Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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AAAAAHHHH – yes, that’s a cliff drop to start things off. Photo: Jared Souney

Not since the glory days of Vegetate has Mt. Hood Meadows put on a snowboard event of note beyond the Northwest, but on March 30th, 2013, Snake and Hammers was just that. Half slopestyle, half banked slalom, the event is the brainchild of Bobby Meeks, who used his influence and budget at Nike to design the ultimate test of snowboarding skill. This course especially required the ability to actually ride a snowboard.

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Don’t be a pussy, this was actually the easiest part of the course.

Out of the gate, competitors dropped and 8-foot cliff into the first set of turns. After gaining some speed in the slush, riders got the choice of three rail features, then went straight into a 30-foot jump. One more turn and it was onto the “X-Box” or “Thunderdome” or whatever the hell you wanna call the Nike feature they carted over from Forest Park. On each of these features riders were given a score from 0-6 from influential judges such as Logan Fuquay and Mike Estes, based on how sick they got — a higher score meant more seconds were deducted from your overall time. Finally, a step down led into the last three turns, which were fast and loose and caused a competitor or two to fly violently into the snow fence.

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Ben Lynch was disqualified shortly after this for doing an inverted aerial. Rebellion at its finest. Photo: Jared Souney

The Oregon sun was out in force, and the unseasonably warm temperatures caused many of the weekend warriors to stay in the city, but some 80+ riders turned out to compete. Each got two runs, although by the second run the field had already been thinned down to the most hardcore — either people didn’t make it back up in time, licked their wounds, or chose to just ride slushy side hits for fun. Some 60 people took another run though, vying for the fastest time and a slot in the 15 man and 4 woman finals.

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In the Northwest, even girls can ride their snowboards.

Once the field was whittled down to the best of the best, each rider got one more run to impress the judges with their freestyle stunting, but mostly to negotiate the course and the highly inconsistent snow the fastest. When the complicated math was said and done, it was local boy Jeremy Nylund, who’s like 12, beating out the old men to take the win. Johnnie Paxson was also on hand to judge the best hammer, which went to Randall Wheaton for his smooth backside 7 Japan.

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Jeremy Nyland, victory!

Though Snake and Hammers involved no actual snakes, it was a damn good time, and there was free food. All in all, a successful spring day, I’d say.

Results

Men

1.Jeremy Nylund 49.52
2. Jeremy Page 49.62
3. Max Warbington 50.02

Women

1. Ronda Shanin 55.28

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Most people just dropped out of the gate, sans any pop. This dude was going for style points though. Photo: Jared Souney

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Ben Lynch, style master. Photo: Jared Souney

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Wouldn’t be a contest in the Northwest without a few (hundred) methods. Photo: Jared Souney

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The handsome men of Nike Snowboarding, Bobby Meeks and Jon Weaver, kept the crowd entertained all day with their witty rapport.

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Again, this invert was against the rules. People die doing that stuff, ya know.

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It’s hard to shoot photos of turning when there’s mandatory airtime on the course, but here’s one for good measure.

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Max Warbington was in contention for the “hammer” award with this very 720. But he didn’t win.

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No seriously, inverts were NOT ALLOWED. Taylor Carlton. Photo: Jared Souney

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Apparently I’m just the right height to be an arm rest, but I let it slide because Johnnie was working so hard judging people.

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Jeremy Nylund, hammering. photo: Jared Souney

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Course maintenance!

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Who gave Logan Fuquay any responsibility?

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When Mike Yoshida, Max Warbington, Taylor Carlton, Cale Meyer, this girl who I’ve meet a bunch of times but can’t remember her name, Aidan Payson and Ben Lynch are there, you know it’s a good time!

The Mayans were wrong, which means you get to see how we spent what we thought was the last day on earth. Couldn’t have gotten much better than a powder day at Mt. Hood Meadows with RJ Sweet, Joey Carnera, Justin Leveille and Tim Breault.

I have a lot to be thankful for. Somehow, a little website my friend and I started as a joke now more or less pays my bills and gives me a creative outlet to do just about anything I want. I can get any equipment I can imagine, for free, and one of my biggest problems in life is that I want to go to the Burton European Open and the Mt Baker Banked Slalom, but I can’t, because they’re on the same weekend. But if we’re being 100% honest about what I’m really thankful for, it’s snowboarding itself, and days like Mt Hood Meadows opening day this year.

The fact that it fell on Thanksgiving just makes it that much easier to appreciate. We all draw out our half assed thankful ness on Turkey day because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do, I guess. But for me, it’s good to have a forced holiday that tells me to sit back, relax and actually think about how much good shit is going on around me. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite. No gifts, no guilt, just a day that says, have a blast and take two seconds to appreciate it. With my brain moving 400 mph all the time, I need that sanctioned day.

Anyway, about Meadows. It was one of those days that makes you forget what riding in the Northwest is really like (read: wet ass snow and no visibility). One of those days where everything comes together. Good snow. Clear skies. Incredible views. Good friends. Holy shit, it was awesome.

Check out my full Iphone gallery on Yobeat here: http://www.yobeat.com/2012/11/24/mt-hood-meadows-opening-day-2012-gallery/

Here at Yobeat, Thanksgiving is BY FAR our favorite holiday. The one day a year you get to TOTALLY ignore the fact that gluttony is a “deadly sin” and just indulge. And in addition to good food, it’s also the ultimate day to go snowboarding. Especially when it’s as good as Mt Hood Meadows was on November 22nd, 2012. Because any other day you might start to feel a little bit guilty.

So let’s just put this out there. It was a powder day, and not a Cascade Concrete powder day but a legitimate pow day. It was also clear, so you could see how rad you looked slashing that light-for-the-Northwest snow all over the place. All the Joeys stayed home to cook turkeys and the lines at both Mt Hood Express and the pass office in the morning moved just quick enough to give you the break you needed. Every lift ride you’d run into another crew of friends. Basically, it was perfect. So if you missed it, you blew it, but not really, because there are plenty more days to come… just remember to be thankful for all of them.

Check out the official video here.

Snowboarding is fun. I mean, it kinda of goes without saying, but when you’ve been doing it for a long time, sometimes you can forget. The past few seasons I’ve admittedly been a bit snobby about things such as the conditions, which will happen when you live somewhere it gets really good (and also really bad). But this season, the magic is back. I’ve already ridden more times this year than last, and I actually have passes to multiple resorts. Well, I HAD passes, I should say.

The unintended consequence of my refound love for snowboarding is I’ve completely reverted back to my 16-year-old self. This means, I am “trying” and actually putting effort into “getting some” again. Apparently though, even when you’re almost 30 and attempt to use rational and logic to get out of it, you will still get your pass pulled for cutting a rope. As you can see from the photo above (taken on the fateful run), it was worth it, but I am currently on a two-week time out permanent suspension from Mt. Hood Meadows.

Technically, the bottom of Heather Canyon was open yesterday, which means the lift was running, the mitigating factor in if you can ride one of the best/steepest sections of the mountain. I happened to be following a few uber locals, and while we were all keenly aware of the potentially pass-losing consequences, ducking in a bit above the one open gate definitely yielded turns that were somewhat epic. If everyone else hadn’t been cutting in early as well, the ski patrol may not have set up a sting operation at the bottom, but you know, that’ll happen when no one wants to follow the rules. Jerks (the people cutting the ropes, not the ski patrol who were JUST DOING THEIR JOBS). As I popped out of the sticky cat track I heard the fateful “What do you think you’re doing,” and soon was freed of the excessive weight of one of my seasons passes.

Since they are were nice enough to give me a media pass, I decided I would attend the “skier education course” they want you to take before they give you your pass back. It also helped that one of the other idiots I was with got his taken as well, so my other option was sitting in the lodge and waiting. The course went something like this: watch a 30-minute scare video about ski safety ala the ones they show you about drunk driving in driver’s ed. Review the agreement we signed (but no one has ever read) when we got our passes, and finally a fun q and a where the other people tried to blame the mountain for it being “confusing” etc. We were then informed to get our passes back, we’d have to educate 5 other people  and get them to sign a piece of paper saying we did, and bring it back in two weeks. I asked if I could do my educating via twitter, but apparently that is not enough of a waste of time, so they said no.

I felt like I was back at Pico, sitting the office getting yelled at for ducking under the rope for the little river bed section that was next to the Golden Express, and I must say, I kinda liked it. I guess I’ll just have to make due with Bachelor for the next two days and then Ski Bowl until the 23rd for the rest of the season. Shucks.

Disclaimer: Heather Meadows has avalanches. You should not duck the rope and go in there, even though I survived and it made for a funny story.

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You get more speed when the sun goes away

I’ve been bemoaning the end of the season for a few weeks now, mostly because filling a snowboard site with new and interesting posts every day is a lot harder when you’re not actually going snowboarding. I find though, that like the majority of the population, once spring break wraps up it can be hard to motivate to make the trek to the hill. It is with some regret that I admit my local hill, Mt. Hood Meadows, has in fact been open for business up until yesterday.

But with my cred on the line, when the e-vite went out from the desk of Grease Bus founder Mike Parziale for one last hurrah on May 16, I jumped on it with no haste. The plan was to take two busses up, packed with friends, snacks and beers, shred, tailgate and have an all-around Sunday Funday. And then, when the final list of attendees went out, the final entry piqued my interest. It was a name I recognized: “Shane Flood.”

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Sunday funday!

From that moment, my mission was clear. I would document Flood’s return to the snow (assuming he actually showed up.) We gathered in the Voodoo donuts parking lots early Sunday morning, and packed our gear into the bus, but Shane was nowhere in sight. Then, at the final minute, he pulled up, grabbed a donut, and boarded the bus.

Shane hadn’t changed a bit, but the question remained: did he still have it? (Or more correctly, would he actually put on boots go on hill?) In the surprisingly sunny parking lot, Shane indeed began the arduous process of pull skin tight jeans over snowboard boots. A little bit of playing with Preston’s dog, and complaining about the heat, and we were on the lift.

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One last air before the clouds rolled in

Our crew was 20 deep, and the slow traverses were as to be expected. Meadows had multiple parks, and a surprisingly amazing halfpipe. If I was more hardcore, I’d say there are a few days of hiking left to be had (assuming they don’t plow it.) As for us, we jibbed, we jumped, and yes, Shane in fact, still has it.

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Spring! A time for sunny days, park lines and of course, idiots throwing themselves into icy water in the name of the pond skim. In Oregon though, it’s not uncommon for late April to be neither warm nor sunny, and unfortunately at Mt. Hood Meadows and Kona Brewing Company’s 4th Annual Pond Skim, the mercury barely made it above freezing. Don’t worry, there were still a bunch of idiots willing to strip down and/or don ridiculous attire and get wet. There was a trip to Hawaii on the line, after all.

But we were there for one reason, and one reason alone: free beer. Kona Brewing Company had rented out the Grease Bus, stocked it with a couple of cases, and invited various VIPs to ride up the event. Anyone who knows us knows, free beer is not something we say no to (we also get excited by being referred to as VIPs). Though it may have been our longest day on hill with the least amount of riding, Longboard Lager and those comfy Grease Bus seats really treated us well.

It wouldn’t feel right to get a buzz without at least sharing the experience with you though, so we offer you this incredibly mediocre video of some of the highlights of the pond skim. Good times were had by all, but especially the people who didn’t make it across the pond. Nothing says fun like hypothermia!

Happy New Years!!! It’s officially 2010 in Australia, but for us in the rest of the world there’s still time to make plans that are sure to let you down. In the words of Pat Bridges, “A New Years you can remember is a New Years to forget,” but if you are not actually trying to get black out drunk by 10 pm, one option is snowboarding. Here are a few resort across the country where the lifts will be spinning until midnight. Woo! Party.

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Wild Mountain, Minnesota

As we’ve already seen, Wild Mountain knows how to party! Will the Michelot’s or Zac Marben’s mustache be there? Probably not, because there is actually snow elsewhere now, but the official NYE celebration includes a spaghetti and meatball dinner, Party Hats & noisemakers and a balloon drop all for $34.50. For more details or to sign up for spaghetti, click here.

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Afton Alps, MN

If you’re not cool enough for Wild Mountain, you can hit up Afton Alps instead. It’s 100% open and they have a couple parks, which you may or may not be able to access from the front lifts that will be turning until midnight. Free appetizers at Paul’s Pub means you can skip dinner.

Lift ticket: $27, More info

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Cascade Mountain, WI

Fireworks! Rail Jams! We’re going to start driving to Wisconsin right now! Ok, since it’s 30 hours, we probably wouldn’t make it for New Years, but if you already live there, might as well check it out (Rumorator, I am looking at you.) The rail jam starts at 6 and cost to register is two non-perishable food items. Oh yeah, and you need a lift ticket as the website very explicitly states “If no ticket regular ticket theft rules apply” and a helmet. You can get your money’s worth out of it though, as lifts run ’til Midnight.

Lift ticket: $49, More info

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Mt Hood Meadows, OR

Meadows was smart enough to get a beer sponsor for it’s New Years Celebration, so you know where we will be would be if we weren’t too lazy. Plus we’re not classy enough for an exquisite dinner buffet, but boardin’ til Midnight for only $25 sounds pretty rad. Fireworks at 10:15, though not viewable from the chairlift. More info.

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Ski Sundown, CT

There is a chance that Ski Sundown doesn’t really want you rebellious YoBeat readers at it’s family-friendly New Years Celebration, featuring live music by Aunt Polly & the Family Jam, but screw them. The lifts turn until 12 and there is a bar.

Lift ticket: $34, More info

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Appalachian NC

Ever since we saw the Airblaster Movie, we’ve sort of wanted to shed Appalachian Ski Mountain (despite the name.) And even though the celebration is “alcohol-free” and the lifts are technically only open until the normal 10pm (just ice skating after that!) the serious dumpage NC recently received should make up for it. Sounds wholesome.

Lift ticket: $61, more info

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Wachusett, MA

Once I went to Wachusett and the locals simply looked at me and said, you’re from Vermont, and you came here, to snowboard? But now that I am banned from Vermont, I’m happy to report it was actually pretty fun. And for New Years the lifts are open ’til 12 and there are fireworks and a magician. If you are feeling like a baller, for $95 you can participate in the champagne package with Hor D’oeuvres and booze, in addition to the magic show.

Lift ticket $54, more info

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Here at YoBeat, we try to keep things fun. But sometimes, between the hate comments, and me constantly telling Nick Lipton that he is a douche bag, morale can get low. So it was time for a little team building exercise, and luckily Mt. Hood Meadows had just opened its night riding facilities for the season. With Party Time Nate in tow, a few road sodas, and the desire to get rad, Nick and I set out on Black Friday 2009 to strengthen the bond that makes YoBeat tick.

I had a good three-week run of my list of 5 things more important/interesting than snowboarding, and I still plan to do them occasionally, but being honest, I haven’t really been paying attention to the outside world lately. Rather I’ve been perfecting my sales skills, running too many websites, and even doing a little actual snowboarding. But I know my 8 dedicated brookegeery.com readers demand new content, so here’s 5 Things I Did This Week.

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1. 2009 Alliance Superlatives. In years past this has been a large magazine feature, but as you may have heard, times are tough for print right now. So with reduced page counts, the feature has moved online, making it my responsibility! Other members of the staff did many of the write ups, but I’ve been posting them up each day, and even wrote all of the wakeskate rider awards myself. Check out co-Wakeskater of the Year, Most Improved and Rookie of the year, up so far. The video and “funny” awards are coming next week.

2. Opening Day at Meadows! It’s sort of weird when you are too busy writing about snowboarding to actually go snowboarding, but this week Mt. Hood Meadows opened up and I dropped everything and made it happen. Actually scratch that. I wasn’t smart enough to leave my phone in the car, so I spent the lift rides dealing with various crisis as well as making the above documentary about Timbro. Be sure to check out the post on YoBeat where you can read all about his first day last year and realize how amazing this day really was.

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3. The Make Out Web. This is honestly a story eight years in the making. You can get the whole history of the web itself in the post, but it took me this long to figure out how to do it tactfully. I think it came out well, but I’ll be honest, the real thing was WAY better.

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4. Lunch blogging. We’re still eating our way up and down Hawthorne, although this week included a few off days due to snowboarding and a failed attempt to go to the non-existent west side of Hawthorne, but I did make it to the Barley Mill Pub, Burgerville and Thai Spoon.

5. Sell, Sell, Sell. It helps that YoBeat has officially caught on and people are realizing the value of online advertising too, but my new found responsibility is quite time consuming! Luckily I’ve hired two very awesome interns, who are helping me with with a bunch of the tedious stuff, including migrating all of YoBeat’s old content to WordPress. So thanks Amy and David for all your help!