NEW PHOTO GALLERY LINKED ON THE LEFT!
Although the morning started out windy, it was under a scorching July sun that this year’s annual Abominable Snowjam Quarterpipe went down. Seriously, it was HOT--an hour’s drive down the hill, the city of Portland was blazing in temperatures upwards of 105, and the streets of Government Camp were no walk through the air conditioning, either.
As usual, the QP event was held on High Cascade facilities, with the ever-skilled HCSC diggers building up a finely sculpted feature--two stories high with ultra smooth trannies. And so it was that once the action got rolling, the level of radness in this on-hour superfinals jam elevated almost immediately. On the girls side, the first half of the hour jam saw Gretchen Bleiler loft a super styley backside five, mass amplitude and relaxing to watch, as well as Kelly Clark blasting extra large backside airs nearly bigger than some of the guys. The men’s competition got rad early on, too, with the likes of Chad Otterstrom and Jake Blauvelt McTwisting that shit, Sammy Luebke getting ridiculous with 20 foot backside airs, and Wille Yli-Luoma floating huge alley-oops with the greatest of ease.
Now, like with any quarterpipe event, this year’s ASJ saw its share of deck casings, reverse scorps, and all manor of face and ass draggings. That’s why I like watching quarterpipe, after all. Luckily, no one got hurt, though, which is good, ’cause I only like watching harmless carnage. For instance, Japanese renegade Takahiro Ishihara did an ultra huge backside rodeo, I’d say a solid 20 feet over the deck, only to slightly miscalculate his landing zone and case the lip. A loud Crack! rang out and no one was sure if it was a broken board or a broken Takahiro. He got up from it no problem, though, so I’m guessing it wasn’t the latter.
As the session wound down, the action wound up. Gretchen was looking for a backside 900 but never found it. Hana Beaman finally stomped that big ol’ McTwist she’d been trying all morning. Yuki Furihata touched down a nice McTwist or two, too, and Junko Asazuma blasted some beefy backside airs. For the men, Mason Aguirre upped the ante with an alley-oop frontside 900, Scotty Lago continued to go absolutely ginormous (we’re talking triple poke huge!), and Norwegian rider Torstein Horgamo reigned supreme with insane largeness and technical prowess. The action ended up with a massive barbecue to the side of the QP and a bunch of cash, snowmobiles, and Rolexes getting handed out. You know, just a normal day at Mt. Hood. Too bad you missed it.
1. Hana Beaman
2. Junko Asazuma
3. Yuki Furihata
Highest Air: Kelly Clark
Best Trick: Yuki Furihata, McTwist
1. Torstein Horgmo
2. Kevin Pearce
3. Mason Aguirre
Highest Air: Smokey
Best Trick: Scotty Lago, alley oop 7 truck driver