The #K2springtraining Experience

Words & Photos: Ilanna Barkusky

I had only recently unpacked my bags from the West Coast Session 9 when I got the opportunity to head back to Mount Hood to hang out with K2 at their spring shoot. Without needing very much convincing, I loaded up my skis once again and headed for Oregon. I was told that there was going to be a lot of 'shenanigans' involved, and that most certainly did not prove to be a lie.

First day recap:

Sean Pettit and the '244 short' skis

We pulled up at Windells and having only been gone about three days, I definitely had deja vu. I dropped my stuff and headed to the presentation given by those behind the brand. We got to hear about some K2 history and see some cool advertising that never made the cut. Little did I know that the same skis used in those photos were going to be absolutely shredded throughout the next few days! Pep Fujas was also in the house to talk ski design with the athletes.

Team K2 knows how to throw it back better than anyone

Sean Pettit and Sean Jordan hit up the race course on the retro K2 skis

Many companies these days have their own hashtag or trademark on social media, but as I learned, K2 takes their slogan #seriousfun to a whole new level. Everyone was always having fun, no matter the weather. That's saying a lot, as the weather conditions proved pretty un-cooperative throughout the week. We got precipitation, we got fog and we got a weird haze (that looked pretty interesting for photos).

Andy Mahre having #seriousfun on the retro skis

Colby Stevenson amidst the haze while Alex O'Brien gets the shot

Despite the wind destroying our shelter (RIP red tent) and some persistent fog, the crew's spirits remained high for the sunset shoot that was planned for Friday night. This was mostly thanks to a delivery of burritos and the Illusive Joe Joe keeping everyone stoked (check the link for video evidence).

He might be illusive, but he also knows how to get the shot

All of a sudden, the winds died down and the clouds started moving extremely fast below us, setting up good conditions for the sunset session we had waited all day for!

Andy Partridge

Colby Stevenson

Dylan Sondrup and Joe Joe

Sean Jordan

Jacob Beebe

Maks Gorham

We woke up most days to rain down at Windells, but I can confidently say I have never been more stoked to go up the hill despite the conditions. Take it from me, K2 knows how to have a good time, no matter the weather. It was all about having fun with this crew, whether it be playing an intense game of Heads Up! or ripping around on retro skis. When they say #seriousfun, they are not kidding around (well, maybe).

#K2SpringTraining Awards:

MVP: Maks Gorham

Rookie: Colby Stevenson

Best Trick: Joe Joe's cossack over the crew (see video above)

Fog doesn't stop Maks Gorham and Colin Collins from having fun - on very different types of skis

The crew reviewing the footage

Thanks to Steve, Alyssa, Zach, Drew and everyone else at K2 for having me along for the ride, as well as a big thank you to all the skiers for throwing down in front of the lens and making me laugh 100% of the time.