A Gathering of BIPOC Boarders at Mt. Hood, OR

It’s the first weekend of July and there isn’t a cloud in the sky above Government Camp, OR. With my trusty pup Milo at my side, I drive through town before making my routine stop at the Trillium Lake Airstrip. From here I’ve got one of my favorite views of one of my favorite mountains: Mt. Hood. I’ve been coming here every summer since I was 16 years old—half of my life now—but this time is extra special. I’m headed to my first Snowboy Productions event, Halo-Halo, a two-day soiree for BIPOC snowboarders, terrain park builders, photographers, videographers and more.

ABOVE Two amazing men. Max Djenohan (left), a freestyle savvy rider from the Northwest and the first Black man to snowboard down Denali. Danny Hairston (right),is founder of a youth outreach program called SHRED Foundation, which uses snowboarding as an avenue to connect kids with the mountains and promote healthy lifestyles. SHRED Foundation and a similar youth outreach program, The Service Board, partnered with Snowboy to bring this event to life at Mt. Hood, OR this summer.


ABOVE Miles Fallon (left), at ease while upside down, per usual. Devi Gupta (right) locked in on the down-tube towards the top of the 2023 Halo-Halo course.


ABOVE Alex Grumblatt sideways through the kink with a backside boardslide.


With temps in the high 80s, an actual halo-halo would be nice right now. Halo-halo is a refreshing Filipino desert typically made with sweets and fruits layered on top of shaved ice. Recipes vary widely based on location and taste preferences. The dessert serves as a fitting metaphor for this diverse, flavorful group of snowboarders coming together to shred melting snow under the hot summer sun. Before the course even opens, we know this session will be just as sweet as the dish it’s named after.

ABOVE An overview of the course.

ABOVE Erik Leon with a nice view over the course.

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ABOVE Video filmed by Chris Huynh. Edited by Colby Mesick.

The dig crew, led by Krush but otherwise consisting entirely of BIPOC park builders, constructed the course the night before the event. Despite their time crunch, the features are proper. There’re a few tubes to jib, hips to jump, one of Snowboy’s classic volcanos, and a quarterpipe at the end of the run. Over 100 people have showed up to ride, including some heavy hitters like Zeb Powell, Stevie Bell and Miles Fallon, and cameramen like Mike Yoshida and Luis Medearis. Despite their claims to fame, no one is on their high horse. Everyone has come in high spirits and remain down to Earth. We’re all just happy to be here, ride, and represent.

ABOVE Powder couple Krush Kulesza and Smiley-Grace.  Smiley is Filipino so it’s safe to assume she, Krush and their family have enjoyed plenty of halo-halo in their lifetimes.

ABOVE Michael McDaniel, plant lover.

ABOVE Lex Hernandez-Roland greasing a frontside lipslide on the down-tube.

We’re here to create a space that will elevate representation of BIPOC individuals in the mountains. Perhaps through seeing an event like this, a greater number of BIPOC folks could see themselves as the type of person who could get involved with snow sports.

ABOVE Elevating participation through representation. The official video recap of Snowboy Productions’ 2023 Halo-Halo at Mt. Hood, OR. Filmed and edited by Luis Medearis (featured in Issue 20.3).

Riders in order of appearance : Irie Jefferson, Miles Fallon, Liam Gill, Adro Mitchell, Devi Gupta, Lex Hernandez-Roland, Stefan “Taco” Alvarez, Matt Tam, Ian Kuhn, Alexandra Grummblatt, Aaron Tam, Erik Leon, Alissa Alivea, Naima Antolin, Nali Prevedel, Mizl, Summer Fenton, Steve Lauder, Braeden Adams, Nial “Naps” Noell, SK, Tyler Moore, Mike Robinson, Max Djenohan, Tommy Gonzalez, Phil Bahner, Kiran Pershard, Josh Nucci, Zach Griffin, Ahmon Stamps, Brian Rice, Michael McDaniel, LJ Henriquez & Zeb Powell.

When a young Black kid sees Zeb Powell at the top of his game, throwing big front flips in tribute to guys like Ben Hinkley, they’ll be able to see themselves filling those boots one day. Being half-Vietnamese myself, it’s empowering to help open this space up and hopefully bring more people who look like me into snowboarding, too. This is one of the coolest experiences that I’ve ever had in snowboarding and is inspiring me to become more involved with things that could allow even more young BIPOC kids get into snow sports. Because it’s a beautiful thing to see people of all different races and walks of life get to experience this activity that we all know and love: just sliding down the mountain. That shared, magical feeling.

ABOVE Till next time. Peace.

Special thanks to Krush, Smiley and the Snowboy Productions crew, to SHRED Foundation and The Service Board, and everyone else who helped make Halo-Halo happen. 


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