As Timeless as a Twister: Stevens Pass Retro Fools Day 2013

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There are certain things in skiing and snowboarding that are timeless—the spread eagle, the Cossack, one-pieces, neon, snowlerblades (well, maybe not snowlerblades)…icons as relevant and respected by Tom Wallisch as they are Saucer Boy or TJ Burke. Whether you’re 50 or 15, there is an undeniable beauty to a pull-your-groin-extended daffy or a fully-arched backscratcher—add some Day-Glo and denim, and you can’t get closer to perfection.

There was no shortage of neon or spread eagles at Steven Pass Winter Resort’s fourth annual Retro Fools Day. The event, the creation and brainchild of Retro Snow’s Dave Billinghurst and Maxx von Marbod, is an ode to anything old and everything epic. While the previous year’s competition had been held under sunny skies and temps in the mid-50s, this year’s weather was friendlier to Gore Tex and pow skis than sunglasses, windbreakers and 210 cm Hexcels. But if there’s one thing that doesn’t phase PNW shredders, it’s storm skiing, and an impressively-large—and impressively retro-sporting—group of competitors gathered at the top of the slalom course. While heavy snow hid them from viewers at the base, riders were still hungry to brave the tightly-linked gates and anxious to see how many deductions their setups would earn.

And what a collection of setups—skinny skis, wooden skis, the earliest “parabolic” skis…even a monoski made an appearance. Deductions fell like the surrounding storm snow, with one-pieces, Ray Bans, rear-entrys and pre-race beer shotguns shaving multiple seconds of competitor’s times. Soon banks had formed on each of the turns, and as competitors finished their second and final run through the course, attention moved to the stunt ditch below the course.

The first halfpipes were basically hand-dug, hand-carved trenches, and the stunt ditch followed in that tradition, with some added rails, wall-rides and jumps added for flair. Riders hiked the feature for hours, ignoring the wet snow and wetter gear to push for the perfect spreader, twister, backscrather, backy—some of the braver riders even took their 200+-cm skinnies to the rails, possibly making history in the process. It was Scot Schmidt meets JP Auclair and Vincent Dorian, a combination that couldn’t have been more ridiculous or more…well, fun.

With closing time for the resort quickly approaching, shredders took their last runs before gathering for the awards ceremony. Trophies and gear were handed out to the most distinguished of the competitors—and I say most distinguished because everyone there deserved recognition for their commitment to a great time. Doug Coombs, TJ Burke, Dexter Rutecki, Saucer Boy—the legends would be proud.

A special thanks to Dave Billinghurst, Maxx Von Marbod, Nate Escalona, Jules Tracy and the Stevens Pass crew for an event as timeless (and radical) as the most styled twister-twister spread.

Results–Retro name/real name (deductions-final time):

Slalom Ski:

1st — Chipper Boyd/Karter Riach (-7/29.85)

2nd — Action Jackson/Jackson Dove (-10/31.72)

3rd — Ingmar Stenmark/Timothy Pier (-5/32.69)

Slalom Snowboard:

1st — Sargent Shred/Marcel Dolak (-5/40.35)

2nd — Ski N Ian/Ian Wood (-7/41.00)

3rd — Gorio Bustamante (-9/43.53)


1st — Johnny Mono/Steve Frink (-10/41.5)

2nd — Gay Blade/Greg Brailsford (-11.5/42.12)

3rd — Dirk Hammerstine/Thomas Kating (-8)

Stunt Ditch Ski:

1st – Wenzel Peikert

2nd – The dude who chugged a beer at top of course.

3rd – ???

Stunt Ditch Snowboard:

1st – Ian Wood

2nd – Nick Felt

3rd – Jamie Klontz

Chris Rudolph Radical Award – Geneva McQueen, accepted by husband Patrick McQueen

Best Method – Ian Wood

Ski Best Dressed – Teague Sauce

Snowboard Best Dressed – Girl with old goggles I think.


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