The West Coast Session at Mt. Hood, Ore., isn't a competition, exactly, it's an event for skiers by skiers where a smooth 180 gets just as many cheers as a dub cork 12. The event wraps up this week at Mt. Hood's Timberline. This year's list of riders included everyone from X Games gold medalists to unknown locals. Pros and up-and-comers ski the same park as teammates and friends and they're all there for the same reasons, to have fun and wrap up the winter season in style. Here are a few highlights of my time at the seventh annual West Coast Session this week.
The Ion/Camtrol Session Showdown format was a video contest that allowed teams to mix it up. Filmers chose riders in a draft format on the first day. This might feel like "waiting to get chosen for dodgeball" at the start, but everyone is easy going and it helps keep teams even weighted. Each rider brings their individual style of skiing to the team and the pieces fit together like a puzzle to make the final edit.
Variety of skiing styles as well as filming styles play a huge part in the WCS. For example, on the same day a team summited Mount Hood and shot from a plane with RED Cameras, another team was filming gapers with a VHS shoulder-mounted camera from 1988. Similarly, each skier looks at the park features differently and as a result, adds their own flavor to their team's video.
The First Annual Tommy Ellingson Invitational was a last minute addition to the West Coast Session. Local Mount Hood legend Tommy Ellingson and friends built a massive step up and quarterpipe out of bounds and were nice enough to let others come hit their spot. What started out as a few friends in the sidecountry quickly escalated into a full scale spectator event as the majority of WCS participants came out to ski and watch. Everything from smooth zero spins to triple attempts went down. Tommy and friends also put on a show by simultaneously hitting the step up and quarterpipe side by side.
In addition to the video side of the WCS, a few individual awards are given out at the end of the week to recognize riders who stood out. All awards are rider judged and whoever gets the most cheers wins.
MVP - Steve Stepp
Best Trick - Alex Beaulieu-Marchand - Dub Cork 7 at Tommy Ellingson Invitational
Repeat Offender - Ben Moxham (consistently skied well at past and present WCS)
All Day Syndrome - Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (skied hard all day, every day)
King Meat - Jamie Crane-Mauzy (crashed on double backflip, then stomped it at the sunset session)
Rookie of the WCS - Niklas Eriksson (stomped nose butter dub cork 12)
Photo Contest presented by Buff:
Best WCS Instagram: Tim Sargent photo of Pat Goodnough
Lifestyle - Charlie Bolte
Creative - Charlie Bolte
Comedy - Rocky Maloney
Best Jump Photo: Ethan Stone
Best Rail Photo: Ethan Stone