Monday, February 20, 2006

Blue-Bird Day Encourages Snowboarding Practice

Photo by Mike Bitton
The south-slope of Mt. Hood is home to the famous Timberline ski resort, where I snowboarded Feb. 19, 2006.

Apparently, I arrived late at Timberline for the USASA Halfpipe competition on Sunday, Feb. 19, because when I got there, it was already over. Very few participants showed up, and the runs down Stormin' Norman were over in less than 30 minutes. Sharp contrast to the USASA's slope style events I shot at Timberline a few weeks back, which went on all day long. Not one to waste an opportunity, I asked for and got a lift ticket from Mountain Services (thanks, Jill!), and bravely made for the bunny hill with my demo gear from Next Adventure. It would be my third time on a snowboard.

I slummed around the top of Bruno, the bunny hill named after one of Timberline's mascot dogs, hoping to overhear a few free pointers from the Timberline snowboard teaching staff. "Just strap in your downhill foot and skate around a bit on this flat stuff," was the first tip, which I tried. It worked for me! Another tip: "When you need to stand up, flip over onto your belly and push yourself up," which I thought sounded a little loco, but I tried it. It worked! Instantly up and out of control! I was so pleased to see many-a-30-something there on Bruno, struggling to get into their bindings; trying to figure out how to stand up; and slipping around once they got upright. I was truly among peers. Next week I'm scheduled to shoot the USASA halfpipe competition again. I will arrive a few hours early, just in case.

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