Hood Update 2015 #2: Bode Merrill’s MMQPI
Despite predictions from doomsday naysayers, summer camp is soldiering on at Mt. Hood. As ski camps conclude, the WAC properties have been able to migrate higher up the mountain, where the glacial snow fields are still intact, despite Mother Nature’s best attempts at destroying them. Public Park is now located at the top of Palmer, and the High Cascade/Windells Lap park is, in fact, lap-able from the Palmer mid-station (although you do have to dry load.) Morale is surprisingly high and the extra hiking has everyone in prime shape this summer!
That said, things are certainly different from the usual Hood experience – as in all our years we’ve never seen the snow this low. But don’t panic. It’s still snowboarding. In July. And on Monday, July 20th, Bode Merrill invited all his friends and teammates to gather for the Merrill
Mini Pipe Medium Quarterpipe Invitational. (Medium, because mini quarterpipes just ain’t that cool.) Tucked between the rolling dust hills, the 12-15 foot quarterpipe was carefully crafted and maintained by the HCSC dig staff, who kept it in prime condition for three heats of action. In the first two heats, riders judged each other to determine who would make it to the finals and then those who didn’t make it were tasked with determining the winner. In the tradition of other great QP contests, Pat Bridges was there to help Bode oversee the action and inspire various handplant innovations. Other stand outs in our hearts and minds included Ben Bilocq, Erik Leon, Red Gerard, Nils Mindich and the Ferguson brothers.
It’s only a matter of time before some kid gets this math question wrong and blames DDay Snowboards. Ben Bilocq.
Summer heat and serious shredding can take their toll on a quarterpipe – luckily High Cascade employs a staff of strapping young men who know their way around a rake.
Josh Dirksen rips the hip.
According to the measuring stick behind him, Erik Leon is going 25 feet out.
The attendees wait for the official scores to be tabulated, while Bridges is probably just checking World Star.
Enjoying the show with Brendan Gerard, Kaleah Driscoll and Ben and Gabe Ferguson.
Speaking of the Fergusons, they started off the finals with this doubles routine, nearly colliding on landing. Don’t worry, they survived and celebrated with a brotherly hug that melted our cold, black hearts!
DJ Matty Mo kept the energy up with lots of classic 90s jams.
Some walking was required to get to the quarterpipe… gulp.
And as usual, Red Gerard was showing all the old people how to snowboard.
Looks like Jefferson still has some snow – how do we get a rope tow up there?
First – Ben Ferguson
Second – Erik Leon
Third – Scott Blum
Fourth (The Scotty Arnold Award) – Bode Merrill
Fifth – Nils Mindnich
Sixth – Scott Stevens
Seventh – Louif Paradis
Eighth – Scotty Lago
Ninth – Red Gerard
Tenth – Gabe Ferguson
First – Stefi Luxton
Crab Grab and Cobra Dog Individual Awards –
Best Grab: Erik Leon
Biggest Air: Ben Ferguson
Best Flip: Bode Merrill
Best Plant: Scott Blum
Worst Bail: Chris Grenier
While it was a forced departure from the classic mini pipe comp of yore, the verdict at the end of Bode’s comp was this: Snowboarding needs more quarterpipe contests. And as for the snow level at Hood – don’t worry, one normal NW snow fall year and it will be like this summer never even happened. But if you are trying to ride, you definitely want to get up there soon.