Nine years is longer than most things last: two-term presidential office stays, the value of some foreign cars and definitely the marriages of one Kim Kardashian. The West Coast Session has made it to its ninth year, and it has never been better. With an invite list longer than the Oscars, it attracts riders from countries like Germany, Spain, the good ‘ol US of A and many more. Everyone descends on Timberline Lodge, Oregon for a week to shoot photos and videos on some of the best-built features in the country.
The first day of the West Coast Sessions is a warm-up day of sorts and simultaneously allows the Mt. Hood public to lap the same features and jibs as all of the invited pros. The Timberline park crew has been able to keep the lower mountain public park in prime condition despite the low snow year. What was dubbed as a warm-up day turned into a full-on throw down. It didn’t take long for everyone to find their groove and start flexing on some of the more technical features. However, everyone seemed to have their sights set on the main WCS feature they knew was being brewed for day two, as many ventured higher up the mountain to take a peek at the masterpiece while it was still baking in the oven.
With the weather popping bluebird once again, the athletes loaded the upper Palmer lift on Mt. Hood to shred the main feature higher up on the mountain. And boy is she a ‘beaut. A double-sided hip with a wall ride, two bowls, two stalls and an 80-foot jump make for infinite line and trick possibilities. After a couple of sketchy, flail-filled guinea pig runs, most of the riders seemed to get the hang of the behemoth kicker and quickly started throwing down.
Meanwhile, other athletes were figuring out transfers, airs and innovative lines in the bowls located underneath the jump. After only half an hour, riders figured out how to maneuver the bowls and were receiving “oohs” and “ahhs” from the pack of onlookers perched up high to watch. After a bit of wind, a myriad of burgers and hot dogs and some ice-cold brews, many of the skiers headed back to hit the features and perfect their tricks in the waning light of the day.
With three days left, the WCS seems to have some troubling weather coming up, but it looks as if it will be clearing by the last day. Nevertheless, everyone will be out shredding and lapping the sick park that Timberline has to offer for all. Stay tuned for more shots in the days ahead.