words and photos: Mary Walsh
There are few places with a more well known association with early winter than Colorado. The Rockies are host to autumn resort openings, the season’s first big contests, sizable early season terrain parks, and an overall winter weather outlook that permeates nearly all aspects of community. Whether mountain town local, CU Boulder Snowboard Club student or city-to-Summit County commuter, winter is on the collective Colorado conscious as soon as Labor Day hits (or perhaps even earlier). And it was because of this snowy cache that The North Face brought the third and final stop of their House Party to downtown Denver on Wednesday, December 19th.
As with TNF House Parties in Plymouth and Portland, the Denver shindig space was outfitted with all the trappings of a proper winter welcome: ping pong tables stacked with red Solo cups, a PA system able to shake a building’s foundation, couches and coffee tables inside, outdoor firepits in the back, an old minivan ready to be turned into collaborative art, and of course, a steady flow of Fat Tire beer and Wild Mike’s Pizza.
Spencer Schubert, Blake Paul, and Austin Smith had made their way to the Mile High City to present the premiere of TNF team movie, Pulp. Once the warehouse was filled in with party-goers and Yawnmower had played a raucous set, the three gentlemen introduced the short movie they filmed last season with Jess Kimura, Marion Haerty, Cole Navin, Amanda Hankison, and Mark Carter. Two screens on either side of the warehouse illuminated turns made by Blake, Spencer, Austin, and company and as powder was kicked up, the audience was rapt by the riding. The timing of the evening couldn’t have been better. Premiere season is often a precursor to opening day, a great way to get ready but still part of the annual waiting game. Wednesday night, though, could catalyze turns the following day.
Each House Party–in New Hampshire, Oregon, and finally, Colorado–touched down in locales with, of course, different mountains and different particular cold weather personalities, all connected by the same proclivity spending time on snow-covered peaks: A shared winter obsession that each year is spurred on by cold temperatures and fueled by films of the most capable carvers inspiring our own turns down the trails in our backyard and beyond. The North Face House Party provided a common ground for three regions’ riders to congregate and share their stoke for winter, watch a movie, get excited, and then head outside and snowboard.
Big thanks to The North Face, evo Denver, Fat Tire, Wild Mike’s Pizza, and of course, everyone that came out to hang, high five, and watch Pulp.