Photo and Video Feature

More Good Times: Dirksen Derby 11 at Mt Bachelor, OR

Video: Jann Eberharter

In the spring of 2014, I went snow camping with Josh Dirksen up on South Sister, right near his home in Bend, OR. There, I learned that Dirksen was driven. He hiked all day on his splitboard, shoveled, hiked, rode, ate, and hiked some more. I learned that Dirksen is precise. Edge control? Yeah, he usually puts his board right where it should be. Detailed? Just try to leave a discarded freeze dry packet on the ground without him noticing. I also learned that Dirksen had shifted his priorities to family, to spending more time at home, to riding the central Oregon volcanoes almost exclusively, and riding them as much as possible. (It was all outlined in a feature profile in Issue 12.3.)

2014 was the eighth year of the Dirksen Derby at Mt Bachelor. Dirksen started it back in 2007, when local snowboarder Tyler Eklund sustained a spinal cord injury and needed help. It was a fun way to get the community together and raise funds for Tyler. Less than 100 people showed for that first event, but it has since grown to an inclusive gathering that attracted upwards of 500 racers and plenty of other folks in attendance to simply soak up the fun. Art shows, video contests, parties, the whole shebang accompanied the event and Dirksen had a hand in all of it. Which, when you think about it, must take a hell of a lot of time. Especially for some as detail-oriented as Dirksen.

So, it was no surprise that Dirksen took last year off. He never told me as much, but I’m guessing the energy required to produce a gathering of that magnitude was wearing on him—on his pursuit of more time at home with his family. Indeed, it raised a lot of money. But man, it must have been hard to keep pace with the rigors of gathering the tribe every December, just before the holidays.

This year, Dirksen came back from the hiatus with a streamlined version of the Derby. The build still employed professional rakers and the usual cadre of Bachelor locals who have pitched in since day one. Over 400 racers raced, a smaller number than years prior, but still a largely inclusive and representative sub-section of the snowboard community (although Dirksen said he is still hoping more young folks and females will throw their name in the hat in coming years).

The course took a week to build and ran exceptionally smooth. A few feet of fresh leading up to the three-day weekend meant Bachelor was blessed with knee-deep powder on the margins and rippable groomers, which were enjoyed by all. At times, in fact, the start gate sat nearly empty as racers cruised in from Cone laps, legs warm and ready to rip, thanks in no small part to world cup race timer John Jett, whose setup kept things rolling efficiently through the side-by-side 30-ish-second lanes. That allowed more good times beyond the course, as early season squad laps occupied the bulk of the riding experience, with a bit of friendly competition thrown in. A perfect balance, if you ask me.

The philanthropic agenda widened from the usual donation to Eklund, to raising funds for Oregon Adaptive Sports, who always bring a sit-ski presence to the berm-based racecourse, and Protect Our Winters, whose environmental lobbying couldn’t be more important given our current political situation, and the Central Oregon Avalanche Association. While Dirksen didn’t organize any parties this year, the community filled in with multiple gatherings each night, including video premieres and beers with Patagonia and Drink Water alongside a couple affairs at Boneyard Beer and Loge Entrada, featuring a raffle to help legendary park and pipe builder Pat Malendoski, who continues to fight brain cancer.

Dirksen Derby 11 required a monumental effort from dozens of folks—none more than Dirksen himself. But the smooth operation of this year’s event bodes well for the future of this staple of early-season snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest.

Precise. Detailed. Dedicated. Fun-loving. That’s Dirksen. And that was Dirksen Derby 11.

For the full results, click here.


Elite Men

  1. Felix Dallaire
  2. Phil Jacques
  3. Nils Mindnich

Elite Women

  1. Mary Rand
  2. Laura Hadar
  3. Desiree Melancon

Sit Ski

  1. Ravi Drugan
  2. Hiromi Tatsumi
  3. Gabe Rousseau

Men (20-29)

  1. Jacob Hunsaker
  2. Danny Kern
  3. Max Tokunaga

Women (20-34)

  1. Zoe Vernon
  2. Amanda Hankinson
  3. Rel Friedman

Gentlemen (30-39)

  1. Chris Luzier
  2. Ashley Call
  3. Adam Smith

Gentlewomen (35-49)

  1. Amy Eichner
  2. Leslee Schader
  3. Annie Fast

Teen Men (15-19)

  1. Milo Malkoski
  2. Chad Carlson
  3. Mac Malkoski

Teen Women (15-19)

  1. Cali Carlson
  2. Addison Gardner
  3. Carsyn Carter

Classics, Men (40-49)

  1. Matty Galina
  2. Peter Butsch
  3. Adam Haynes

Grom Boys (10-14)

  1. Owen Cline
  2. Chet West
  3. Elijah Pile

Grom Girls (10-14)

  1. Zeia Rose
  2. Ella Jones
  3. Emma Brown

Mini-Shred Boys (0-9)

  1. Henry Hawkins
  2. Wilson West
  3. Forest Marriner

Mini-Shred Girls (0-9)

  1. Lilah Short
  2. Maddison Funtanellas
  3. Riley Eichner

Older & Wiser Men (50-59)

  1. Sean Aiken
  2. Clint Chappell
  3. Matt Gaddow

Older & Wiser Women (50-59)

  1. Julie Brown
  2. Gretchen Stover

Yogis (60-plus)

  1. Michael Schubert
  2. Mike Beaulieu
  3. Terry Luzier

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