Photos and Words: Matt Sklar
We’re back, and it feels like we never left. Mt. Hood welcomed us and all the West Coast Session family with a beautiful bluebird day. In this 9th installment of the event everyone knows the routine pretty well, with the newcomers falling quickly into place. Mostly everyone rolled into Windells yesterday, to reunite with the crew for the week. Joss, Laker and Napes even brought their own home on wheels to stay in with the rest of the camp squad, including Lucas Wachs and John Spriggs.
This morning we headed up to a pretty rocky and snowless Timberline where the park crew has done an amazing job of just keeping things running. After a pretty terrible snow year, T-Line is visibly hurting, with the run out to the lift getting pretty spicy and rocky by the end of the day. Regardless the skiers quickly fell back into the swing of things, lapping the park.
Andy Partridge on the classic Timberline S rail
Vibe is a word that gets thrown around a lot at events like these, and it seems like a kind of silly word when you really think about it, but damn, the vibe up here on Hood for WCS is good. Its like a family reunion of all the parkrats from all over the globe. Invited to the event or not, springtime brings all of these people together on the volcano to ski some park. The mindset and mood that WCS puts people in is almost tangible, a step onto Windells campus and into the roadhouse where mostly everyone is staying and you can tell all of these pros and friends are just here to relax, go skiing and have a good time.
So I guess what I mean by vibe in this case is the way that the event makes people feel and the way that memories are made year after year. When I first got here there were only a few other people who had arrived, they were talking about moments from past West Coast Sessions. That conversation stood out to me because no one could remember which year was which; there would be an "I think that was WCS 4," followed by "no man, that was definitely WCS 6." And while that may seem silly, the way that the events blur together goes to show how over the years the vibe has truly developed to the point where there have been so many memorable moments and times that they are combined into the spirit of the event.
This year’s setup is pretty fun as always, with a variety of rail options in the lower park and some jumps that we’re not quite sure where they found the snow to make them. In the upper park the featured feature of a, flat down flat up, got a workout today, with some pretty ballsy spins on and off getting laced up. Today was also the public day, featuring hotdogs served up by the boys from evo, who just opened up their second store down the road in Portland.
Locc dawg Forster Meeks of the Hood Crew
This year's setup
Photo: Jamie Walter
After a day of playing the slush down low, Jamie (1337) and I headed up to Palmer to check out the progress on this year’s signature feature. We got there as event organizer Ethan Stone and the Destroy Lab crew were putting the finishing touches on some of the really cool tranny opportunities that the skiers will get to explore over the rest of the week. We also got there just in time for an maybe slightly over-served Joey Van Der Meer to guinea pig the jump. (Check out our snapchat and Instagram for the video). Scrappy was followed by Robby Franco who took the jump to the Gucci plateau and near death. It’s a big jump, and it’s going to go off over the week.
So, to sum it all up, the vibes, whatever that means, were super good, the sun was shining and the homies are back in the Hood for what will undoubtedly be another great week out here at WCS.
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