photos: Ryan “Huggy” Hughes, Mike Yoshida, E-Stone, Oli Gagnon, and Aaron Blatt
words: Mary Walsh
captions: T. Bird
The fifth and final day of Superpark 18 presented by Gatorade opened up on soft, spring snow and hazy skies at Mt. Hood Meadows. The previous day had been monumental in terms of the amount of stacked shots, but there was still plenty to do before the lifts stopped spinning. As the park opened up for the day, crews skated through the liftline in order to warm up on the Superpark features. Small sessions went down on the jumps and laps were made before day 2 of Superpark 18: The Webcast began at the Meadows base.
At 1pm, the gate opened to the Woodward jib plaza and seventy rail-hungry riders made their way to the top of the zone. One of the great things about Superpark is the collective group of riders that come together in one place for the week. This was no more evident that at day 2 of Superpark 18: The Webcast, when some of the leading jibbers in snowboarding hiked up the hill to drop into rail lines alongside a grip of up and comers. Frank April, Louif Paradis, Mike Ravelson, Lucas Magoon, Andrew Brewer, Kas Lemmens, Mark Wilson, Tommy Gesme, Tor Lundstrom, Cole Linzmeyer, Ozzy Henning, and more were taking unique lines and brought proper and progressive snowboarding to the masses through the webcast.
Post-webcast, there was one more feature left to conquer, the behemoth Keystone Slim Fast jump at the top of the Superpark zone. Ben Bogart had tested the jump earlier in the day and the conditions were right for a session to go down just after 3pm. Bogart was joined by Tim Humphreys, Dustin Craven, Garrett Warnick, and Jeremy Page, who lined up at the very top of the Keystone section, high about the jump in order to get plenty of speed in the late season snow. A crowd gathered on the sidelines as the crew was shuttled up hill by snowmobiles. A few highlights include Worm's front 180, Bogart's seven, Humpy's cab nine switch seatbelt, and some more hams that you'll need to watch the Day 5 video to witness. By the time the session ended, it was almost 7pm. The chairlift was empty, shade was changing the snow surface quickly, and these guys, the stalwarts of Superpark 18, called it a day.
The last day of Superpark is commemorated with a closing party at which awards are given out. This year's celebration, of course, culminated in a night at Charlie's in Government Camp.
Charlie's Mountain View tavern is a Mt. Hood institution and Geoff Ecker was the welcoming committee to everyone that passed through the bar's open doors. As a longtime bartended at Charlie's, Geoff possessed both the ability to make a visitor feel like a loca, as well as shut off an overzealous patron who was giving lip after too many Rainiers. Most of all, he was a friend with a genuine smile to many, including the SNOWBOARDER staff, and after Geoff's passing last year, SNOWBOARDER decided to honor him by creating the Geoff Ecker Award during Superpark. The award, a metal piece depicting Mt. Hood made by Sally Butler (who's grandfather started Charlie's years ago), went to the rider who exhibited unparalleled enthusiasm and a dedication to making the most out of every turn and hit—a level of stoke shared readily with the people around them. After five days of Superpark, the obvious person to receive this distinction was Seth Hill.
For the second year, the Chelone Miller Superpark Charger award has commemorated the driving passion for snowboarding that Chilly possessed. Chelone would lap a jump all day, whether there were cameras or not, just because it was fun for him. This year, from Day 1, Jeremy Page stood out by sending it all day, every day, dropping into jumps again and again without hesitation. Even though it seemed that Jeremy didn't care whether or not people were watching what he was doing, they definitely were. It was clear that he handily deserved the Superpark Charger award: a large, wooden hammer crafted by Dawn Strout.
Garrett "Worm" Warnick has been a household name in the Sierras for quite some time, which is remarkable considering that he's only twenty years old. Over the past few seasons, he has applied the style he's honed in Mammoth's Main Park to the streets and backcountry and his notoriety has only grown. Worm in one of the most talented all-around riders rising through snowboarding's ranks, a position that earned him a place shooting for The SNOWBOARDER Movie: Foreword. During Superpark 18, Worm deftly navigated every feature, arriving on hill early and staying late in order to leave his mark on the Seven Springs hip, the Woodward step up, the Keystone jump, and the Woodward rail plaza. His smooth style and deep bag of tricks made Worm the unanimous choice for Superpark 18 Stand Out. And while a hand-painted Jami Lynn skateboard and $1,000 are pretty good Superpark souvenirs, we imagine Garrett's just as stoked that Frank April gave him a call out during the webcast in the jib plaza. Congrats, Worm.
Thanks to all of the riders, industry members, sponsors, builders, and staff at Mt. Hood Meadows who made Superpark 18 what it was. The past week was one for the books, see you next year.