“This is going to be awesome!” exclaimed Maks Gorham. “There are going to be so many people here.” Young gun Colby Stevenson adds, “This feature looks even more fun than West Coast Session’s (WCS).” Just a week after Destoy Labs built one of the most progressive features I’d ever seen for WCS, it one-upped itself for arguably one of its most innovative builds to date. And it was just in time for around 15 of the world’s top athletes to descend on Timberline, OR for #K2SpringTraining.
The all-star team consisted of veterans Pep Fujas and Andy Mahre, jibbers Clayton Villa and Sean Jordan, Collin Collins and Maks Gorham, plus youngsters Andy Partridge, Dylan Sondrup, Jacob Beebe, Josh Karcher and Colby Stevenson. Lest we forget Canadians Sean Pettit and Yuki Tsubota, and Aussie Anna Segal. How’s that for a lineup?
The weather didn’t exactly cooperate, but with a star-studded group like this on-hand the shenanigans would ensue regardless. Clouds and rain rolled on the first day of our gathering; the crew was subjected to a skateboard/trampoline session at Windells’ “BOB,” a quick cat ride to check out the feature on-hill, and a round of golf. Not for one second did any athlete or member of the K2 team doubt their circumstances or complain about the light drizzle and erratic weather. After all, they were at #K2SpringTraining, you better have serious fun or stay home.
Ultimately, the weather decided to give a little and provided a day of blue skies, mixed with rolling fog and a little wind—a weather theme that would prove to be quite common for the rest of the week. Sure enough, the riders got to stuntin’ right away. We saw handplants on the wall ride, switch and forward doubles over the 65 foot jump, quarter pipe airs, hip transfers and more. We even witnessed Andy Mahre brush off the cob webs, throw on some straight skis from the 1970s and toss a huge backy over the table. Collin Collins points out, “You never see Andy do backflips, I mean never.”
With windows of sunshine rolling in and out, it was a constant battle of hitting the features, waiting for the fog to dissipate, more skiing, waiting for the wind to die, etc. Of the three evenings we sat high on Mt. Hood waiting for ideal sunset conditions, we received only one opportunity to shoot with the sun low in the sky before, sure enough, the clouds rolled in. But one look at K2 staff photographer Alex O’ Brien’s camera roll, and it was easy to see that it was more than enough time to record a series of bangers.
A video posted by FREESKIER Magazine (@freeskiermagazine) on
Not only were the athletes charging hard and testing secret prototypes for 2017 release, they also got to hop on pairs of K2’s iconic skis from the 70s, 80s, and 00’s including some 255 Comp straight skis and AK Enemy’s. Without hesitation, the crew started busting tricks and nailing hop turns left and right on throwback skis. Who’d have thunk a pair of 30-year-old sticks could put a smile on so many faces?
With camera shutters snapping left and right and video cameras rolling constantly, the social media posts and the gallery above are only a sneak peek into the content the K2 team will be pushing out shortly from this trip of epic proportions.
We’re psyched to have been able to tag along. Thanks for the good times, K2!