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I really had high hopes for this season, even hailing it as the BEST EVER but I swear, it’s almost like there is some greater force trying to prevent me from riding lately. You may remember the pass-pulling incident of 2010. That didn’t help things. Then it turns out the “Super Value” element of my Ski Bowl pass is actually sort of annoying, seeing as today seemed like a mighty nice day to snowboarding in honor of MLK, but alas, it’s blacked out.

I’ve concocted a scheme to get tickets at Tline by giving them coverage. The only thing, I’m trying to make it look good up there and every time I’ve tried to go, well, it hasn’t been. One day it was arguably the worst conditions I’ve ever ridden on the west coast (those frozen ridges that happen when the groomer tracks freeze) and the next, raining. But I decided to make the best of it, take advantage of the waterproof nature of my ever-growing collection of GoPros and Shane Flood’s sweet skills and make a video. Since the pineapple express proceeded to drop about 8 more inches of rain, needless to say, if I want to keep the stream of GoPro edits going, I’ll have to post it here as well as on YoBeat. So here ya go.

It would be great if every day you went snowboarding was sunny, bluebird and knee deep. Ski resorts would never have to resort to tricky language, and you’d never have to think about if it’s going to be worth the drive. Unfortunately, that is not the way the world works. In fact, more often than not, the strings of bluebird pow days happen while you’re at work, and then your one day off ends up being cold and rainy. So you have a decision to make: do you sit at home, watch some reality TV and maybe play some video games, or, do you get off your ass, break out your most waterproof gear and just tough it out? We recommend the latter, so here are a few tips for making the most of a shitty day.

Don’t be a sissy

First of all, it’s just rain and you’re not the wicked witch of the west. Deal with it.

Think Positive

There are good things about rain days. You don’t have to get up early (you’re not missing anything) and you won’t have to wait in line. If you hate crowds and aggro lift lines, you’ll love riding on a rain day.

Dress for it

The right goggles can make all the difference. For the record, the right goggles are not mirrored lenses — one run in they will be a smeary mess, and potentially ruined forever. Clear lenses are a good call for minimal visual obstruction. Rain days are not good days to wear jeans, in fact, you may want to grab one of those sweet rain bags, not only good for keeping you dry-ish, but also for sliding around on your back, which is always fun.

Do Stupid Tricks

It’s not pow, but in general, if it’s warm enough to rain, the snow is nice and soft. Add in the fact that rain usually dissuades the park lurkers from hanging out at the top of jumps, and it’s a great day to try new, potentially embarrassing tricks (either completely ridiculous on purpose, or just cause you suck at them) in the park with no judgment.

Ride the gondola

If your mountain has one, enclosed lifts are god’s gift to rain days. Sitting on the lift is by far the worst part of riding in the rain, so if that portion of your day is spent in a comfy car, you really have NO reason not to ride.

Of course, riding in the rain is not all lollipops and unicorns. It’s hard to see, and it will probably take your clothes three days to dry. But 99% of the time, if you go snowboarding, you’ll be glad you did, so suck it up and go shred.

Video filmed with the GoPro® HD Helmet HERO™ Camera on location at Timberline.


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.”


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.


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.