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The Seventh Annual GT Memorial: Pillows, Caesers and Death Metal

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I had no idea what to expect after hitch-hiking from Revelstoke, British Columbia to a small town of 30 in the middle of the BC Kootenays. I vaguely knew of whom to get in touch with for the 7th annual GT Memorial NoBoard race as I wandered up a snowy driveway after my ride bid me farewell and good luck. Cholo Burns was getting his NoBoard gear ready as I meandered up to his house. With no questions asked he gave me a place to stay, invited me along, and gave me ride out to the venue.

The GT Memorial is a celebration of the life of Canadian snowboarder Greg Todds—the founder of NoBoarding. Friends and family gather each year in the Kootenay backcountry to ride pillows, party like there’s no tomorrow, and remember the legacy of their close friend.

The venue for the event was an abandoned clear-cut logging field filled with pillows and Christmas trees. This year was gnarlier than most because the trees were nearly regrown. The Caesar cocktail bar started early as nearly 100 NoBoarders snowmobiled out to the zone. It was face shots the whole way down with Revelstoke native Casey Brown taking first for the women’s heat and Scott Penner taking first for the mens. The event was highlighted by the final “Asian Canadian Downhill” where everyone gathers at the top for a free-for-all dash to the bottom and first one to shotgun a beer at the finish wins. Local legend Young Dave Seaton took the title with his impressive pillow hopping and treewell negotiating.

When the race ended, riders snowmobiled back to the one-room Town Hall for the awards ceremony and auction to raise money for Todds’ children. A death metal band set the tone for the evening as local shredders and pros alike partied in remembrance of their friend. It was incredible to see the affect one individual can have on many people and to see a community of riders come together from all over the world to celebrate Todds’ life and his creation of NoBoarding as its influence spreads world-wide. As Mikey Rencz explained, “everyone is here for one reason—and that is Greg Todds.”

Photos and Words: Meg Haywood-Sullivan.

Video by Kenton Pauls.

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