Devun Walsh, Chris Dufficy, and Kale Stephens pulled the plug-rain clouds and generally shithouse conditions held Canada in lockdown. Graybird backcountry was out of the question and sloppy park riding unfun. It seemed all of North America was pissing rain; something had to give. The three decided it was time for vacation-a balmy climate, where the sun always shines and girls shred in Gucci glasses, ‘beaters, and thongs out the back. With the current hype surrounding Bear Mountain’s new all-mountain terrain park, the call was easy-they were goin’ back to Cali.
Devun Walsh’s first snowboard trip had landed him at Bear Mountain back in 1992. He rode with the snowboard greats of the original Ride crew and Jamie Lynn and had scarcely been there since-the spot had a lot to live up to … Having three Canadian à…berpros riding So Cal warrants serious media attention-but who allows a photographer to join in on their holiday? An idea was hatched, ground rules laid, and a deal struck. Photo Editor Nick Hamilton would accompany, documenting Devun’s return to Bear in a rather unorthodox fashion. “I never really unstrapped my bindings,” relates Hamilton. Nicky shot the entire feature follow-cam style-riding behind, in front, and along side with little to no setup time. Shooting consistently as they hot-lapped Bear’s park for two days supported a flow rarely offered during a photo shoot. Did we get a different vibe? We think so-in the end, the ‘Cats enjoyed many laps, Hamilton is rehabbing a sore back, and Devun left with new memories: “Bear’s amazing, it’s so fun-we’re going back next year for a little longer.”
The Legacy Of Bear Mountain
Thumbing through TransWorld’s library always lends perspective. Back issues chronicle change, and it’s obvious Bear Mountain’s Outlaw Park had a profound impact on modern-day riding. Building the first terrain park in the 1990/91 season created a blueprint later traced by an entire industry-for that we should all give thanks. Snow Summit soon followed suit, creating Westridge run, while Boreal in Tahoe constructed Jibassic Park-but for the rest of the world, terrain-park acceptance was hardly a bandwagon venture. Fifteen years have passed since Outlaw Park was built. Resorts have finally finished what Bear Mountain started: terrain parks are now the standard, accepted-expected.
Outlaw Park was a serious, abbreviated run with large gaps designed by rider and designer Mike Parrillo. Locals linked heavy lines-guys like Rob Dafoe, Brian Thien, Brian Iguchi, Kurt Wastell, Neil Drake, and Bobby Meeks. And every pro sessioned Outlaw on a regular basis-a few Canadians even moved to So Cal. Over time, focus shifted to smaller, user-friendly jumps with longer runs as Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson’s Westridge run at Summit became the new destination. In ’02 Snow Summit celebrated its 50-year anniversary and acquired Bear Mountain-reviving its former glory with the opening of The Park, the first all-mountain terrain park (with the exception of Bear Peak). In contrast to Outlaw, The Park boasts nearly 200 acres of man-made features-over 100 jumps, 60-something jibs, and two pipes, including So Cal’s only Superpipe. Bear Mountain has co