Following the first two days of West Coast Session 9—a public day for all to enjoy and the second day on the massive feature—the next couple of days would be hard to top. But leave it to good ‘ol mother nature and the digging crew at WCS to prove us wrong. After a classic Oregon squall rolled through on Tuesday providing fog, rain, snow and everything in between, the riders were back at it, crushing rails and sending jumps in the public park.
Some of the storm left overs decided to stick around for Wednesday, which provided for a very interesting mix of weather with dumping snow one minute and spots of blue sky the next. The fresh snow proved to be some of the stickiest I have ever skied, but as usual, the riders pressed on, not holding back, and showed why they really are the professionals they are. Rain or shine, these boys were out hiking the infamous S rail and the ever so tricky Flat Down Flat Up rail. Mix in some small kickers and a handful of other rails, and this short but sweet day proved to churn out some great photos and videos.
This was the day. Everything relied on the last day for the session to be deemed a success. You never want to rely on the last day for everything to happen, but with difficult weather conditions making a feature mega-session impossible on any previous days, Thursday was our only hope.
It started with a day session; four hours of progressive jumping and jibbing. There were doubles, triples, hand drags, tranny finders and hip senders. This dynamic feature allowed all skiers of different styles of skiing to pick and choose how they wanted to use it. No transition, rail, wall ride or lip went unused. As expected, the 80-foot kicker saw most of the love, and before you knew it, the session was put on hold to give the athletes and cameramen a break and let the sun dip into the Pacific Northwest sky.
After a quick rake and groom, the feature was back on. The slush had frozen making the speed fast and the snow hard. But now was not the time make excuses or blame the conditions. Sunset is where the bangers go down and boy Mt. Hood didn’t cease to amaze. One after another, the riders pulled out their smoothest and best looking tricks as the video cameras were recording and the camera flashes were popping. With the colors continuously changing, as many riders as possible cycled through trying to get their shot, and as quickly as it started, it was over.
Finishing off with a quick and bumpy ski to the car in the darkness, the riders, cinematographers, photographers and friends gathered at Windells for the West Coast Session 9 awards. As is tradition, each winner and speech giver was forced to shotgun a beer (21+ only), setting an aggressive tone for the evening. As sad as it is to say, West Coast Session 9 is a wrap. But on the positive side, only 359 days until WCS 10! See ya there.
Rookie of the Year: Jonah Wiliams
Best Trick: Zak Mousseau (Zero Spin)
MVP: Lukas Schaefer
All Damn Day Award: Joona Kangas
King Meat Award: Reed Lewis
Repeat Offender Award: Jon Marks