September 20, 2017

DARCY BACHA PHOTO

This year’s Sammy Carlson Invitational was all-time! The crew that comes out every year for this event is staggering; Edollo, Phil Casabon, Bpaul, Tanner Hall and so many more killers that you may not even know of! This year, the feature wasn’t ready until contest day, but that didn’t bother me, as I lead a crew with crazy talent to blast the jump lines that I’ve been hitting for fifteen years! In true PNW style, Bachy recieved over a foot of fresh two days before the event, refreshing the entire mountain with white trees and soft landings. It was awesome to get to shred the home mountain with the Pats (Goodnough and Baskins), Taylor Seaton and Duncan Adams friday before the comp, blasting huge tree taps and fast compression airs!

The day of the comp was a blur; hot laps on the bunny hill lift then a quick snomo-tow to the top of the course. I guinea pigged the jump for the 2nd year in a row! It was scary; a really long, flat in-run, into a medium sized step-down. My first hit, it felt like I was going too slow, but ended up taking the 50′ jump about 80′, but the landing was there for me!

The confidence got flowing quickly, everyone was killing it and I only wish that I could have watched more! The mood at this event is what makes it so amazing; jokes and smiles across the field at the top of the course, as well as an overall feeling of respect for everyone shredding. Everyone, Henrik and Tanner included, was amazed to be skiing with the legend himself; Candide Thovex. He has amazing control of his body and his edges, incredible to watch.

After the event, Jeremy of Skjersaa’s pulled some of his local strings, reserving a five-star lounge above Bend’s swankiest restaurant for a dinner party of beanied riders. Free beer and the best steelhead dinner I’ve ever had!

Then, two days later, lucky as I am, Sammy invited me back for a private session on the wall ride; just Sammy, Will Berman and I. Holy shit, right? I took that stoke to the top of the wall, where Darcy Bacha snapped this incredible pic.

I could write pages about how sick SCI is for all of us; nothing better than skiing with a bunch of the most stoked, most talented athletes in our game. (Not to mention the VIP dinner, fresh pow on friday before the comp and the worlds largest wallride) It elevates our riding to levels that we only reach when we all blast together.

I can’t wait for next year and thank you SAMMY and APO SKIS!

Ari is a professional athlete, author and filmmaker living in Bend Oregon. He and his wife organize adventure travel trips around the globe.

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