The date was April 20, 2005-a day known nationally as “4/20” and a holiday for those who partake in the simplicities of life, who indulge themselves in the alternative art of bonging and/or the newer urban practice of “getting blunted.” Well, snowboarding seems to follow in the same alternative fashion, and for too long has this date been missing out on an event based around the aforementioned principal. Welcome to the 2005 Grenade Games, an event without any agenda except for having a good time. So drink a few beers, have a hot dog, make some new friends, and watch as some of the best riders in North America smoke a perfect pipe.
9:00 a.m.: The parking lot at June Mountain, California was packed. Driving in I had a bad premonition that there would be a problem with the lifts facilitating all of these patrons. I say this because June had been closed for a week, and the chairlift was scheduled to only run from 9:15 to 10:00 a.m. However, I suddenly had the feeling that the gods were on our shoulders-then I realized it was just another THC-induced hallucination … shit, the lift had started up.
In a raw estimate, I’d say there were around 420-plus people waiting to get up the hill. Things were going to get brutal fast, and time was running out. The lift finally shut off with about 150 people stuck at the bottom. Now, what was interesting about this, as The Dingo and I watched from the bottom, was that it didn’t matter who you were, if you weren’t on that lift while it was running, you weren’t going to get up there. I saw Giacamo Kratter and his buddy Zima bumming around trying to figure a way up. Markku Koski and Mathieu Crepel, Torah Bright, and some of the most reputable film, photo (including TWS’s Nick Hamilton), and industry bros were denied. You didn’t get on the chair-tuff shit. The funny thing was that a plate of hot wings got to go up, the lucky bastards. Soon rebels headed to their trucks to get their sleds-this is how Grenade works, you make your own destiny. Eventually, June looked like a scene out of Mad Max on snow, as snowmobile shuttles started. Those who didn’t have sleds began to hike-everyone was getting up there somehow. Finally, the sled rides got shut down, and like after any big blackout, the power got turned back on, allowing the lift to bring the remaining few to the top.
11:00 a.m.: As the snowmobile went over the final hump to where the terrain features were visible, I got a very warm feeling in my stomach. The pipe was going off, it was a jam session for all times. Also, there were two boxes that kids were beginning to hike and a whole mess of people partying at the bottom. It was perfect, I think everyone knew it, too: this is what snowboarding is. There was no discrimination between who was pro and who bought their gear. We were there to snowboard and snowboard we did. However, there were those who stood out from the rest, such as Pat Moore, who was getting really high with his frontside 1080s and also backside alley-oop threes. If there was a title for rider of the day-which there wasn’t-Pat would have been graced with its honor. Of course, Danny Kass was getting lifted, as well, putting together a couple ounces of fresh runs. Nate Farrell had some nice air-to-fakies, and Wyatt Caldwell put on a good show, too. Over on the jibs, Hana Beaman took one for the team on an up-box-gap-to-steep-down box. I think what happened was the result of a contact high, concluding with the top corner of the box being inserted into Hana’s bum-bum.
As the day wore on, I think everyone faded away into a smoke and beery haze. Everyone got down from the hill safely and went over to the Propaganda skate shop for a mini ramp session and to look at an art show by Lindsey Jackson. Later that night, there was a party at Mexican Tony’s house, where Retard Riot played to a full house of satisfied individuals. Big thanks to Joe, Pet, and Oren at June Mountain, Red Bull, and of course, Grenade Gloves. We hoope to see you next year, unless your eyes are too squinty. Peace, man.