Abominable Snowjam Super-tube

You may have doubted it in the past, but the ritual of “drinking it blue” really does work. Yep, after several days of torrential downpour and weird thunder systems passing through, Mt. Hood finally saw the dawning of a bright blue sunny morning … the day after the sloppiest party of them all–of course. I’d tell you about it, but the only thing I’m absolutely sure about is the presence of Jello shots. Anyhow, the event was held on High Cascade’s halfpipe, which, despite Mt. Hood’s ominous lack of snow heading into this summer, was groomed to perfection and “totally reliable,” as I heard one female competitor say. The women’s field was missing some depth–what with Hannah Teter off recovering from a shoulder injury, and girls like Natasza Zurek and Torah Bright nowhere to be found. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t get to see some heavy tricks. In fact, two competitors (Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight) threw down frontside 900s–the trick to have if you want a women’s halfpipe gold medal these days. Hight had some trouble getting her 900 all the way around, but Bleiler man-handled hers and also threw a sizey Crippler off her first hit that won best trick. Tricia Byrnes stomped a McTwist and frontside seven for second, and Claire Bidez powered into third with styled-out consistency.

As for the men, the finals were packed full of talent. Nicolas Mueller is my new favorite snowboarder–not that you care, but the point is that he’s amazing. Such good style, tall and lanky and totally tweaked out. He rides like Haaken, in fact. He worked his way through the finals with giant-sized McTwist tweak outs, huge air to fakies, and Haaken-flips. X-Games winner Antti Autti was trying to pull together that double-1080s run of his but had a bit of trouble with consistency. Chad Otterstrom fricking killed everything, flying so huge and long that on one run I think he only got in three hits. Oh, and his ultra-tech switch backside 720 earned him the best trick award for men. However, despite all that, it was indeed young Pat Moore from Waterville Valley, New Hampshire who won the thing. Gigantic McTwists, frontside 1080s, and style, style style. We’re gonna see more from this kid for sure.

Now, since I obviously pulled my weight last night when it came to “drinking it blue,” I really have nothing more to say at this juncture. I’m gonna sign off here, go take some Advil, and curl up into fetal. Check back tomorrow for ultra-exciting, breaking coverage of the ASJ Slopestyle event–I’m not even joking.

Men’s Results

1. Pat Moore

2. Takaharu Nakai

3. Nicolas Müller

4. Chad Otterstrom

5. Kazu Kokubo

6. Mason Aguirre

7. Antti Autti

Best Trick: Chad Otterstrom, switch backside 720

Women’s Results

1. Gretchen Bleiler

2. Tricia Byrnes

3. Elena Hight

4. Claire Bidez

Best Trick: Gretchen Bleiler, Crippler