Words and Photos: T-Bird
Dare I say it, but when the now notorious Frends crew came on to the scene proclaiming their intentions to the general public a few years back now, the skeptics didn’t hesitate to rear their heads. I can understand, in some ways. Here were a handful of Burton (and Flow) pipe kids with bulging bank accounts living on easy street, high on the hog from world travel, contest earnings rivaling the everyman’s yearly salary and pseudo-shred fame declaring their “core” motives. Sure, people were doubtful, but in the few short years since the inception of these young bucks, they’ve proven to the snowboarding community that they are indeed as carefree as they are concerned; a perfect blend of rebellious and regimented, and in my opinion, Scotty, Jack, Luke, Kevin, Danny and Mason (of course with team dad Keir) have got it all figured out.
The Frendly Gathering was a perfect example of their sentiments as last weekend, they invited hundreds of their homeys via Facebook and social media means, to meet at Crowley Lake, just south of Mammoth for a few beers, big bonfires and various other outdoor activities as an end of the year ender of epic proportions. We cruised our way up the 395, unsure of what our final destination may proffer, but when we pulled in to the campsite, four-wheelers, dogs, John J’s dune buggy and some gool ol’ fashioned dirt road rallying justified our original conclusion: These kids are on to something, and they truly just want to get a few god laughs out of the short time they have here.
It was refreshing to see Danny Davis back on his feet and smiling as always. The kid’s alright, I’m happy to report, and he’ll be back on the hill in short time. Luke and Jack Mitrani, the event’s main organizers, were happier than pigs in shit, enjoying a few days in the sun. Scotty Lago, still fresh off of Vancouver glory, made the trek out from New Hampshire to join his cohorts, and I watched him drive a friend’s car into a massive bush. You can take the kid out of New Hampshire, but… Mason was spotted both on-hill and at the campsite, which always rates high with us, but unfortunately, Keir was nowhere to be found. Keir, if they do this again, make your way to the desert.
The Frendly Gathering was both innocent and belligerent. A true testament to the fact that no matter how long you’ve been snowboarding, whether it be one year or ten, everyone has their crew. Those few people with whom you will share a lifelong bond and recall memories of days past when all that mattered was making a few turns. It was a collective for the good cause. It was a celebraton of what we all believe, and that’s that if we’re not having fun, then what the fuck are we doing in the first place. Big thanks to all of the Frends for putting on a great assembly. ‘Til next year, when a bigger and better Gathering will amass, and we’ll be stoked to see Kevin there too.