Winter Rodeo

Winter Rodeo

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What is the Holy Oly?


This weekend I had the opportunity to head down to Seattle to kick it with a couple friends of mine and head out to The Summit at Snowqualmie.  I had heard of an event going down so I talked to my buddy Scotty about it last week and we got plans in motion to go.  Friday was a bit of a mess.  I had wanted to get on the road by about 4 or 5 to get down South and possibly hit up night riding at Steven's Pass.  I met with a couple other people from my Finance 341 class to knock out homework that was due Saturday and it took us six hours to complete the assignment.  Scotty had been waiting for me to get on the road at 3, but I didn't get over to his house to pick him up until 630.  Night skiing was out.

We hopped on the road and got ahold of a friend of mine that lives in Seattle.  We hadn't seen each other in a few months so I decided that we would stop by for a spaghetti meal.  Cletus works the Race Team and Special Events at Snowqualmie and I figured that would work out rad to have someone in the know to show me around the place.  We ate dinner and hung out, waxed a couple boards, drank some beers.  Next thing I knew we were all getting in a cab headed to a club downtown.  I don't know if you are like me, but I don't exactly look the part for a certain type of city club.  

We got to the club and I was surprised that they let me in the door.  The dress code was no hoodies, hats, long sleeve t-shirts, etc.  I had a hoodie, hat, crazy facial hair and was allowed entry, sans hat of course.  Things were pretty decent inside.  Dim lighting, pool tables, video projection screens, attractive ladies, but way too many popped collars for me.  Not only that, but the way that the bar gets away with no cover has to be the fact that they charge 8 bones for a drink.  Not even a double, and 5 bucks for a draft beer.  Totally weak.  We had some drinks and before I knew it I was being physically picked up by a bouncer and "escorted" out of the bar.  While I was being carried I asked the dude what was up, to which the reply was "Don't fight it, shut up, outside."  I guess that's the protocol when dealing with undesirable hippie looking dudes in your not-so-classy club.  Scotty and I hung out outside waiting for the others around the corner.  We walked around the front of the building only to see them getting in a cab and taking off.  Nice.  By the time 4 AM rolled around we were finally making our way back to the house and totally wasted.  Not exactly what I had in mind when I left Bellingham earlier that night. 

After getting in a couple hours of sleep Scotty woke me up and we all got ready to go to the mountains.  We stopped and got some crappy fast-food, gas, and got on the road.  After stopping back by the house to pick up my phone.  (Did I mention I was wasted still?)  We got to the mountain around 930 or 10.  The first spot we rode was Alpental.  I had never been there before and was really excited to ride a new place.  The terrain was awesome, but no new snow in quite some time.  The South facing slopes were warming up, but the conditions were still not ideal for snowboarding.  We rode the lifts two or three times searching for pow, but only got into some on the North side of the mountain.  The top part of the hill was totally had and super icy.  We took the rope line down on the outer part of the ski area boundary and decided that we should go across the highway and try to find the "Holy Oly."

We first got to the Summit Central and checked out what time the park learning sessions were being offered.  It was about 1230, so we had an hour and a half to kill before we would be allowed to access the park.  We took some laps and raced around the hill for a while.  Checked back at the hut and drank a couple of beers in the trees getting safe for our park safety briefing.  The good news is that once you have sat through the video and filled out the necessary paperwork you are good to go for the entire season.  I don't know if I will be making it back down this year, but it is still good to know.  My homey signed my name up on the roster list for me.  The outcome: a one of a kind pass for yours truly.  Lesson learned:  Nothing ever comes for free, not even putting your name on a list.  =)

After we sat through the class and got our learn on we hit up the hill again, this time through the park.  The upper part of the park was pretty chill.  Nice little hips and some jib obstacles to play on.  After the first set they have a couple small kickers set up into your choice of two hip spines to air over.  I am proclaiming myself as "King of the "Gay"-Straight Air".  I can steez out the test run like no other.  By the time I made it back to the lift I had lost all three of my buddies.  Instead of riding the lift again I wanted to try and find this "Holy Oly" thing that was supposed to be going on.  Summit East they said.  

I ate a bagel or three and hopped in the truck, almost forgetting my board in the snowbank.  Drove over to the Summit East.  Still no "Holy Oly."  I met up with Scotty and we kicked it there for a while.  I tried calling Justin and Cletus several times each but to no avail.  Apparently they left their phones in the truck.  After about half an hour I heard my name being shouted across the parking lot.  They walked the whole way over to the other parking lot instead of taking the shuttle.  I guess that didn't help what concussion Justin had received riding through the park.  I guess communication only works when you try.  I got a little bit of an earful, but didn't really care too much.  Shit, I got left at the bar in Seattle the night before.  Shit happens, right?

We were all hungry and had been hearing about the Cobra Dogs and Olympia at the "Holy Oly" all day and it wasn't happening for us.  We asked one of the shuttle drivers where the damn thing was going down.  They said we were almost there, just keep heading down to Hyak.  We climbed back in truck and kept moving onward.  By the time we made it to the hill the competition was over and the other people walking down the hill told us that it was over, the Cobra Dogs were gone and we missed the Awards ceremony.  Damn.  So much for the "Holy Oly." 

(photo Pat Kennedy)
Congratulations to Austin Hironaka for taking the half-pallet of Oly and the title of "Holiest of the Oly".  Austin shreds and has some rad style!

After finding out that we missed the show and festivities we headed back to the Summit Central.  We went into the bar, had a beer and a burger.  Scotty wanted to ride more and I was completely rocked from the lack of sleep so I took a nap while he rode and Justin and Cletus drank a couple more beers in the bar.  After a few runs Scotty came back to the truck to see if I wanted to get some turns in.  I was so beat and could only think about the fact that we still had a lot of traveling to be done before I could get into my big bed and sleep for real.  I passed on the night skiing.  We took the gear back to Alpental and got on the road.   

Made it back to Bellingham around 1030.  Pretty much one of the craziest, fullest 36 hours I have had in a long time.  I'm still hungry and want that Cobra Dog with an Olympia, dammit.  Next year, for sure!

Ps. Avoid the Copper Cart in Seattle.
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Interesting Perspective

I am always looking for new and interesting perspectives on Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Action Sports, and Marketing. Along with those topics some related issues that interest me are Sustainable Marketing and bridging the gap between the growing nature of businesses and the goal of enhancing the current sports industry business model to a healthier design for all!