20 Aug, 2007
So I’ll be switching between past and future experiences in my blog. I’ll try to make it pretty clear when I’m bringing something back from the past so I don’t confuse anyone.
I’ve been living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for over a year now. I am originally a Washington native and still trek my way back there a couple times a year to shred my old local mountains and visit good friends/family.
Back in May I found a great deal on plane tickets from Denver to Seattle…so I decided I would head back in the summer, get some glacier riding in and enjoy a week off to relax.
I flew out really late on Wednesday August 1st so my day was really relaxing to make the 3 hour drive to Denver. I stopped by Never Summer on the way to pick up 2 snowboards to test out during the time I was riding, Tracey set me up with the SL 158 and Heritage 155 for my trip. Then I hung out at a swimming pool in Denver with my best friend until my flight at 7pm.
On Friday, waited for my friend Scott to get off work and we hit I-5 to make our journey down to Timberline for the weekend. Typical of Seattle…even at 3pm there was back-to-back traffic most of the trip south. Got into Timberline around dinner time where we met up with friends and enjoyed the night at the local bar.
One joy of summer riding that I’ll indulge…is that glacier riding is not about early mornings unless you are a ski racer or like ice conditions. So us snowboarders get to sleep in until the snow softens up just a tad around 10am to get out and ride.
We made it up to the mountain around 10am on Saturday, spent some time in the parking lot taking in the beautiful sunny day getting into our gear. Here’s Christina and Scott in the parking lot.
I love summer riding at Timberline. The view is epic on a sunny day, the conditions are slushy but you can still cruise and best of all…you cannot beat snowboarding in the summer. The atmosphere is always friendly, the riders can throw down and I enjoy being around summer snowboarders because they are the ones who can’t get off the mountain…which is a good thing!
You’ll start to notice in my photographs I have a signature pose. Since childhood I have stuck out my tongue…over time it has developed into a pierced tongue and sometimes you’ll get the shocker thrown in or some other hand signal. Either way…this is my signature pose on the mountain.
In the parking lot I set up the first board that I would ride that weekend. I set up the Never Summer Heritage 155cm. I’ve spent some time back in Steamboat riding the Hertiage in winter conditions and it’s always treated me good but I prefer a stiffer snowboard for myself. Either way I was happy to take the board out for summer riding which is a lot of slush and some pipe riding. Here’s a picture of the Heritage in the parking lot. I took my Rome Madison’s bindings out with me and my Vans omni focus boots. Both the Madison’s and omni focus were the toughest snowboard equipment…I had to break them in this winter and now it’s completely worth it the suffering I went through for the perfect fit boot even after a full season of riding and bindings that were stiff at first and now the perfect flexy feel I like.
Riding on Saturday was fun, mostly a lot of freeriding on Palmer chair and getting used to being back on the snowboard. I spent the day riding with my friends Scott and Eric. I realized that my crappy camera that I always take snowboarding was broken about 3 runs into snowboarding and that I would get no pictures of riding on Saturday. Most of my old Hood friends have moved on to other mountains and aren’t around at Hood in the summer like the old days. But I did get in contact with my good friend Chris who was up at High Cascade Snowboard Camp coaching little kiddie campers. It was fun to come down, check out the camp and watch him work his magic on getting the campers to ollie through a huge hoop without touching it. Of course first they had to duck two hoops attached to the ground…it was really fun to watch and these kids were into it.
I said bye to my friend and made my way down to the public pipe to start the late afternoon pipe session. I was really surprised at the condition of the public pipe. I’ve spent summers at Hood hiking pipe and having to deal with no vert, under vert, over vert, really narrow pipes, really wide pipes, and of course rocks and mud sticking out. But this pipe in August was the best I’ve seen it. Not as big as the summer camp pipes but enough to learn and practice on. Add in the riders trying to stomp their tricks and pushing each other…and it was a good day.
This year I worked on getting back into pipe and not using my knee brace. So I left my knee brace back in Steamboat on this trip mostly to push myself to ride without having that support. I also wrecked my ribs in the Steamboat half-pipe earlier this year, bruised them and had to miss out on riding for a couple weeks while I healed. So I was really stoked to get out to Hood and finish up a couple days of my 06-07 season.
I had a lot of fun with the Heritage in the pipe. It was the perfect size for me and enough flex and pop. In the slush it was decent but it took a while for me to get used to the length. I didn’t try to bomb down the hill with it, because it didn’t feel as stable and ready to cut through the conditions…so I took the board slower on each run, worked on switch and messed around with my butters.
Anytime I ride pipe, I listen to my ipod and pump the music as loud as possible. Here’s some of my favorite pipe songs to listen to. A variety of bands…depending on the mood.
- ACDC “If you want blood (you’ve got it)
- Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
- The Faint “Agenda Suicide”
- Joan Jett “Don’t give a damn about my bad reputation”
- Madonna “Hung up on you”
- TeddyBears Stockholm “Yours to keep”
- Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song”
- Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California”
- Bon Jovi “Shot through the Heart”
Saturday we didn’t get off the mountain until late afternoon when the park crew came into the pipe to let us know the day was over and to make our way down.
On the way back to Gresham (Christina’s place to crash) we stocked up on beer for the BBQ at Christina’s. I grabbed my much enjoyable love of Sparks…the malt beverage with caffeine and leaves you with the worst aftertaste and a orange tongue. Either way, the food was yummy and the Sparks put me to sleep very good that night.
Finally Sunday we woke up pretty late but made it up to the mountain around 10:30am. This was the view driving up Hwy 26. I love this view when you pass around the corner and you get hit with this in your car window.
One thing about Hood is no matter how beautiful it is…because of the location and height of the mountain…it can be the most beautiful clear sunny day and an hour later can be a freezing foggy snowstorm up there. It is not a mountain to take lightly on how quick conditions can change.
After riding the Heritage on Saturday, I saved the SL for Sunday riding and it was well worth it. I use 158cm as my all mountain board and the SL was a 158cm so I didn’t have to get used to a shorter length board for the freeriding time on the mountain. I spent more time on the SL back in Steamboat, but on a smaller size. Back in Steamboat on the SL I noticed some squirrelly-ness on the cat tracks so I was interested to test it out in a bigger size. Riding the 158cm it was totally different on the board and summer conditions. I really enjoyed the snowboard, it was great in the pipe and a fast board overall. During freeriding I could bomb with it and it’d cut through the slushy snowpack and feel completely stable on it.
Here’s a shot from riding pipe from Sunday. The good camera got brought up the mountain and got some shots of me riding. I do apologize for the snowboard pants being low in the rear in some shots.
I can spot where I need to work on my riding.
Hiking pipe in the summer is necessary…the time it takes to get down the mountain, ride the chairlift up and then ride down to the pipe is about 3 pipe runs you could have taken if you had spent the 5 minutes hiking back up the pipe. I enjoy hiking because I can watch the other riders and even though I’m hiking…it’s relaxing in between runs to hike. It’s also a workout for me and that’s good.
I’d have to say my favorite part of riding pipe is dropping in. At the top of the pipe after taking a couple minutes to breathe again, I strap into my bindings, I turn up the music or turn it to a different song, I get my mind ready and the adrenaline pumping…and then I call my drop, ride down to the pipe and ollie in to the half pipe. A good drop in can make or break your run in the pipe. I learned that from one of my favorite pipe riders to ride with, his drop in every time is so smooth and he uses it to his advantage, to gain speed and control it for his first hit.
Now since I ride with guys, sometimes I’ll come home with funny photos on my camera like this one below. I think my friend Scott taking the photo realized that he needed to zoom in more to my cleavage as I grabbed my snowboard. I did come home with wicked cleavage tan and a nice back tan between my shirt and snowboard pants.
Sunday afternoon , Scott and I drove back to Seattle and damn I slept good that night.
Monday morning, I woke up at 7 am and drove back to Hood. I’ve made the drive many times over the years during weekdays just so I could spend a day riding and the 3 hour drive is always worth it. Also because I grew up in Seattle I know all the locations of Starbucks along the drive so stopping at the halfway Starbucks is a necessity. I made it to Timberline parking lot around 10am and was back on the mountain hiking pipe. I spent the day listening to music, hiking and riding. I ended the day getting the most air I had done and landing it. It was a good way to finish the 06-07 season so I called it a day and made my way off Mt Hood and back to Seattle.
A couple days later I flew back into Denver, dropped off the Never Summer boards and made the drive through the Rockies back to my home…Steamboat Springs. I took this picture on the drive back home.