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The stuff Northwest legends are made of. Allister Schultz.

Snow skates flying in every direction. Banana peels littering the ground. Cold cans of Olympia conveniently falling at my feet. It can all only mean one thing: it’s Holy Oly time! But wait, it’s April! Isn’t the annual celebration of Northwest Pride in February? Well, it turns out that bitch La Nina decided the Northwest didn’t need any snow in January, or February for that matter, and rather than truck in snow from afar as in years past, Krush at the crew at Snoqualmie decided to bump the event back a couple months in hopes of snow. It worked.

When winter finally decided to start back up in March, it meant business and it’s still snowing almost daily, with no signs of stopping. So while an April date would seemingly provide a sunny spring day for the event, it was more a combo of sun mixed with various precipitation through out the day. Aside from the date, the 8th Annual Holy Oly was much like all those that came before, with one other noticeable difference. The quarterpipe was extra enormous. It checked in at around 27 feet, giving even some of the most seasoned Holy Oly vets trouble.

Austin Hironaka knows how to donkey kick.

So it took a little bit longer than normal, but within an hour, it was business as usual. Legends including Joey Macguire, Russell Winfield, Peter Line and Allister Shultz proved they still snowboard on the massive wall. A few key players such as Jay Kelly and Austin Hironaka boosted massive airs. The jib kids such as Ben Bilocq, Forrest Bailey, Johnny Lazz and Jason Robinson played in tube city. Jesse Burtner made colorful jokes on the mike (and some off-color ones under his breath.) Krush’s playlist served as the timing system, and Cobra Dogs kept everyone full.

The two-term mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey

This year, a few awards were added, including the “where you been award,” probably because Allister showed up. (The answer is “Oregon” but that’s beside the point.) There was also the Jean Claude Land-Am award, chosen by Mark Landvik for the most deserving am, Stephan Krumm (who scored an invite to Superpark.) Then there were the usuals: best method, best fall, highest air (they have more clever titles than that), but the one that really matters, immortalized forever in Sharpie on the Oly Cup, is the Holiest of the Holy. For the past several years Manuel Diaz has pleased spectators with his Michaelchucks, but this year, they seemed extra pleasing. For his efforts, the Chilean a half-pallet of beer and the recognition he deserved.

If you’ve ever been to the Holy Oly, you can pretty much imagine the rest, and if you haven’t, well, get your ass to Washington next February, or April for the best damn time you’ll ever have throwing yourself at a massive wall of snow (or watching other people do it).

The spoils of victory!


NW Method Award- Scotty Whitzle
Mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey
Future of NW Shred Award: Bart Patitucci
Highest Air: Jay Kelly
Land-Am: Stephan Krumm
Holy Diver: Dan Manning
Best Trick: Matt Wainhouse (front 900 tail grab)
Where you been: Allister Schultz

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Super rep Dustin Anderson gave the east coast kids a run for their money

Given the recent outrage over snowboarders enjoying themselves while representing their country at the Olympics, it’s pretty clear everyone else in the world hates fun. No one, however, seems to hate fun more than Mother Nature, who has now tried twice, unsuccessfully to stop the Holy Oly Revival, basically the most fun contest one could do. Last year a mudslide sent the usual venue careening down the hill, and this year, it really hasn’t snowed, at all.

Krush Kuleza and the crew at Sno Boy Productions weren’t going to let a little thing like lack of snow stop the event though, and for ten days snow was trucked to Hyak from the other side of the mountain. The Holy Oly was to be held on the remnants of the mudslide, whether Mother Nature wanted it to or not.


Hiking didn’t dissuade many

Of course, the lifts were still out of commission, which meant everyone who wanted to participate in, or just watch, the event, had to undertake a bit of an endurance test. For the average person, it was a mellow walk up a gentle slope. For me, dreadfully out of shape, with 40 pounds of camera gear on my back, it was a serious feat. I would have failed had the promise of free beer and Cobra Dogs not been coaxing me along.

When I got to the top, I was rewarded with two half-racks of Olympia, courtesy of the Summit at Snoqualmie. Call it a bribe to get a positive review if you want, but I see no conflict of interesting in accepting pay offs if it quells my alcoholism for the day.


Danny Garrity knows how to do methods.

The sun was shining bright, and the set up, though slightly smaller than in years past, saw all the requisite airtime, methods, and Northwest legends we’ve come to expect. The only “schedule” was riding would last as long as the play list did, and when Van Halen came on, it was time to go home. The early part of the day saw impressive stunting from Peter Line, but a freak thumb dislocation took him out early, leaving room for the young guns to really shine.

It was a bit of an east vs. west battle, with a heavy New England contingent – Danny Garrity, Nate Farrell and Forest Bailey – holding up against the local shreds such as Austin Hironaka, Austin Sweetin, Pat McCarthy and more. In an especially impressive showing for the Y chromosome, Jess Kimura absolutely shredded all day, taking a few serious diggers in the process. And of course, a few out-of-the-woodwork riders were in attendance, most notably Russell Winfield.



The riding lasted longer than the sun, and even though the temperature dropped, most hung out to watch the crowning of the Holiest of the Holy (and all the other awards.) It was no easy decision, by the crack team of secret judges rewarded Austin Hironaka’s hi-yah shredding with a half pallet of Olympia. The rest of the awards went something like this:

The Northwest Method Award: Danny Garrity
Beserker Award: Nate Farrell
Highest air/ Best Facial Expression: Bryce Neibuhr
Hardest Charging Industry Dude: Sean Tedore
Jeff Brushie Russell Winfield Award: Russell Winfield
Y Chromosome/ Best Crash: Jess Kimura
The Official Mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey
We don’t need no stinkin’ binders award: Jake Tomlinsin
Billy Goat’s Gruff Award (most creative line): Blair Habenicht

Now check out the gallery:

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Austin Hironaka

My parents came to visit, so I decided to take them to the Holy Oly. They like beer, so I figured it would work out. We went up early to do a little night riding at the Summit at Snowqualmie, which turned out to be amazing. Apparently if it rains all day, then stays warm, the snow is perfect. My dad was claiming the best Friday night of his life, that is until we were at the bar eating dinner and the worst band ever started to play, really, really loudly. But it was still a good night.
Things only got better for the event the next day. The sun was out, the quarterpipe looked really good, and Jeff Brushie was there! The Jeff Brushie! Since that guy pretty much put me and my shittalking on the map, I have a special place in my heart for him. Anyway, for not snowboarding for five years (according to him) I’d say he did alright.

I ate a Cobra Dog, made a video, shot photos and worked on my tan. The day culminated with two Oly’s in the lodge (thanks Jeff!) and then the ‘rents and I headed back south. Apparently I missed a dude barn blow out but hopefully they will have another and it was worth it. This Holy Oly was definitely the best yet.

You can check out my post on Future or just enjoy the video below.