By Eric Benedon
One of the greatest joys of snowboarding is being with your community. And that’s what Erik Leon’s “COREnation” rail jams are all about. Instead of a switch back lip, the judges are looking to see who is hyping each other up, giving tips on how to stomp that new trick, and cracking jokes while strapping in. Proceeds from each stop on the COREnation tour are donated to a local non-profit working to promote winter sports equity in their community.
COREnation’s final homecoming stop of 2022 raised funds to benefit Oregon’s own Snowdays Foundation, with resort partner Timberline hosting and support from sponsors evo and Smith.
With the rest of the country settling in for sunny park days, the Pacific Northwest had other ideas. After the stop was postponed a week because of a heavy storm cycle, a light snow didn’t stop 26 people from registering to lap the six feature course custom built by the Timberline Park Crew.
During the rider meeting, Erik reminded everyone that the main goal of the jam was to have fun and make friends. Right on cue, the sun peeked out just as Erik gave the go ahead for the first round. While I could write about the one-footers or the 270 hardway frontboard on the tube, some of the real highlights of the day were French lessons by a group of Quebecois skiers and all the riders doing a party line on the flat-down bar.
As the final round of the jam started, so did the snow. 15 riders hiked the course in near white-out conditions, all with huge smiles on their faces. Even though they could barely see each other, everyone kept cheering for each trick.
Before the awards, Erik told everyone “This stop became one of my all time favorite jams so far. Everybody had a good head on their shoulders and people genuinely wanted to help each other.”
When judges announced the “winners,” they shared their reasons why those riders encompassed the spirit of CORE the most: Tori Sharpe had a smile all day and spent as much time getting to know everyone as she did riding. Grant Stein drove all the way from Bend to really show that snowboarding is about fun and getting creative. 21 year old Owen Beale came up on his own and left with tons of new friends (and tricks). Sierra Clasen set an example of what it means to have good character on and off the hill. Laurent Lachance—one of the previously mentioned Quebecois skiers—was stoked the whole time and showed us that it actually is possible to look cool on two planks!
Beyond an awesome day for everyone at the jam, CORE raised over $1,500 for Snowdays Foundation, covering the cost of transportation for two of their trips.
Founded in 2004, Snowdays partners with youth-mentoring organizations In Portland and Bend/Central Oregon to empower youth through snowboarding. Snowdays removes barriers to access by providing instruction, meals, transportation, equipment and tickets at no charge. Trips create a safe space for students to challenge themselves and apply that success in their daily lives.
To learn more or sign up to volunteer with Snowdays Foundation, go to https://www.snowdaysfoundation.org/ or check them out on Instagram: @SnowdaysFoundation