From July 17-23 a small but potent portion of the SLUSH staff made the pilgrimage to Mount Hood- the Volcano that has helped define an immeasurable number of snowboarders globally since the 80’s. Officially, we were there to help facilitate the HCSC Photo Workshop run by Andy Wright, Darcy Bacha and Tim Zimmerman. Unofficially, we were there to craft a secret competition between the various brands that found themselves on hood that same week.
The Smells Like Team Spirit challenge aims to deem a winner of a contest no one knew they were in. Because after all, It’s much more important to win when you think no one is watching. Or you know, something like that. When the staff first arrived at Hood we immediately got to work devising the list of tasks that would both gain your team points, and lose points. To those of you who received a green wristband from us, well, that was perhaps the backbone to the whole contest. The wristband was of course for nothing, but turned out to be one of the most interesting social experiments we’ve ever conducted at SLUSH (also technically the first). Anyway, below is the full list of points for the challenge. Turns out Government Camp life is predictable enough that MOST things on this list were achieved.
- Accept Green Wrist Band (additional point for every day you keep it on, must keep it on for the whole day for it to count)
- Doubles with a teammate
+1 if it’s a rail
- 900 on the road gap
- In trouble with ski camp
- 450 off rail
- Filming on actual camera
- Rider Helps or even talks to a camper
- Team has a house party
- Team Manager parties at different team’s house
- Team Manager gets clip
- Rider signs an autograph
- Worst sunburn
- Summit Hood (1 point for each team member)
- 720 with backpack on
- Backflip ski jump
- 900 in mini pipe
- Clip a ticket from a Ski Racer
- double cork top jump
- Eat a "Bacon Wrapped Slaw Dog" at Charlies
- Hit less-popular road gap
- Get a gram-able photo from a photo camper
- Sunset session
- Flip a table
- Win horseshoes at Charlies
- Last team member at Charlies
- SLUSH sticker on snowboard
- Buy SLUSH staff member a drink
- Team member over 40 years old gets clip
- Someone on staff out-parties rider
- Spray Paint an abandoned vehicle
- Straight-line a mogul field Top-to-bottom
- Turn down the wristband.
- Post clip of a handplant below the coping.
- Non-make claimed as make.
- Buy the wrong lift ticket.
- Steal Bridges’ food.
- Back three on. Front one out.
- Majority of the team doesn’t make it on the hill.
- Forget boots.
- Ask how the season was.
- Drop a Volcano Cone on the ground.
- Turn down an invitation to the “Block Party” with Pat .
- Lose a drinking game.
- Fuck up the hours of Govy Gen and go after it’s closed.
- Claim Mountain Moka is good.
Ride, Salomon, Jones, K2 were the teams we outlined at the beginning, though we would consider adding Signal upon their arrival mid-week, and a surprise to no one, we decided to also start keeping track of “Team Katie” perhaps our staff’s best snowboarder who also happens to be our Social Media Manager that seemed to forget at times we were doing the competition. To be Honest, team Katie may have won this whole contest, but what’s the fun in awarding one of our own?
Team Jones consisted of Jeremy Jones Himself, Garret Warnick, Melissa Krawczak and some accompanying media. Considering a good number of points had to do with partying, we didn’t really consider Jones to be a real contender. But then we caught wind that their entire squad summited (nearly 7 points right off the bat) and would do it again two days later. Jones was stacking points via elevation and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Team Salomon was the official Pro sponsor at HCSC. Their squad was massive which gave them a wide-spread ability to stack points. Bode Merill, Tommy Gesme, Louif Paradis, Harrison Gordon, Sven Throgren, Zak Hale, Riley Nickerson, Finn Westbury, Emma Crosby, Luke Lund, Blake Moller, Toni Kerkela, Seb Picard, Hans and Nils Mindich, Desiree Melancon, Robby Meehan, and I'm sure there are a few more. Team Salomon stayed down the hill near camp and while it helped their on-hill points massively, it certainly stunted their off-hill points.
Team Ride was the most debaucherous and rivaled, if not exceeded the crew-size of Salomon. We heard Charlie’s actually stopped letting them open tabs at midway through the week and their house tended to host people the latest each night with various degrees of excessive and unnecessary mess making. Jed Aderson, Reid Smith, Mason Lemery, Jill Perkins, Brandon Davis, Russell Winfield, Mikey LeBlanc, Denver Orr, Keegan Hoesefros, Jacob Krugmire, Spencer Schubert, Savannah Shinske, Austin Hironaka, Mike Bogs, Severn Vandermeer and a few others made up this team.
Team K2 kept a low profile in the shadow of Ride. Jake Kuzyk, Kennedi Deck, Noah Peterson, Justin Phipps, Dan McGonnagle, Aito Ito and a few more for good measure. They were able to snag points here and there but their lack of numbers wold be their downfall.
Then of course there were the rogue elements that undeniably had a hand in the week's energy. Names like Nik Baden, Blake Paul, Jared Elston, Sierra Forcheimer, Daia Okajima, Keenan Cawley, Marcus Rand, Dammit Payton, and the entire crew encompass Shane Wright’s Bachelor party in Govy all played an important role.
In the end, After much calculation, added points for random reasons and a realization that we probably shouldn’t award Katie Kennedy with the win on grounds of nepotism. We have to award the victory of the Smells like Team Spirit Secret challenge to Team Salomon, if anything, due to their unwavering willingness to wear a green wristband that’s purpose remained elusive the entire week. Coming in a close second was Team Ride, who checked off a surprising number of challenges we randomly made without knowing, as well as the title of party champions the entire week.
Thanks you as always Mount Hood. The Lift tickets were expensive and the pipe was gone in two days, but hey-we had fun.
And now for some more film photos: