[Ed's note: This story originally appeared on Freeskier.com on March 6, 2011. Recently, our friends at Monster produced a couple of videos showcasing action from the hill and behind the scenes footage. We released the first edit last week (September 13, 2011) and are now posting the second one for your viewing enjoyment. Enjoy.]
Monster invades Mammoth, Part I
Monster invades Mammoth, Part II
Although it has become a spring ritual for the Monster team and FREESKIER Magazine to join forces on a mellow season-wrapping photoshoot, this year was noticeably different.
Let's start with the location: This month, Monster began its activation at Mammoth Mountain; we collectively jumped at the chance for a change of scenery. Mammoth is of course a classic spring destination; the high-speed quad laps on the soft spring jumps and jibs of Main Park are hard to beat. Mammoth also put together three features up high on the mountain just for the Monster team to hit, a nice added bonus.
Which begs me to point out that these were legit features. I.e. they were scary, hard, worthy of a video part and even fun if you survived them.
First was a poppy step-over jump with an amazing back drop. Unfortunately, it claimed the heel of JF Houle and forced us to move on quickly as the winds picked up. Next was an all-time fun setup consisting of two double-sided quarter pipes with an offset gap. Not making sense? It didn't to anyone until you saw a skier do a trick, land on his or her feet, and ski away in the wrong direction. More than one athlete finished their trick and couldn't even figure out themselves what they had done. The final feature, something you'll have to see to believe, was a pillar of snow designed for Mr. Tom Wallisch himself; he sessioned the feature with a handful of brave newcomers.
And that brings us to another change: the athletes. Of the skiers who attended my first Monster de Mayo shoot two years ago, only Colby West was in attendance this year because of injuries to TJ Schiller, Jossi Wells, Corey Vanular and Peter Olenick. The highlight this year was the addition of the "Little Rascals," as Justin Dorey dubbed them. As a group they were guinea pigs, mascots, inspiration and jaw-dropping ability all together. James Woods, Alex Schlopy and Spencer Milbocker hung with Wallisch on the Pillar; Chris Laker, Parker White and Milbocker had a wind defying session on the kicker. Henrik Harlaut, White, Schlopy, Laker and Spencer were all trying to one-up Wallisch and Dorey on the quarter pipes; and before you go crazy looking at too many names, let me simply say the gang impressed us all.
The lovely ladies Sarah Burke and Keri Herman were also in attendance; the dynamic-duo provided constant positivity, ensuring the gang was all smiles all week long.
The final change was the weather, which refused to cooperate during the course of the six-day-long shoot. From wind to snow to clouds to brilliant sun, we had it all. When all was said and done this was the most stressful, most fun, most frustrating and most importantly, most productive spring Monster-shoot yet.
FREESKIER would like to thank Cody Dresser and Davey Smidt at Monster Energy; Josh Chauvet, Joanna Kaylor, Michael Gregory, Tyson Kaylor and the entire marketing and park staff at Mammoth Mountain; all the athletes and their sponsors; and Freedle, Decker, Joe and Duncan (the filmers). We're already looking forward to next year.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery for some fun pics from the week. Also, stay tuned to the next cycle of FREESKIER to see the banger action, and to hear some funny stories. Lastly, keep an eye out for a killer video that we'll be churning out; it'll be featured here on the site, and on the FREESKIER Podcast in the fall.