ride with people that are new or even if they aren’t knew to snowboarding then they are fresh enough to it that they still have that stoke to just ride, no matter what its like out. These guys have that so it helps me remember the attitude I need to have. So we rallied the troops and headed up into conditions that are as rare as finding a cheap season pass in Alaska: blue bird, warm, and soft snow. That’s right, days and days after the snow has reasonably stopped it was soft and very carveable. Thats step three, soft snow. It wasnt pow but it was soft and it was a good time.
Today was that perfect time where the jumps like half-moon are packed and big but the landings havent been run across by the zamboni yet. I even managed to throw a back flip and a 7 off half moon. I also managed to do my share of late front flips as in right after i land off the jump. All in all a great day on the hill.
I was at Alyeska to announce a USASA event. That is the amateur competition association for snowboarders and skiers as well. I like to give kids a hard time during events and show them a lot of love too. To be honest i tend to give the crowd a hard time while trying to pump up the kids. As our event went on I was drawn to check out the crowd that passes by the venue. It tends to be beginners, ski school, and a few others passing by on their way to a different lift. As I watched the crown I noticed a ton of skiers and skiers are my favorites when I’m on the mic.
I love giving skiers shit. Its not that i hate them but I love to hate on skiing for all it did to hold snowboarding down. I hate the all the hoops they made us jump through and at times still force snowboarders through. Alyeska used to only allow snowboarders to ride the hill a couple days a week and we had to prove to an instructor that we could turn and stop before being issued our “license to shred” card. That is not a joke. The LTS card was required to buy a ticked and ride on those couple days they felt we were worthy of paying for a ticket.
I hate the fact that guys like Glen Plake refuse to admit that snowboarding saved freestyle skiing. That without our way of dress, our style of tricks, our creativity that they it would have dried up and left the world with nothing more than gate bashers and moms skiing behind 2 year-olds holding them by a leash while yelling “PIZZA!, FRENCH FRIES!, PIZZA!, FRENCH FRIES!”
I love the kids that do the contests, snowboarders or skiers, but I will never miss a chance to call out my previous oppressors when I have a mic in my hand or a keyboard under my fingertips. I will also say that I do have friends that are skiers and I do try to give every individual the benefit of the doubt. That said, if the Greasers (snowboarders) square off against the Socs (skiers) then I think its safe to say which side I’ll be on. Haha.
Since the blog is new and I don’t know how everyone will take my sense of humor or opinions then I guess I better say that I am in no way endorsing violence or being a dick in general towards any group on the hill. Don’t get mad, get RAD!