7th annual Holy Oly Revival: Billygoats, beers and berserkers
Neither God, nor Mother Nature, too few Cobra Dogs nor Peter Line’s busted thumb could stop the most divine anti-contest of snowboarding’s grassroots–which, don’t mind if we do, are deepest in the Northwest. The 2010 Holy Oly Revival went off this weekend back at its original venue at Snoqualmie East, aka Hyak. The slope was wracked last year by a mudslide, but this year Krush and his crew (Snowboy Productions + the Summit-at-Snoqaulmie) hauled in truck load after truck load of snow from all over the resort to build up the massive quarter pipe, which Mother Nature then tried to destroy with her 50 degree heat surge.
The Northwesterners came to party, though, and a little hike up the steep hill due to the lifts being out wasn’t going to stop anybody. With the Oly Beer can balloon standing watch over the exhibition and emcee Jesse Burtner’s all-too -familiar voice a never-ending flow of stoke energizing the crowd, all backdropped by the epic valley cut through the Cascades, one couldn’t help but feel at home, ready to party and far, far away from the stuffy Olympics.
‘Course it all comes down to the riding, and if she did nothing else Mother Nature delivered a sunny spotlight on the pros who came to shred. Which they did with methods, mctwists, dual handplants (Bridges and Craven) and big airs so high they made the nearly 30-ft quarter pipe succumb to domination. From the East, Danny Garity, Nate Ferrell and Forest Bailey gave the West’s finest– Austin Hironaka, Blair Habenicht and Pat McCarthy–a run for their beer-pallet trophies. This year, Tube City, a three-tubed corral with a high-standing hitching post, saw riders and snowskaters throwing down in the only jib session that could rival what was going off in the QP. Forrest and Jess Kimura were the champs of jibbing and took home the “Mayor of Tube City” and the “Y Chromosome” awards, respectively.
In the QP, Bryce Neibuhr went higher every time he dropped in (and garnered the Highest air/ Best Facial Expression award); Justin Heath served up mctwists and Danny Garity delivered half of the 1,000 methods thrown that day himself, or at least that seemed to be the case because they came so often and so polished. Not surprisingly, he went home with his second Northwest Method Award.
As the sun set behind the mountain and the shadows creeped down the run-in and up the quarter pipe, the sound track kept a’turnin’. The contest wouldn’t be over until Van Halen sang. So the riders kept at it. Sean Tedore, who designs boards for K2, can also ride them. He went home with the Hardest Charging Industry Dude Award. Blair Habenicht’s “has left the building” tendency to shoot up the QP and transfer to the backside full-bore earned him the first-ever Billygoat’s gruff award. And Devin Elliot’s switch mctwist 720 was named the Best Trick. But alas it was none other than local hero Austin Hironaka who was the Holiest of Olyers for his combined display of style, grace and gnar in both the QP and Tube City. You can be sure, he’ll be back next year defending that title–and for many years to come, because like the Holy Oly he’s from the Northwest and well, don’t mind if we do, but God himself couldn’t uproot that soul.
For me, this was my second Holy Oly, and not to be my last. I saw a lotta friends (Broweathers, bunnyman, Spacecrafters, industry folk and non) and made some new acquaintances, including Shayboarder, who is as friendly in person as she is on her blog.
Whether or not spring is here to stay in the Northwest, the anti-comps and holy heroes are already legends. They’re not going anywhere, regardless of what direction snowboarding goes. So crack a cold one, stuff a Cobra Dog in your mouth and go shred on whatever layer of snow you’ve got, because that’s what we’re doing, and Lord knows we sure as hell ain’t even close holy. Here’s to another rad one.
All of the winners:
We don’t need no stinking binders award: Jake Tomlinsin
Hardest Charging Industry Dude: Sean Tedore
Russell Winfield Award: Russell Winfield
Beserker Award: Nate Farrell
Y Chromosome: Jess Kimura
Best Trick: Devin Elliot
Mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey
Highest air/ Best Facial Expression: Bryce Neibuhr
Billygoat’s Gruff Award: Blair Habenicht
Northwest Method Award: Danny Garity
Holiest of the Oly: Austin Hironaka