Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spring has finally arrived!!

The spring season at Mt Hood is usually the best time to practice jumping. Visibility is finally available, the sun comes out, and Timberline puts up a killer park that has a good line of jumps that lead right into a full run of jib features. This year spring has been as unpredictable as this winter. One week we have 50 degree weather with beautiful blue skies and the next it is a socked-in rain marathon. However, for that 9 day stretch of solid weather, all the locals were out building, snowboarding, and taking photos.

Ever since I broke my neck from over shooting a jump, I've had a hard time overcoming my fears. The sun brought on some good feelings within and with the help of some friends I was able to flush away those fears. My friend Jimmy Weisgerber helped motivate me to hit the largest jumps that Timberline had. I was really grateful for the motivation because it helped lift some of the barriers that I was placing on myself. Thanks to Karim Hadid ( I was able to get a few good shots on Paintbrush's jumps.

Madison Blackely recently arrived to the Mt. Hood area and was staying at my house. Having her around was a great way to get pumped about jumping. Madison is coming back from a gnarly injury to her arm that resulted in surgery. Her motivation to regain strength and get back into the game is outstanding. Her energy is hard not to feed off, thus making shredding 'oh so much better'. She's making a killer comeback and will be kicking ass soon enough.

Megan Ginter has also been making an appearance in these parts. Of course, we all know that Megan is the Queen of jumps so having her around is always a motivating treat. I can't think of anyone else that can through back 7's on giant kickers, so her advice goes a long way. We both participated in a photo shoot for POW gloves. We were getting sled rides to hit the features which is spoiling.

One day really stood out as one of the best days of the spring. Good friends Matt Kratzer and Ryan Faulk a.k.a "Rick" took the time and energy to build this awesome feature over a river gap. The snow was still melting out so the walls to the river were well over 10 feet and the gap over the river was no less than 20 feet from lip to landing. Even though the gap is not that large, the experience was overwhelming. My first time over made me tingle so much I had to sit down for a few minutes and let myself calm down. The consequences of coming up short could have been fatal to myself and the photographer below, who trudged through the river to get "the shot." All I could see myself doing was coming up short, smacking against the opposing wall, and falling backwards into the rocky, shallow river. This all while slicing the photographer's head off since he was standing at the bottom of the opposing wall. Drew Smalley ( is a really talented photographer and it wasn't until he showed up that I decided I had to man-up and hit the feature. Thankfully I did because Drew took some amazing photos.

I guess this is a shout out to all of my friends for always being so supportive and for pushing me in snowboarding. This spring has been a blast so far and I look forward to the summer shred at Windell's snowboard camp.