words and photos: Mary Walsh

It was almost midnight when I pulled into Government Camp, the timeless hamlet at the base of Mount Hood, Oregon. Main street was calm and quiet, save for a string of bright purple lights framing Charlie's Mountain View that hinted at the Rainier tallboy-fueled antics going on inside the bar. I took a right toward a series of condos and made my way toward the couch I was crashing on for the night. Tomorrow was the third day of Snowboy Productions' IT'S TITS! and I was really excited to check out the sea of the berms, bumps, and bowls that Krush Kulesza, Blake Geis, Matt "Boody" Boudreaux, Amanda Hankison, Jenaya Jenkins, and the rest of the digger crew had created for the invited riders. Everyone had already been sussing out lines for the two days prior, hiking, lapping, and baking in the insanely strong sun that seems to hover above Timberline at this time of year. By day three–the final event day before the course would open to the public in exchange for a donation to Boarding 4 Breast Cancer–the ladies were familiar with the set up and were in the midst of slashing and stacking.

A few years back, Snowboy founder, Krush Kulesza teamed up with Jess Kimura to create an all-women's transition-based snowboard event inspired by Holy Bowly, but designed specifically to galvanize the ladies' community. In 2018, their idea came to fruition and the first IT'S TITS! was held at Boreal in Lake Tahoe. Barrett Christy signed on to support with Mervin and Megan Porcheron came in with Boarding 4 Breast Cancer, furthering the impact of the event. And year one was insane. Female riders descended on Boreal from all over the globe. There were dedicated videographers and photographers for the crew, a setting designed to catalyze creativity, and a surge of camaraderie as many of the girls met in person and rode together for the first time. After the inaugural event was over, everyone was pretty immediately ready for IT'S TITS! number two.

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Flash forward to the first weekend of May and a jump to the Pacific Northwest, and there it was, the second year of the already-beloved event. IT'S TITS! had found a new home at Mount Hood, one of snowboarding’s favorite meccas and a mountain steeped in snowboarding history as the nucleus of summer boarding and a launchpad for many up-and-coming riders. IT'S TITS! would cap off the regular season on the volcano, sprawled out just to rider's right of the top of Stormin' Norman, a four-pack lift on the lower part of Timberline. For the second edition of IT'S TITS!, Snowboy and Tline's park crew had gone all out, pushing mounds of snow that dotted the fall line with plush transitions, and cutting not one, but two B4BC ribbons (complete with hipped-out ribbon edges, mini bowls in the ribbon loops, and plenty of convex snow walls). A sizable half-avocado lined the edge of the course on rider's left and just below that, a double hip-entry bowl nestled just below the Mount Hood skyline.

The beauty of IT'S TITS! is that the build provides a blank, albeit bumpy canvas for everyone to showcase their personal breed of boarding. Edge control is paramount as the berms (and more) are slashed, spun, ollied, tapped, gapped, aired, bonked, and more. The lines are plentiful and both full pulls through the course as well as sessions on specific features are equally common throughout the entire event. Nearly every inch of every feature is rideable, from the top mini boobs to the sides of the ribbons and the bottom bowl. As I stood at the top of the park on Saturday morning, looking out at the pristinely groomed course while riders started dropping in all around and picking their lines, there was a palpable electricity in the air, a collective creativity building off subsequent drops. It was really, really cool. And the talent present was impressive: Desiree Melancon, Maria Thomsen, Stefi Luxton, Madison Blackley, Nirvana Ortanez, Emma Crosby, Naima Antolin, Jacque Lammert, Jill Perkins, Colleen Quigley, Laura Rogoski, Jenaya Jenkins, Christine Savage, Amanda Hankison, Darrah Reid-McLean, Taylor Elliot, Taylor Davis, Lily Calabrese, Kailey and Ashley Bogart, Katie Kennedy, Estelle Pensiero, Majorie Courtier, Summer Fenton, Sophie Nicholls-Austin, Brantley Mullins, Micah Anderson, Savannah Shinske, Tania Awalegaonkar, Nikkie Starick, the Rude Girls—Abby Furrer, Ellen Macpherson, Kiki Hyatt, Nikki Goodwin, Cori Stevens, Lindsay DeJongh, and Izzy Aubry—all the way from Banff, and of course, the three women at the helm of the event along with Krush, Jess, Barrett, and Meg—and a few dozen other ladies, too.

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For the next six hours, I don't think anyone took any breaks. Things quickly got started on a trio of boobs at the top of the set up. There were small-to-big gaps from Laura Rogoski; doubles from Emma Crosby and Lily Calabrese; big slashy, carves from Amanda Hankison; hand drags from Nirvana Ortanez; and tweaked airs from Jenaya Jenkins, Erik Vikander, and Izzy Aubry. On another set of bumps on rider's right, Madison Blackley showcased a proper switch method, Savannah Shinske was putting down casual spins, and Stefi Luxton, Summer Fenton and more were lapping through, gapping. Photogs Ashley Rosemeyer, Gill Montgomery and Tim Zimmerman were sniping as the ladies came through, while Troy Erickson and Sean Genovese captured video.

Naima Antolin, Jacque Lammert, Marjorie Courtier, and Taylor Davies were winding through the middle of the course, finding hits down low. Soon sessions erupted on the ribbons as Desiree Melancon deftly carved and buttered at high-speed over the rider's right of the lower ribbon and took the high line through the bowl. Sophie Nicholls-Austin blunted the crook of the ribbon, Taylor Elliot and Laura Rogoski sent it high over the edge of the loop, and Darrah Reid-McLean floated big threes. There was even a mini Boody gap, executed by Katie Kennedy as Matt Boudreaux shot covers on Geno's camera. The fray moved down into the bowl, planting, slashing, and leaves etches of their lines in their wake. Colleen Quigley planted the corner of the rider's right entry to the bowl. And Jess Kimura, a humble ringleader, sent snow into the Oregon sky with big layback slashes, hiking back up and dropping back in until the very last minute of the day. At 3pm, the mob shouldered rakes and shovels and swept up the course before heading down to veritable Government Camp establishment, The Ratskellar, for a B4BC fundraiser celebration.

But the day wasn't quite over, yet. A small handful of riders: Maria, Jess, Barrett, Jill, Naima, Darrah, Katie, Jacque, Christine, Amanda, Laura, Alexa, Kailey, Estelle, and Ashley, waited on hill for the sun to dip slightly in the sky and then sessioned the set up in the golden light. Katie Kennedy's slashing skills were on point as she floated over the top boob. Maria Thomsen, Alexa McCarty and Jacque Lammert popped smooth airs. Laura Rogoski took the gap less traveled and went fast and big. Kailey Bogart, one of the youngest riders at IT'S TITS, has a slash many years her senior and was sending snow double overhead on the side of the ribbon. Christine Savage nose buttered the length of the deck of the ribbon. Naima Antolin showcased her deep grab and tweak repertoire on the hip. Barrett Christy capitalized on the receding sunlight and put on a slashing clinic. Amanda Hankison closed down the session with a crazy smooth slash-revert-switch carve on the very edge of the ribbon and into the fading light.

Tired, slightly sunburnt, and stoked after three days of tackling IT'S TITS!  transition, as the sun fell behind the mountains, the crew rode down to Timberline Lodge, one of snowboarding's most beloved end-of-day runs. Soggy boots were taken off, boards were put away, and a train of vehicles headed down the mountain to Government Camp. There was one more day to ride the IT’S TITS! set up on Sunday, to do a little more to benefit B4BC, and then we’d all get back to waiting for IT’S TITS! 3, next spring.

Thank you to Krush, Jess, Barrett, and Megan for putting together one of the season's most anticipated events and providing a setting for the women in snowboarding to come together to rip a really, really fun park. Thank you to all the diggers who crafted the course. Thank you to Smiley for welcoming everyone to the event with open arms and tons of stoke. Thank you to the sponsors who contributed to make IT'S TITS! happen. And thank you to the riders who came out and boarded from open 'till close for four days straight. See you next year!