It all started in Seattle. A classic drizzly day met our journalist friends when they arrived to the airport. As we made our way to West Seattle for lunch, a 99 Fleetwood Jamboree RV sat patiently waiting for us along the side of the road. Two URAL Russian Sidecar motorcycles dangled from the trailer hitch and instantly become the center of all conversation.
While the snowpack had been lousy most everywhere in the country throughout the 2011-12 season, Washington state had been upholding its honor with well over 120 inches at most of its major resorts. The very unique Stevens Pass Winter Resort, a second home to some of us at Hayter Comm, seemed a fitting venue for the first Annual Hayter Shredfest.
The Northwest portrays certain characteristics that we hoped to represent during the trip: a laid-back, simple lifestyle, good company, big dumps, and experiences in nature worth remembering. With the anticipation growing from our out-of-town friends, we navigated our way to historic Leavenworth through one of the most treacherous winter storms of the season. Nearly 2 feet of dry northwest powder greeted us the next day as we pulled up to Stevens Pass. After we quickly polished off the coffee* in our Stanley mugs, we b-lined straight for the hill to make our claims. We had arrived not only to shred, but to put marketing and engineering claims to the test from a handful of the most influential winter sports and lifestyle companies around today.
With a thick layer of snow underfoot and a blustery storm all around us on day one, the right equipment for Mother Nature’s fury quickly became a key priority in our preparations. The team layered up in the all new heated base layers from Toast, donned their choice of technical kits from Helly Hansen or Cappel, and mounted up the quiver of powder-hungry snowboards from Ride. The quick change feature on Smith’s I/O goggles came in especially handy as we battled snow-caked lenses throughout most of the weekend. After an entire day of searching out every last zone of untouched snow on the hill, I’d found myself with a group of exhausted and severely worked journalists who were now focused on hot tubs, Full Sail beer and enough sleep to rejuvenate for day two.
Sunday morning arrived. I jumped out of my Poler Napsack and dashed onto the internet. As expected, another foot of fresh powder had fallen throughout the night, bringing the storm snowfall to a total of 30-40 inches, depending on the area. The journalists sprung back to life and packed into the RV; thoughts of first chair were clearly on every mind as we sipped our coffee and snacked on bags of KIND granola, bacon and eggs. Well versed on preparation from the day before, we hussled our way into even earlier and better turns on day 2. When the sun decided to peek out for the better part of the afternoon, riders were able to break out some new MTN Approach Kits to tour around the base area and earn their own side-hill turns.
Eventually, the shred finally ended. We made our way back to Leavenworth, soaked out the aches and pains in the hot tub, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner with the Microsoft team at the Sleeping Lady. The next day, Instagram was still going raging as we compared like counts and reveled over the best turns of the weekend. The crew was tired, blissful, and unready to make their way back to less snowy grounds. Plans for next year’s trip floated around newfound friends as they stuffed their new gear into massive SealLine packs and readied for the return to real life.
Extra special thanks goes out to Stevens Pass for making the trip possible! Additional thanks to: Pop Chips, Spacecraft, POW Gloves and Puget Sounds Creative’s Molly Hawkins for filming the awesome video.