Yes, this picture was taken last weekend.

by Ethan Stone

The tenth installment of Mt. Hood Meadows' annual Vegetate competition was supposed to be the biggest and best yet, but as usual, Mother Nature had different plans. Let's just say it's a good thing the competition funds wildflower rehabilitation on Mt. Hood, because at the moment the mountain looks a lot more ready for flora than freestyle.

The park crew had scraped together enough snow for a small stepdown hit that was then castrated by the addition of a double barrel rail across the flats of the jump. The result was a mediocre rail setup and a less-than mediocre kicker with no lip. The quarterpipe at the bottom had melted into a shapeless lump, and the C-rail added to fix the job had low, ill-aligned approaches. The locals threw down under a blazing summer sunâ??-that's not a good thing, mind youâ??-but because half of the competition was airing and half railing, no one really pushed each other into the realm of real competition.

Tommy Ellingson stomped a textbook 270 on, 270 off to take the 18 and over division without contest, and Reed Louis probably should have won the younger division with a dope flair. Most of the skiers chose to air on the jump, which was just plain and simple a bad idea on that sketchy of a setup. The snowboarders showed up the skiers for the day, taking their air larger and spins bigger, and one-planker Jake Noble (was that his name?) took the innovation cake for the day by jibbing off of his buddy's board and onto the rail.

1. Among twenty snowy mountains, the only moving thing was the eye of the skier.

2. I was of three minds, like a photo in which there are three skiers.

3. The snowboarder whirled in the spring winds. He was a small part in the pantomime.

4. A jump and a rail are one. A jump and a rail and a botched switch rodeo are one.

5. I do not know which to prefer, the beauty of inflections or the beauty of innuendoes, the skier 270ing on or just after.

6. The shadow of the skier crossed it to and fro.


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