Interview by Jeff Schmuck
Photos courtesy of Justin Wiegand & Sammy Carlson
How have you been doing Sammy?
I’ve been doing good. I’ve been hanging in Oregon for the past few months and it’s been nice.
So you've hinted at it a few times over the past couple of months, but tell us all about this new project of yours that's taking place this summer at Mount Hood.
It's a summer video project that will be coming out this Fall for free online called On Top of The Hood. We've got a great crew of guys who have been going out every day to build and session a bunch of different crazy features near the summit of Mount Hood above the Palmer snowfield where Windells takes place. We've got three filmers working on the project, Brian Dalrymple, Brandon Kelly from PBP and Justin Weigend from Nimbus, and Nimbus is going to produce the film so it will be put out through them. I grew up in Oregon skiing on Mount Hood so it's always been a dream of mine to do a project like this, and it's super cool that it's finally happening. It's definitely been a ton of hard work, because it's a pretty big mountain and we've been building all of the features by hand, so you need a big crew for something like this to work and I'm super stoked to have one that's totally down to make this happen. We have been putting in incredibly long days; some nights we don’t get back to the house until 12:30am, and some features have been taking us two full days just to build. It's the most work I've ever put into a project, but the shots we’ve gotten so far are unreal so it's definitely been worth it.
With Nimbus producing it, does that mean that (Eric) Pollard will be editing it?
Yeah. It'll be Pollard, myself and pretty much everyone who's involved, including all of the filmers and athletes, but Pollard will oversee everything to make sure it’s flowing. We've got a bunch of cool ideas that we've been discussing and everyone has been living at my house in Hood River, which has been great, because we're all just hanging out together and everyone is 100% focused on the project this summer.
How special is it for you to be able to work with Pollard on this, being that he's your childhood hero and all?
It's cool, because I looked up to him a lot growing up. He’s a super creative individual and a really cool guy. We have talked about doing something like this in the past so I am stoked to make it a reality.
Which athletes are involved?
We’ve got a sick crew, and everyone is super good friends. John Spriggs, Tommy Ellingson, Ben Moxham, Nathan Wood, Nick Martini, Dane Tudor, Andy Mahre, and we’re hoping to have a quarterpipe session with Tanner (Hall) soon!
That's quite the line-up.
Yeah man. It's definitely a great group of riders to have involved, because we all get along really well so every day has been a super good experience. And best of all everything up there is new to us, because we've been exploring a bunch of different zones that none of us have ever been to before, so it's been super cool to see that side of the mountain. We've been spending a lot of time on the west side of Mount Hood, the Portland side of the mountain, and the sunsets there have been absolutely unreal. I’m really lucky to be going out with a crew of guys who are stoked to be up there on the mountain. Every day is a good day.
What kind of features have you been building up there?
We have been going crazy! (laughs) There’s been lots of shoveling. It would be funny to add all the hours up. Some features are super builds. We have been focusing on fresh features that no one has built before on Hood, like some new step-ups, hips and crevasse gaps. I also bought a little pipe from the local hardware store, and that has been lots of fun to play with.
Crazy. Has there been any new tricks going down that we'll get to see in the movie?
For sure. Every session all of the guys have been going off. There's a ton of snow up there, it's super soft and the weather has been great, so everyone has definitely been throwing down and stepping it up trick-wise.
Give us the details on the film's release.
The world premiere will take place at IF3 in Montreal, so I'm really hyped to release it there, and then a week after that we'll be putting it online through Nimbus.
How long have you been shooting up there for?
We've been shooting since the 7th of June, and we're planning on shooting until around the end of July. We've been going at it really hard so far, so we want to keep the same pace until we're done. Then we will begin the editing process
And later this week you're planning on doing a live video chat with all of the athletes involved in the project right here on Newschoolers. Give us the scoop on that.
Yeah it'll be going down this Thursday (July 14th) at 6pm PST/9pm EST. We'll all be hanging out at my place here in Hood River, so you can ask us anything you want about the movie and/or skiing in general. We'll be stoked to take your questions and get you excited for the project, so don't miss it!
Anything else you want to add?
I want to give special thanks to my sponsors for helping make this happen. Rockstar Energy Drink, Salomon, Nike 6.0, Skullcandy and Dakine. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to do this project. There are lots of steps for all of this to happen and I couldn’t do it without my sponsors’ help. I also couldn’t do it if it weren’t for the hard work from everyone in the crew. We have been putting in so much time and energy hiking and shoveling, and it couldn’t be done without everyone’s help, so big thanks! I can’t wait to drop On Top of The Hood this Fall; I think you guys are going to like it!