Ballistyx NW WalkAbout with Mervin Aboriginals – MC, Burki, Rosveld
Story by Sky Rosveld, Photos by Tim Burgess
The closing of the 2010 season saw some big snow in Cascadia. Forrest Burki and I were at Mt. Baker in April when we received word from our Alma Mater, Crystal Mountain, that an Australian film crew was in town collaborating with Mervin. With Shuksan’s Arm going off, there was a bit of hesitation to leave one powder haven for another. Then we spotted a camera-man on top of Chair 8. “Let’s see what he’s up to…,” we said. Turns out the crew had come to Baker first, and so we met Allister Robbie, filming for the Ballistyx – Australia’s largest snowboard shop, located in Melbourne. We arranged to get some shots way out on the Arm – Zack Giffin following us with a head cam and Allister filming from afar.
The next day was a bit warmer so we headed for a shaded slope below Mt. Herman. We found some fun gullies and pillow lines to play with. Forrest had his eye on a nice double drop line and nailed it. Photographer Timothy Burgess was with us this time, and it was super fun bringing him into a zone that is unlike anything in Australia. There was so much snow, and we were all a bit concerned about the warming temperatures. As we scurried up our bootpack one last time, we heard a few thuds, and far in the distance we saw a huge avalanche cascading down the face of Shuksan. The mountain had officially declared itself in Spring mode, unloading the weight of Winter. We migrated back to the car and went to the park for some jibs. Though we heard the temps were a bit cooler at Crystal….
Turned out they were – cold enough that we got a two day extension on Winter. This time, filming with Stegey, we had a bit of a challenge as it was a storming outside. After a great lunch with the Ballistyx crew in the Bullwheel Restaurant Forrest and I searched our mental catalogs for areas conducive to low-light filming. We settled on a gully off of Queen’s run that was super fun for trying hip tricks. After a good session of spins and a few explosions – we headed to our temporary home in Greenwater, about 30 minutes from away.
The next day was bluebird. We could feel that it might be our last chance for powder that season. Knowing the film crew was somewhere in the vicinity, Forrest and I began hiking out Southback, past the Silver King, the Beach, and around Three Way Peak. There we met up with Matt Cummins, boardsport extraordinaire. Matt has the longest running pro-model in snowboarding, runs the Tacoma branch of Northwest Snowboards, and is an all around awesome human being.
He guided us down some faces that Stegey was eyeing. We were successful in getting good video footage of our home mountain, and we met some high-spirited friends from across the globe. Being able to share our favorite runs with the Ballistyx crew made these excellent days at Crystal and Baker even better.
Word is an undersea speed-train tunnel is being built now – direct from Mervin’s Sequim headquarters to the Ballistyx skate bowl. So it’s a sure thing we’ll be seeing more of each other. Snow sliders unite!