Captions: Pat Bridges
It's official. The Launch is a wrap, and it was one of the best events that SNWOBOARDER has ever put on, without a doubt, thanks to prominent park pusher Clayton Shoemaker and his diligent digging staff.
At around 10am, a hand-selected crew of riders were picked to tackle the gully gap on the top of the course. With the help of Bear Mountain Ski Patrol, who assisted in shutting down an open run to the public every time the riders dropped, the session went off, but after a few tries, speed became an issue and we were forced to shut it down. Regardless, Broc Waring, Mark McMorris, Hans and Nils Mindnich, Sam Taxwood, and Ben Ferguson took to the beast and the photographers and filmers logged some footage. The standout of the session was Ben Ferguson who stomped a massive frontside five before it came to and end and everyone went to the bas lodge to grab some lunch.
In the afternoon, things died down but people were still sending it on the plethora of features offered by Bear. East Coasters Merrick Joyce and Zach Normandin were lapping all afternoon while Zander Blackmon and Jaeger Bailey were back at it on the up rail. Jaeger landed a backie to boardslide on the feature.
Meanwhile, I spent a good part of my afternoon lapping with the little guys. Red Gerard, Brock Crouch, Gabe Ferguson, Cody Warble and cohorts were flying down the hill hitting every feature both in the public and Launch park while I was attempting to keep up. It didn't work. These kids truly are the future of snowboarding. Stay tuned for the exclusive edit coming soon. I must say though, their youth rubbed off on me, and I had one of the best times ever lapping with these little guys.
Well, The Launch is over, but it was one of the best ever. SNOWBOARDER would like to thank our sponsors Red Bull and Giro for making this event happen, and of course, the entire staff of Bear Mountain. Their hard work goes unnoticed much of the time, but these really are the people behind the scenes that make shoots like this happen. The park crew, management, and Ski Patrol. Thank you all so very much. Stay tuned to snowboardermag.com for more edits from The Launch, and we look forward to many more years of this event, as we introduce the next generation of riders that you will see in the pages of SNOWBOARDER.