words and photos: Knut Eliassen

The snow is finally here and falling all over the country. I have seen photos of knee deep pow up in Jackson Hole, park-style hips up in the Northwest, powder lines in Whistler, and now the Bonezone is finally fully open. The Bonezone is heaven on earth for any snowboarder who enjoys preseason snowboarding; equipped with over thirty different features, fire pits, man-made cabins, teepees–basically everything but a chairlift. Ted Borland is one of the main guys behind this magical place and he is a regular up there during the preseason. He is also always welcoming and is one of the main reasons it is an amazing place. Thanks, Ted.

Today was my first time up to the Bonezone this year, and I was surprised on how much snow was actually up there – well over a foot of fresh snow. I did a half day of work at the office and hit up the boys, Shane Wright, Griffin Seibert, Zak Hale, Spencer Schubert, Micheal Wick, Jordan Morse, and Jeremy "Big Germ from Lick The Cat" Thompson, and carpooled up there. When we arrived, Ted Borland had already built a proper bonfire and was sessioning the famous red down-flat-down rail with Cameron Pierce. I have never seen two guys make front boardslides through a kink rail look so easy. Alex "Littlest" Sherman was setting up the Jersey barriers so the boys could work on their flat-ground tricks; Griffin and Shane instantly joined in on the fun.

This is basically the training ground for a lot of the best jib-snowboarders in the world right now. The tricks that go down are insane, but what impresses me the most is the overall camaraderie within the snowboard community here; from pros, to ams, to the regular guy that is up there just to snowboard, everyone is equal. I don´t think there is any other pasttime or sport in which everyone is so welcoming. Even though I saw multiple 270s, flips, and presses, it’s the friendships that impress me the most. Fact: "snowboarding brings out the best in everyone."

The day was spent hitting a variety of flat bars, Jersey barriers, down bars, rainbow logs, down-flat-downs, and just getting into good old fashion sessions with your friends. In between features, we would go over and hang out by the bonfire to warm up and talk about winter plans. After a while Andrew Aldridge and Brendan Gerard came walking through the woods. Brendan had never been to the Bonezone and he was more than stoked to see it and ride. He basically looked like a kid in a candy store with his mom's credit card.

Obviously not everyone is lucky enough to live near the Bonezone, but I have to say that anyone can create their own mini-Bonezone in the woods by their house. All you need is a small group of friends that are willing to put in a little work to create a place that will provide more fun days than you can imagine. So, do yourself a favor and get your four best friends together and make your own personal rail park this fall/winter, you will not forget it.