1999 Part II
DONNER PASS TRAIN GAP BLOWS UP
From Sugar Bowl’s Mount Judah, you can ski to Donner Pass. From the north face of Donner Peak, you can get to the often-photographed, highly-intimidating Donner Train Gap that saw its heydey in 1999 with shots of Shane Anderson back flipping over cargo trains. “There wasn’t a formulation of slopestyle and we were just trying to film different shit,” says Jimbo Morgan, Squaw Valley native. “Over a two-year period, there must have been 50 people who jumped the train. It was just another way to progress the sport by trying new things. Evan Raps spun a 360 over a Southern Pacifi c Railroad train! It was maybe a 50-foot jump but you had to commit. If you miss, you die. And at the time, it was so crazy.”
CR SPINS 1440 AT SQUAW
At the tender age of 15, CR Johnson spun onto the scene with a 1440 in Squaw Valley that was captured by Dave Norehad and ran in ski magazines world wide. Regardless of the spin-to-win rotation rather than smooth style, it showed the world of freeskiing that rotations outside of freestyle didn’t stop at 900 or 1260.
POOR BOYZ RELEASES 13
When 13 premiered at the Oakley HQ in LA, it was clear to everyone present that something big was happening in skiing. “The premiere of 13 is still one of the coolest moments I’ve had in my career,” says Johnny DeCesare, the movie’s creator. “That moment was when I knew something changed in the industry, not just for the core group of skiers, but there was so much industry there and they all went ape shit. It was the beginning of a new era.” “That’s the movie I watched one million times and confirmed that I had to become a freeskier.” — Boyd Easley
The year 1999 brought a new media outlet to the sport: Newschoolers.com. The site gained popularity quickly with its message boards, which allowed anyone to talk to everyone about everything they thought was cool, or lame. Love it or hate it, the site is the topic of constant controversy as kids argue over whether Tanner grabbed his ski properly in the 11th shot of his latest segment, or whether or not Grete is really pregnant. The site sold to Studio 411 this year, forever changing its dynamic. Whether the change is for better or for worse, only time will tell.
• First Red Bull Huckfest takes place in Snowbird, UT.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.