Words: Ethan Stone
Anticipation was high leading up to the third annual West Coast Session, and the Mt. Hood area was abuzz with spring ski fever. Thanks to the dedication of the terrain park crew, Timberline's park flow had undergone a season's worth of expansion and refinement and was in prime condition for the shoot. By chance Poor Boyz Productions was also in town filming at last year's WCS host Skibowl, meaning a whole lot of gnarly ski action was going down all at once in the Hood.
A park stacked with features, and a group of 30-odd highly talented young skiers and cameramen come to session and document it – it seemed nothing could stop WCS 3 from taking things to a new level. Even the ever-fickle April weather grudgingly coughed up a few choice sunny days for the crew's enjoyment.
Like other film and photo shoots, the West Coast Session gives athletes and sponsors alike some welcome and well-deserved exposure, and unlike shoots, WCS incorporates the public with an open jam session capping off the shoot. But by far the best facet of the Session is our commitment to presenting all of the action for free to our online audience. This is the 2009 West Coast Session – enjoy.
Emails, meetings, phone calls, announcements, preparation, long drives or longer flights – waiver signing, 8:00am welcome breakfast at Windell's, load the car – short drive up Highway 26 and Timberline Road – all of a sudden, WCS day one is in the works and going off.
Tom Wallisch. photo: Stone
Timberline's park layout: two separate runs down the Stormin' Norman lift. Conway's park featuring seven intermediate jumps above a half-dozen rails and boxes; and Paintbrush, the premiere park, boasting two smooth tables into a well-proportioned stepover jump, followed by rail and box options pushing the envelope in possibility. Needless to say, the WCS riders are tearing up the place.
Jeff Kiesel. photo: Stone
Collin Collins. photo: Stone
Wallisch. photo: Stone
Tim McChesney. photo: Stone
Witt Foster sends the gap box. photo: Ryan Gertken
Tim McChesney, backside 450 off the green thumb. sequence: Rocky Maloney
Wallisch. photo: Maloney
Witt on the trap rail. photo: Maloney
McRae Williams. photo: Stone
Making the most of a choice park day, Mt. Hood hometown heroes Sammy Carlson and Eric Pollard are out shredding alongside the out-of-towners, and local Gresham rider Garrett Rowley is out to test his mettle amongst the big dogs.
Sammy Carlson. photo: Stone
Garrett Rowley switch 540 japan. photo: Stone
Landis Tanaka gets in the air chair. photo: Stone
After an uninterrupted day of testing the waters in Paintbrush, the crew is stoked on the features, and of course everyone's pleased to return to Windell's and spend the afternoon in a whole new playground.
If you've been to BOB before, you might be stoked to see that the skatepark was completely rebuilt this spring. And the foam pit and trampoline are as fun as ever.
Tom Wallisch, pro rollerblader! photo: Braunstein
Day two gets dealt a rough hand: a stiff spring cocktail of snow, rain and wind blows in. Undaunted, the session moves down the mountain to the rail zone for a good old-fashioned hike sesh on the S-rail, down flat down and the booter box.
4bi9's AJ Dakoulas, this year's WCS birthday boy. photo: Paul Braunstein
A break in the clouds. photo: Stone
Day two brought some welcome additions to the crew: LJ Strenio and the Traveling Circus duo of Will Wesson and Andy Parry. photo: Benjamin Krause
Andy doing his thing. Photo: Braunstein
Tim McChesney. photo: Maloney
Max Peters backflips through a late April snow flurry. photo: Stone
Josh Bishop, master of the pole flip. photo: Stone
450 on. photo: Stone
Garrett Rowley has no fear of the wallride. photo: Stone
Tom Wallisch 360-up, front 270 out. sequence: Maloney
In no time at all it's Friday morning, the final shoot day before the Saturday public session, and everybody is stoked to see that the sunny forecast has proven accurate.
Today there's a big new peach to be nibbled – a very large jump measuring 98 feet to the knuckle, handcrafted for us by T-Line's Logan Stewart for a sunset shoot, weather permitting. After an hour of warmup in the park, the call is made to head for the jump. The peanut gallery mills about and people carrying expensive lenses scurry around scoping angles. McChesney guineas and lands clean, and a big green flag starts waving: the session is on.
Alex Martini. photo: Stone
Amplid team rider John Rodosky was getting down alongside the two-plankers. photo: Braunstein
Tim McChesney. photo: Maloney
The peanut gallery oohs and aahs while someone is totally getting shot for Newschoolers on his phone. photo: Gertken
John Kutcher. sequence: Braunstein
Wallisch. sequence: Maloney
Sean Jordan switch 540 - click to go big! sequence: Stone
Tim McChesney switch 720 - click to go big! sequence: Stone
With the monster jump proven viable, the stage was set for an epic sunset shoot. Poor Boyz had gotten involved last-minute to help make this a possibility, and Matt Walker, Nick Martini, Pete Alport and Matt Stauble came up to join the action. Timberline quickly whisked everyone by snowcat to the jump site, and for one more time at WCS 3 it was on.
Kiesel, Kentaro, Walker and Tatsuya getting stoked for the shoot. photo: Stone
Look what the cat dragged in! photo: Darcy Bacha
Wallisch at the top of the long drop-in...
...and the bottom. photos: Stone
McRae Williams. photo: Stone
Kentaro Tsuda. photo: Bacha
Nick Martini. photo: Bacha
Kiesel. photo: Stone
Tom finished the session with the world's smallest lincoln loop. photo: Stone
With the sunset shoot nailed, the film portion of the 2009 West Coast Session was finished, and it was time to kick back, relax, and get some much-needed sleep in preparation for park shredding with the hordes of Newschoolers from around the Northwest guaranteed to show up the next day for the public session.
Show up they did, even though the weather turned out to be less than inviting. The Timberline parks were packed to the gills on Saturday with skiers of all ages come to see, ride, and maybe get some schwag along the way. Check the WCS Day 4 article to see some photos and a video from the day.
Ari DeLashmutt. photo: Benjamin Krause
Once all was said and done, a vote was held by the riders and filmers to determine the WCS 3 Honor Roll, five skiers whose talent stood out the most during the Session. The rewards of being the cream at WCS: mad Internet cred, and a fat bag of gear contributed by Dakine.
WCS Rookie: Sean Jordan
After flying in from Pennsylvania to take part in the Session, young Sean Jordan lost no time impressing everyone with his confidence, large trick repertiore and impeccably clean style, earning himself the title of best rookie at WCS.
Best trick: McRae Williams (switch double cork 1080)
Click to go big! sequence: Maloney
Park City's McRae Williams speaks softly and carries big tricks. His perfect switch double on the 100-footer was unanimously voted the best trick of the Session, but it was his overall performance throughout WCS that really turned heads. McRae Williams is a force to be reckoned with.
McRae tranquilly grabs blunt cab 10 into the sunset. sequence: Maloney
MVP: Tom Wallisch
The organizers didn't really want Wallisch to be voted anything because he gets so many props already. But hell, he got voted MVP and he deserved it, for setting the standard on just about every feature during the event. His prize was a can of PBR.
Switch 9 japan, all kinds of gnarly. photo: Maloney
Goin' Places (Most likely to win next year's Superunknown): Tim McChesney
The prize for the "Goin' Places" title was fittingly a huge Dakine ski bag, for the winner to use to tote his gear to all the places he's goin'. Now Tim can bring a buddy along for free when he travels.
Repeat Offender: Steve Stepp
Click the photo to go big! sequence: Stone
The Repeat Offender award went to the returning WCS rider who stepped it up the most since last year. Everyone agreed - the Goblin was on his game. Yo Steve, if you didn't get your Dakine gloves yet, it's because Kutcher made off with them.
WCS 3 Videos
Day One edit from Duncan Lake/Junction 133
Day Two edit from Duncan Lake/Junction 133
"Westbound and Down" from 4BI9
Jump edit by Gris
Tim Durtschi/Landis Tanaka edit
Derek Sproul edit
West Coast Session sponsors
A huge thank-you goes out to the individuals and companies who contributed their time, money and expertise to help the Session reach its full potential.
Amplid: Brandon Pastucka & Brian Sites
Timberline: Jenny Johnson, Logan Stewart, & Brian Reed
Windells Camp: Sean Harkins, Tim Windell, & Austin Stevens
Dakine: Randy Torcom, Scotty Conerly
Spy: Valerie Gee
Innate: Cory Warren
Thanks also to all of the riders and filmers who commited their time and energy to the event; everyone who turned out for the public day; Timberline park crew for being world-class hosts; and Stephan, Matt and Kate for helping build Frank the snowman. See you next year!