:::Author's Note-- I wrote this right after the Hail Bails & Grind Rails event, but never got around to posting it. I know some of the pictures have gotten around, and the event was in October (making the beginning lines a little awkward), but I still, really wanted to post this-Thankss! Jen:::
Hood says they have it. Itâ€™s been claimed to be meandering around Stowe, and supposedly has been hanging out in Alta for some time now. Cherished by many and missed by all, only few have been able to come in contact with it since the late sun-streaked days of spring. So many big mountains have been vying for their reconnection with it, as skiers and boarders all get clammy at the thought of it. (And no, we arenâ€™t talking about the fifteen year olds praying for a more pornographic ski from Head.)
On October 20th, you could find it in the most unlikely of places; Toggenburg Mountain. What could this up and coming mountain in New York offer at this time of year?
Doubt me if you will â€“ attack me with the â€œpics or it didnâ€™t happen!â€, but guys and gals, I assure you, the presence of snow was in the 315.
Unlike many mountains in the greater areas of Central New York, Toggenburg didnâ€™t hibernate all summer. From a year of crazy weather, no one on the Togg staff knew what to expect for the 07/08 season. With a good year of rail jams and big air contests behind them, the Park Staff knew that their reputation of excellence needed to blow itself out of the water for â€™08. With some shifts in directors, and feedback from riders, there is nothing but high hopes for the terrain park at Togg this year.
In hopes of nothing but perfection, the crew revived its 2007 â€œToggFestâ€ to raise money for their highly anticipated new park. In its second season, the event entitled Hay Bails & Grind Rails, took off around 1 in the typically cloudy Syracuse. The weather was dreary, but boarders and skiers from all over the east coast came home to drop into the long awaited snow.
At this point, Iâ€™m just waiting for your criticism. â€œBut itâ€™s just from the local ice rinks, itâ€™s not real,â€ you want to say. Well, yes, it was trucked in but, my, dear, dear friend, if you canâ€™t have sugar; youâ€™ll enjoy your Splenda, wonâ€™t you?
As over 250 people came through the doors, NSers and other locals were stoked to be surrounded with the likes of the Super Smash brothers themselves- Ahmet and Giray, and the Meathead boys- Andy Parry, Ross Imburgia, and Pat Cowan. The rails and boxes gleamed like gems against the fall foliage, and only made participants more eager to hit them. We all bit our lips as the first guinea pig launched himself onto the setup. The music of the winter, the friction melody of skis against rails rang in everyoneâ€™s ears. The season was officially started. As the rider popped off, he was met with loads of the countrysideâ€™s finest flakes. No, no, the local cheerleading squad, but flakes from hay bales which served as the landings for all of the afternoonâ€™s setups.
Nick Mir and Matt McGinnis, two key players in the event, noted the addition of the hay to the event. â€œIt was really helpful. Last year a big problem was mud,â€ said Matt. â€œBy laying down incredible amounts of hay, we were able to avoid that issue.â€ And incredible amounts there were. Some laughed as piles were reassembled beneath landings, but riders unanimously found it to be a good addition.
Three riders in particular found the hay bales themselves to be quite the addition to the day. Concluded to be one of the highlights, was when Giray, Andy, and Pat solidified their status of being innovative, daring, and yes, even a slight bit crazy. As we all watched, a hay bale was placed in the middle on the box. Most figured that it was to stop riders while they adjusted something, but the opposite occurred. Without warning, Andy Parry drops in towards the flat box. The naÃ¯ve just assumed heâ€™d push it, while others who knew Andy well, knew to expect nothing less than creativity. The six-foot-plus Andy launched himself up and over the hay bale. Barely clipping it, he took the hay bale and himself out. Eventually Giray and Pat joined in, only leading to more amazement and laughs from all. Matt McGinnis- no noob to skiing- was impressed, â€œwatching Giray, Andy, and Pat trying to jump a hay bale was definitely entertaining.â€
With two fulfilling jam sessions, riders were also treated with four films. Kicking off with the Meatheadâ€™s Wanderland, people could not have been more impressed. Sitting in the lodge of an east coast mountain, you could see kidsâ€™ eyes watering, unable to blink for fear theyâ€™d miss a great hit from LJ or a good laugh from Radio Ron. As if that wasnâ€™t enough, Level 1â€™s Realtime also was shown. For so many kids who had preordered the movies and had been watching trailers since July, this was a dream come true. Not forgetting the other half of the population that we share the mountain with, films by Think Thank and Rome SDS were on hand to satisfying the boarders on the premise. Both films were well received and showed some awesome shredding. At the end of the night, riders were treated to an additional showing of On Air by Tuckered Out Films- which had some segments filmed at the mountain. The grassroots ties and appearances by the riders made everyone able to leave happy.
As the sun sulked back behind the trees, the aftermath of product tosses and hard work was visible. Coordinators and participators alike called it a night and sighed with relief at the excellent success of Hay Bails & Grind Rails 07. Reviewing the night, McGinnis said about all those who came, â€œto those who did, thanks for coming out and showing your support, hopefully you had a good time, to those who didnâ€™t, hopefully we'll see you next year.â€
Giray, riding it out.
Andy, with some homegrown moves in his homestate.
Ross ruining my shot of Giray!
Erik Van Ingen, check out this muthafucka!
The Brothers. A tad blurry, but would you really want to see the details of this?
Jack Byers and Nick Mir, multitasking.
Thanks to our Sponsors!
Along with Jibij & Eesa!!
Thanks again to Matt McGinnis and Nick Mir!