Park Update Part Two.
Wellafter two successful park shoots at Stevens Pass and Shasta we were off to Squaw Valley USA. On arrival to our rental home we were stoked to find a six-bedroom house designed by someone in the late 60’s who possibly enjoyed mind-altering substances. The crew consisted of, D Spong, AJ Burton, Richard Permin, Kyler Cooley, Dylan Natale, Ian Cosco, LJ Sternio, Mike Mertion, David Lesh, Colby Albino, Gus Kenworthy and Taylor Felton. Once we got to the hill, we knew we were in for a good time. The Squaw park staff lead by TR had built multiple features including a 100 foot step down jump, 70 foot table, a largehip and multiple other jibs.
For the next 5 days the house progressively got messier and our hard drives filled up. The crew slowly disbanded as athletes wrapped up their season. Here are some of the highlights from the trip.
On the first day of shooting we warmed up on a double line in the public park. Cosco is one who always thinks differently. He refuses to set in to just stock tricks and always tries to progress. As everyone set into their tricks including Felton’s kangaroo flip and Gus’s switch double flip, Cosco decided to give a switch double cork a try but in a different way from the norm, instead of rotating his natural way, he decides to throw it unnatural. In finishing his rotation to 10 he over rotates it by a smudge, catches an edge in the slush and KO’s himself. Although out for the week, he would end up walking away from a really hard fall.
To this point we have been traveling with Derek for the last few park shoots.Unfortunately, we have only seen a glimpse of his skill do to a bruised heel suffered at Stevens. At Squaw he began to hit the jumps and for the last few days he would put on a show. For a quiet kid It’s easy to figure out when Derekis stoked on something. He will begin to ask questions such as "what time can we begin to hit the jumps", or for how long.
The 100 ft step down became a project for Derek. As the crew watched him begin with all four rotations of a 5, we quickly realized that he wanted to showcase all of his tricks. By the fifth day all he was slaying his switch right 10’s and forward right 9’s. Needless to say Derek killed it at Squaw.
On the last day of the shoot, the crew was pretty much beat from six days of park skiing, besides AJ Burton, Spong and Mike Wilson. In typical Mike Wilson fashion, he skied really mellow for the morning doing rodeo’s and forward fives. As the day was coming to an end, One of Mike’s crew announced that he was going to try a new double. Mike came in with a ton of speed and threw what looked like the first misty 5 to switch flippy five double. You have to ask Mike what it was, but it was a perfect capper to the Squaw shoot.
Many thanks go out to the Squaw crew for building and maintaining a super fun park.Thanks as well to Savannah, and TR for letting the Rage crew come down to Squaw and film in the park.
After Squaw we condensed the crew and headed north to Rage’s stomping grounds, Mt.Bachelor. The crew now consisted of two groups. Team Canada included Mike Mertion, Ian Cosco, and newby Matt Margetts. Team America was composed of Dylan Natale, Mark Dvorak, AJ Burton, and LJ Strenio. Our intentions were to build a sizeable jump that faces the sunset high up on Mt, Bachelor. This was to be our last shoot of the year. The weather called for sunny days but high winds from a heat wave that was to play a major factor.
We built a rail-to-rail feature to occupy the time as the jump was being formed. The rail feature once again turned into an LJ show as he destroyed it with a large variety of tricks. The kid is so hard to satisfy and will keep trying until he is completely exhausted, or our camera battery dies. Margetts also stepped up his game and showed that he is one to look out for. On a side note, during the rail session Mertion decided to hit a nice windlip next to the feature. He began launching double backs and even a couple double flat attempts to complete flat, just for fun during a lunch break.
By Thursday morning, Hames Ellerbe, the park director, had finalized the 85+ jump for our sunset shoot. Right about the time that the jump was prepared the wind began to pick up and put a quick end to any chance of the crew testing it out.We would have to wait for the next day. Friday would be the majority of the crew’s last day on the hill. Most of our athletes were by now out of money and had delayed their trip home multiple times. The forecast called for temperatures reaching 80 on the mountain. We decided to show up at the crack of dawn before the wind picked up. To our disappointment it was howling on our arrival to thejump at 6:30 am. We decided that it was us against nature and we would hold out until the wind died.
After about 10 hours of waiting and watching the jump quickly melt, the wind finally began to let up.Our crew quickly assembled and after a sketchy overshoot by LJ, speed was figured out and filming resumed. Our plan was simple, get used to the jump and wait until sunset to get some bangers. We had a window between 8:15 and 8:45pm to get the shot we were looking for. Once the sun dipped close to the horizon. AJ, (rage’s redneck filmer) and I would have to haul ass to the bottom, pick up all the skiers, run them to the top, set up, shoot the jump, and repeat. 45 mph sled laps over huge ruts was worth assuring sunset footage. The sunset ended up being perfect rewarding us for waiting for over 12 hours. Thanks go out to Hames and the rest of the Bachelor crew for not giving up during the heat wave park shoot. Although a couple of shots might be added from Mt Hood and elsewhere, this was the last major shoot for our 2008 ski project, and a great way to leave on a positive note.
Oh, by the way the teaser officially drops on Wednesday June 11th, but can possibly be found somewhere on the internet before hand.