[Summer. Great for suntans, sunburn, sunsets and Switch back 180s. Spencer O'Brien with a keeper from Mt Hood. Photo: Sami Tuoriniemi.]
As the summer snowboarding season begins to fade into the rear view mirror, we take a look at the highs and lows of this most awesomely peculiar of periods in 2017's shred calendar...
Summertime, and the living is easy... That Ella Fitzgerald sure was onto something there. As we've stated countless times, strangely enough summer is one of best times to go snowboarding, and a bunch of riders took full advantage of the slushy high alpine and southern hemisphere spots. The long days of summer have seen a whole bunch of snowboarding go down across the glaciers of the Northern Hemi, and as the resorts in more southern latitudes crossed into peak winter things hotted up in the upside down.
With summer in the Europe most definitely coming to an end, here's a recap of some of the highs and lows and more stellar shenanigans that kept us frothing through the sweaty months...
[Clemens Millauer owning the D-Stone before it closed its doors for the foreseeable future. His edit was the Ghost Pepper of summer internet videos. SO hot.]
As per usual, Hintertux and Dachstein were the first Euro glaciers to get their summer programme rolling and saw some intense sessions. Standouts were when the Blue Tomato team dropped in and blitzed D-Stone (it's the Austrian store's local spot), Clemens Millauer showing why he's viewed as one of Europe's foremost park talents as he put the smackdown on both Austrian spots, and Ziga Rakovec's post-Dachstein demise love letter. Demise? Yep, when the Dachstein park closed its doors, they announced that would be the last of their summer park operations, citing glacial retreat. Scheisse.
[The Ashbury team hit Les 2 Alpes and proceeded to shut that shit DOWN.]
Over in France Les 2 Alpes once again had a solid park that attracted riders from all four corners of Europe. Edits not to sleep on were the Ashbury Euro team's, Toni Kerkelä's, the one from the DomeTrash boys, and the White Addiction webisodes. Oli Gittler and Arthur Longo also held their most excellent Muzelle Festival there before ultra-low tide caused 2 Alpes to close early (boo), and then reopen (hooray!).
[Halldor, training hard for the Olympics minipipe event that doesn't yet exist.]
More recently, over in Switzerland Saas Fee has been popping, with a sqaud of Gs like Halldor Helgason, Roope Tonteri (check his Saas Fee Top To Bottom for an idea of the dope setup they have there), Alek Østreng, Torstein Horgmo and Ludvig Billtoft. As yet we've not seen any full-length edits come out, but it's only a matter of time. Finally further north, it's been all go at Folgefonna once more. Not only did Fridays at Fonna make a welcome return, but the Bad Plans crew dropped not one but three killer edits from the Scandi summer goodtimes.
[The Bent Metal team rolled through High Cascade and produced one of the heaviest edits of the summer.]
Across the pond it's been business as usual up on Mt Hood, with a heavy squad of riders from North American and beyond rolling through Govy and ripping the inclines of this iconic Oregon volcano. Aside from High Cascade's own session recap edits, the first crew to take advantage of HCSC's snowboard-only swansong summer were the Salomon team, who brought almost their entire team of A-listers to the party. Not to be outdone, Bent Metal bindings sent their own crew and kicked out their own highlights reel that captured the heavy shredding, dicking around and straight up fun that a session on Hood represents.
[Our favourite Swedish meatballs finally made it to the Holy Volcano!]
After years of yearning, the Swedish Fat & Furious boys finally took a trip to Hood and the result was radical, and, of course, the ever-epic Merrill Mini Pipe Invitational celebrated another awesome incarnation - Danny Davis's edit summing up the vibe there pretty well.
Across the border in Canada, more specifically Whistler, it was more bad news as Camp of Champions announced they'd closed for good - a mix of bad conditions and dwindling glacier meant CoC realised they wouldn't be able to produce the kind of park they've been synonymous for, and rather than let campers down they filed for bankrupcy to be able to refund people who'd already booked their passage. However, Whistler Valley Snowboard Camp managed to pull together a smaller park on the Blackcomb glacier meaning Canadians were still able to enjoy some summer slushboarding after all.
[Ståle Sandbech and friends engaged God Mode for the Norwegian's freshest edit from Australia.]
The past few weeks have seen a host of riders sit in a metal tube for a day or two as they mess with their body clocks to hit up the Southern Hemi winter. Most of the heat has been coming from within the gumtrees of Perisher and Thredbo in Australia, but NZ's been getting some love too as the contest kids jetted in to grab FIS points for their upcoming Olympic adventures. The Aussies certainly scored earlier in their season, as locals and visiting riders alike were treated to a epic pow conditions...
[Marko Grilc - back on it after his injury - lapping up the goods in Australia.]
Sadly the Mile High contest didn't run this season, but that didn't stop a bunch of the planet's fireyest park riders tearing Perisher's always on-point park to pieces. The Instagram node there must have had a meltdown what with all the riders forcing their daily bangers through the Aussie pipes. With so many short clips popping out it's hard to single a couple out. Jokes. Of course, Marcus Kleveland won, but it would be remiss not to mention his compatriots Torgeir Bergrem, Ståle Sandbech and his filmer Mr Gimbal A. God, who brought the constant fire.
The contest riders who skipped Oz jetted straight into NZ - more specifically Cardrona - for the FIS Slopestyle contest that was recently won by the ever-impressive Marcus Kleveland for the dudes and a now-doubling Jamie Anderson for the chicas.
[Markus Kleveland is a machine. Here's the run he recently stomped to take the Cardrona FIS contest win.]
Then there's the other southern hemi – across the waves of the Pacific in South America. Here, unlike Oz and NZ, there's less emphasis on park lapping and more on good old fashioned backcountry ripping, hence it can take a while for things to percolate through the internet as such riders don't seem to be as trigger happy on Instagram with their shots. Will we see another South American masterpiece like last year when Jake Blauvelt scored big time in Chile? We know he's there. We know DCP was too. Let's see.
All in all, there was plenty of highs, a couple of lows, and now we in Europe can start getting amped for winter proper. It's just a couple of weeks till the Hintertux Opening rings in the pre-season, and once Stubai's Prime Park session wraps up it'll then be time to get praying for a good start to the new season with some decent early season base. Seem's like it's not happened for years; we're off to find something to sacrifice...