The dream of the 90s is alive at Mt. Bachelor.
Remember the 90s, those halcyon days of snowboarding’s youth, that movie Ski Patrol? Slick Willy was playing Sax on SNL, your Mom had those Lee jeans and there were big air events at your local ski hill. Remember those mountains of snow they’d sculpt into jumps, all those people partying in the base area and a parking lot full of RVs? Remember that smell you couldn’t yet identify, Smells Like Teen Spirit and The Warped Tour? That era ruled.
The folks at Ten Barrel Brewing think so too. For two years now they’ve hosted the Hella Big Air at Mt. Bachelor in hopes of resurrecting some of those 90s vibes. And last weekend, with a base area filled with beer gardens, yard games and live music, Mt. Bachelor showed shades of yesteryear.
The jump was a modern day thing of beauty though and measured out at about 85 feet. The trouble was, the weather didn’t cooperate. The day started out sunny, but then it got cloudy and eventually it was snowing again. That’s been the story of the winter at Bachelor. So, all that fresh snow was slow and dudes were having a hell of a time getting the speed dialed. There were some nasty knuckles.
But, some of them blasted too. Flat-light and speed checks be damned. Cash can be some kind of motivator. Especially in the sum of 30k. The crowd did their part too. Every hit they were shouting. You could hear them half way up the hill. They enjoyed the show.
Ari Delashmutt got some of the loudest shouts. He was the guy laying out backies and lawn dart front flips. The crowd loved him. He loved the crowd too. And he says that was the real draw for him.
Not the cash? Really?
“I’ve been skiing for a long time and my favorite thing about contests is not the chance to win, not the cool feature, it’s that everyone who is capable comes out and we all ski together,” Delashmutt said. “It’s just fun to ski with people who are really talented, right? If everyone’s going to come up and hit a big jump, I’m going to be there. Why wouldn’t I?”
That’s the spirit.
But, it’s also worth noting that Delashmutt was politicking hard for the field to ‘split the pot.’ That is, take the prize money and distribute it evenly among the competitors. This was his suggestion after the organizers made the call to cancel finals. See, it really started dumping in the afternoon, right about when finals were scheduled to start. Conditions deteriorated quickly. It got harder to see, slower on the drop-in and more dangerous by the minute. So, they called it. The judges passed judgment and picked the podium based on what dudes did during qualifiers. Everyone from the upper beer garden migrated to the lower beer garden and Lyrics Born took the stage. People boogied. Then they gave out the oversized checks and one skier and one snowboarder walked away 10 grand richer, just for jumping over a huge pile of snow. They were psyched. The crowd was too, of course. Morale was high on the mountain. Nineties vibes attained. Complete with a behemoth of a jump, all-day apres and a raucous scene in the parking lot. And maybe the only thing that’s better now: the children of the 90s are of legal drinking age.
1st – Justin Morgan
2nd – Ryan Linnert
3rd – Dru Brownrigg
1st – Nick Keefer
2nd – Jack Mageau
3rd – Jonah Elston