On average, there are 275 sunny days per year in Mammoth Lakes, California, so the odds were in favor of the weekend of the WCI being epic park days under blue skies. But as has been the trend this "spring," it snowed sideways for the better part of the weekend. The contest was on Saturday and thankfully the loose format made it possible. The invitation-only Fiesta de la Pipa doesn't waste time and energy on the formalities of bibs and start lists and heats … or judges for that matter. The riders jam down the pipe for about an hour after which they check a name off the ballot for who they think ripped the hardest. Prize money is handed out … no checks here, just cold hard cash. Done.
The scene at the pipe was just begging for sunshine with piñatas, margaritas, and a deejay blasting beats. In the end, Greg Bretz came in second and Luke Mitrani came in a strong first place. The field was Frend heavy with Mason, Kevin, and Jack; Pat Moore, Shayne Pospisil, and Markku Koski rounding out the notables in the field of 20-something. The pipe got handled considering the conditions—Greg Bretz broke the piñata—and then it was rail jam time down in the village.
The jam went down in the village not under clear skies. The skies opened up and unleashed wind and some moisture on the jam. Just fyi for next year, you can watch the jam live on the Mammoth Village web cam. The rail setup included a big ol' C- rail dangerously close to the edge, a down rail with a surprise donkey D. that sent some riders to their asses (including Mike Casanova on the second drop of the night), and a gapped box. Lot's of fun stuff going on, standouts were Johnny Lazzareschi, Forrest Baily, Zak Hale, Greg Bretz, Cameron Pearce, Trevor Jacob, Eddie Wall, Chas Guldemond, Lucas Magoon … and the winner of the night was Dan Brisse.
We got the insider word from Mammoth's terrain park Czar Oren Tanzer that, as all the votes were being tallied, Mike Casanova and Brisse were tied with one more vote left to be cast—Mike's. So what does Mike do? He votes for Dan. They ended up splitting the 10,000 cash and everyone jumped on the gondola to party with Dilated Peoples.
Six More Weeks of Winter
The season is nowhere near over here at Mammoth, the pipes are in prime condition and the big and little parks are going off. The new 22-foot upper mountain pipe should be open in two weeks and the resort plans to stay open until June 14. You've got six more weeks of boarding. I don't know about you but we've got the fever for a few Mammoth camping/skating/shredding trips. Maybe we'll get in on some of those 275 days of sun yet. Stay tuned for updates!