By Christopher Cross
It’s the first weekend in June. The spring rains have been ample and all of southern Wisconsin is covered with a canopy of deciduous trees and lush green grass. The kids are out of school with their heads swimming with thoughts of…snowboarding? Welcome to Tyrol Basin in beautiful downtown Mount Horeb where all the Midwest players show up for the annual Summer Snow Jam.
By using the right combination of chemicals, tarps and bales of hay, the folks at Tyrol are able to preserve one of their halfpipes for this annual event. Anyone willing to shell out for a lift ticket could ride the pipe or just sit on the deck in the afternoon and watch as Chad Otterstrom, Dave Lee, Micah McGinnity and Matt and Danny Kass threw down their best moves.
The weather was unseasonably cold (50s or colder). Riders and spectators alike donned their winter gear for what they hoped was the last time this season. The cold temperatures helped the pipe keep it’s shape for the two day event, and the constant overcast skies helped suspend disbelief that this was not just another gray Midwestern winter afternoon.
Some legends were present to show they still had their chops including Chris Blattner, busting big backside methods. At the end of the pro contest Zach Moe was declared the winner with Chad “Camero” Kummerow coming in second with the biggest air of the day, and CJ Marsh in third.
During the downtime between the open jams and the pro contest, local Nixon rep Steve Wickner and the folks at the Youth Shelter Supply in St Cloud, MN brought in a two-stage rail and soon all of the action was focused on the first Tyrol summer jib fest. The Kass brothers perched themselves on the pipe wall and tossed red smoke bombs in the jib area as riders did their best to maneuver through the narrow corridor of snow to the double kinked rail. Local rider, Skip Contardi, picked up a bomb set on the rail as he slid it 50/50 before launching off, still clutching the smoking red bomb in his hand.
Saturday ended with an after riding party thrown by the people at Faction Denim (represented at the event by none other than Burton legend Brian Iguchi) and local skate shop Flying fish. The party was a huge success, with live music and free pizza for all, which got the crowd revved up for a night at the Karakahl Inn.
The Karakahl, or the “Crack House” as its been called by summer Jam veterans, has become famous for the strange things that transpire between its walls during this event. This year however, the local police force with German Shepard puppy in tow were cruising the corridors, monitoring noise complaints, sweeping rooms and even swinging through the parking lot looking for any trouble that might raise its head. It was rumored that at some point during the night a female escort was assisted out by the police and all the occupants of the offending room were cleared out and forced off the premises. The Karakahl Inn claims that they get more noise complaints on this night than they do the rest of the year combined. Guess we snowboarders are still a rowdy lot.
For Sunday’s festivities, someone even got it together to carve a quarter pipe out of the rail side of the pipe wall. Riders pulled some amazing combos off the rail and carried their speed into the quarter pipe. Nice!
Sundays Tyrol Basin Pro Halfpipe Comp Results:
1st (tie): Brent Meyer
3rd: Rob Bak