Listen up you lazy bastards. Were you at Mt. Hood this weekend? Didn’t think so. Well, you blew it, because Terje was–and Marc Frank, and Peter Line, and Travis Rice, and a bunch of other legendary professionals that absolutely everyone should see ride in person some time during their natural-born lives. It was the debut of Burton’s soon-to-be-annual event known as the Abominable Snow Jam that brought the uber-invite list to town. A competition in mid July? Yeah, it’s true. And why damn not? What else is going on that you’d turn down an opportunity to come splash around in the slush for a chance at big time cash, a Rolex (the expensive one, of course), or a 42 inch Phillips Plasma Screen TV?
Now, I will say that sometimes the continual dawning of sunny mornings on the old Palmer Glacier leads us to a certain taking for granted of Oregon?s beautiful summer weather. And maybe the first two days of this event were nature’s way of stickin’ it to everyone for that. Whatever the reason, the morning of the quarterpipe was a grim one. The QP itself, lovingly manicured by the High Cascade digger staff the previous evening, was just scratching the underbelly of a big cloud beast lurking halfway down the mountain–the lip and transition sometimes disappearing into the fog, sometimes catching a shaft of sun through a hole in the clouds.
The event kicked off with the women, who had to squint and pray their way down the run-in on account of poor visibility. But as the 45 minute jam unfolded, the sun punched through and things started to get interesting. Norwegian powerhouse Kjersti Buaas was pulling her signature huge air to fakies with nasty tweaked-out style. Lexi Waite got upside down on a McTwist or two. When it came down to it, though, Hannah Teter of Teter-clan fame pulled a clean sweep with an all-time backside air of hugeness and some corked-out frontside fives, winning all three awards: overall, best trick, and biggest air. What that really means is that she won five grand, the dope Rolex, and the goddamn plasma screen TV. Not bad for someone who’s still in high school.
Eventually the clouds busted up in the afternoon, and the men were able to get wicked in the bright sunlight. And people, it was amazing. Sitting there in the brand new warmth, butt getting wet in the slush but who cares, mouth agape as Andy Finch and legendary Scando Wille Yli-Luoma battled it out for the ‘lex with 20-plus foot airs. Andy Finch is a bulldog, of course, this fact proved when he cased the lip from way up high and actually pulled his binding off his topsheet, leaving just the lonely disc and screws remaining on the board. But sources tell us that the morning of the event Wille said: “I want the watch.” He is a man of his word, too, because he did the biggest air I’ve seen with my own two eyes, and craziest of all, he smashed straight into the pads on the roll out deck on his way down. So, broken ribs, a black eye, a rung bell, and a bitchin’ new Rolex. Whatever it takes.
The Haakon-faktor was holding its own on the quarterpipe, too, battling it out with Keir Dillon and Travis Rice for all-around nastiness. Keir was doing these amazingly smooth backside three nosegrabs that must’ve given him that awesome stomach-dropping stall-out feeling. But Travis won by flying around doing nollie front flips and corked out sevens and just landing everything. Also, little Jake Blauvelt from Vermont, winner of the 2004 U.S. Open Slopestyle event, alley-oop backside rodeo’ed himself into a new plasma screen TV for best trick.
Anyway, sorry about yapping so much people. You’re probably not still reading, but I’d like to say that quarterpipe is such an awesome event to watch–big action and big crashes–and I just wish you coulda seen it. Too bad you were stuck mowing the lawn for your mean old dad.
Men’s Overall Winner: Travis Rice
Biggest Air: Wille Yli-Luoma
Best Trick: Jake Blauvelt
Women’s Overall Winner: HHannah Teter
Biggest Air: Hannah Teter
Best Trick: Hannah Teter