The US Open of Snowskating was hosted by Premier Snowskates at the Windells Camp on Mt. Hood on July 5, 2012. The turnout was the most impressive of the season. The event was as much an opportunity for the who’s who of snowskating to get together as it was a contest.
Registration was on July 4th, so everyone showed up a day early which allowed for a day of freeriding or practice. Lift tickets were $58. Lifts opened at 7:00AM and closed at 2:00PM.
Then, the party got started. Lodging was available at the Windells Campus or across the Street for $20 a bunk a night, and that was the place to be. The entire Windells campus was made available to competitors and guests. That included the outdoor and indoor skate parks, trampolines, slack lines, BMX dirt jumps, waxing/tuning tent, etc. Everyone, from the old school shredders to ripping toddlers, was jamming in the skatepark. I even rolled around a little bit and picked up a few new skateboard skills (and raspberries).
Everyone came stockpiled with fireworks, and that night, there was an intense firework session that miraculously went off without any injuries or damaged property. This was followed by BBQing, a camp fire, and miscellaneous debauchery.
On July 5th, the Minus 7 crew had a breakfast prepared bright and early for everyone. The contest didn’t begin until 1:00PM, so there was plenty of time for freeriding, practice, or even skateboarding if you weren’t in a hurry to get on the mountain. Registration was $40 and lift tickets were an additional $40 on contest day.
The layout of the course was basically 4 lines which you could mix and match somewhat. The first line was 2 large jumps, the next line was a wall ride feature followed by an up pipe to down rail. Then two narrow flat boxes each with a big drop off at the end. The last line was a wide flat box followed by a smaller jump. There was a rope tow up the course and one dedicated lifty who was super cool.
The single deck division was up first. They rode for about an hour. Then the bi-decks raged for about an hour and a half. The style was open jam. So, everyone was riding at once. It stayed fairly organized by skaters hitting the jumps exclusively for a while, then moving on to the other features as a group.
Everyone was throwing down. The day was so hot though, that after a few hits, it was a monumental feat to ride away from anything clean. Landings turned into slush traps quick. Regardless, backflips were being thrown byKyler Lee and Clarke Hurlbut (although, no one pulled out a landing), Billy Bradford was getting gnarly, and little miracles like this happened every so often:
(For more US Open footage on YouTube visit Gergis’ channel.)
RESULTS and Prizes:
1. Alan Gerlach ($500)
2. Josh Oakes ($300)
3. Phil Smage ($200)
Special thanks to Andy Wolf of Premier Snowskates and Tim Windell for hosting this very fun event!