Andy Parry’s Tell a Friend Tour came to Grouse Mountain on March 2nd, 2019. It was the second time the tour had graced the west coast resort. Something in the range of 30 skiers, many of them wearing fleece with baggy pants, joined him for the day-long session. Under blue skies daubed here and there with gauzy clouds, the group alternated between long laps of the terrain park and more deliberate hike sessions at a few different features.
Andy Parry in the flesh
Among the skiers were two of Grouse Parks’ staff, Erik and Cole, aka. “Randy Savage.” They are in part responsible for the mountain’s A-grade park setup which winds down Side Cut and provides plenty of opportunity for mid- and advanced-level skiers. The rails are well maintained, take-offs are clean, there is variety beyond just down-rails and double kinks. Over 25 years, Grouse Parks have built a very respectable program, serving several generations of riders.
On this day, many of the young shreds seemed to be affiliated with a crew called Chef Boyardee. Some also workout with the Grouse Freestyle team, some are just locals. Their style is inflected with the symbols of new wave skiing: over crooked blind switch-ups to switch, lots of one-foot tricks; the wrists point outward, palms down, as if to smooth out each trick upon landing.
Andy has brought with him Jeff Kohnstamm and Petey “Two Holes” Koukov, who spent the morning filming for TAFT’s weekend edit. Keegan Killbride was meant to join them, however a mix-up at Delta Airlines left him without ski gear so he was relegated to a rental snowboard. Local sweet boy and Line Skis affiliate Mack Jones was also in attendance, to provide hospitality and good humor. He spun a couple laps with BrownSpy and Darren Rayner, reminding us of Grouse Park’s lineage which includes local heroes PYP and Voleurz, predecessors of the Boyardee kids out here today.
Local millionaire Mack Jones watches a kid get corked
As the day wore on and the sessions progressed, the vibe was plainly evident. Having been to a couple TAFT stops over the years, I can tell you that Andy is so good at making people feel welcome at his events. As a kid it’s easy to feel shy about approaching anyone, let alone your favourite skier, yet Andy takes pains to let everyone know that they are right where they’re supposed to be. This can feel inspirational, and a few tricks were landed by folks who had surely never landed them before.
Around 3:30, with the line at the Screaming Eagle chair stretching into its weekend afternoon insanity, we retreated indoors for the hallmark pizza party and raffle. Andy hollered a few words about the importance of coming out and skiing with your friends, and reminded us all to lobby our local mountains to keep events like his coming back each year.
Thanks For having us!