Hiro & Ten's Excellent Rhythm

Photos by: Crispin Cannon, Words by: Johnny Chillsack

You’re here, tuned in to the magic hour with your host Johnny—Johnny Chill. Coming to you live from the Summit at Snoqualmie— Hyak, to be exact—high above the trees, or maybe we’re in the trees and we’re the ones who are high. I’m not really sure. It’s a beautiful spring day, though. The sun is shining and the snow is slushing. It’s quite fantastic, really. The past week has been a daze of building a hand-shaped rhythm section for ourselves and companions to enjoy on our snowboards. I wouldn’t consider ourselves hippies or festival attendees by any means, but that’s not to say we won’t set our tents up in the woods, make music by a fire, snowboard all day, and have a little treat for our minds in the evening. Well, when you put it that way, maybe we are, but we like to consider ourselves modern Northwest mountain men, spending the days chopping lumber for fires, burning gas in the snowmobiles, and riding our creation until the light has passed and we can’t feel our legs. Three days, one hundred pre-rolls, a VHS camera, two snowmobiles, one P.A. system, camping gear, ten shovels, a handful of good friends, and we have a wild week of shenanigans. Stay tuned because as they say, “The show must go on.”

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Austin Hironaka, 50-50 Crail.

The past two years at the end of each season, Austin Hironaka and I get together to build a rhythm section to send winter off with a bang, and this year we made some calls, pitched a few tents, and we hung out at Hyak for the week. The mountains were warm, spring had sprung, and we needed one last hooray to send off another amazing winter. We set up our tents at the top of the rhythm, so we could grill food, drink beer and bullshit, all while watching the amazing snowboarding go down just a few feet in front of us. I specifically set up my tent on a nice nook in the trees above the drop-in, so every morning when the sun rose I could unzip my tent door and watch the sun come up and light the run. With a morning shower in the creek, a few French presses of coffee, and some grilled up bacon, we started our day. Usually, we started with the daily quarterpipe session to get the legs going and try to get funky with some Handplants. DCP showed us all how to do a proper Frontside Invert with style and precision, while Justin Mulford let his inner Bear Mountain loose, giving us an insane Switch Andrect to Regular. Tanner McCarty was there, making sure the Ride guys were doing their job and also showing us his creation of the infamous “Erection Plant.”

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Todd Kirby, Frontside 360

After the morning quarterpipe fiesta, we would start flowing through the rhythm and for the rest of the day the action was endless. Morale was high, jokes were cracked, and the only clouds in the sky were above Hironaka. All day long something incredible was happening on the creek run at Hyak. Whether it was Hironaka sending a Back Seven Tuck-Knee over the last jump or his little brother Jacob Krugmire laying out a Backflip somewhere amongst the chaos. Derrek Lever and Kevin Hanson made it over from Stevens Pass to join the rhythm, riding it with style and tweaking grabs harder than most. DCP was riding nonstop, sending legendary Methods and Front Three Lean airs. When the days came to an end and the sun would start to set, the cliché sunset session would take place to send the day off and capture the ambiance of the last light before enveloping ourselves into the night. The nights were a celebration of the good times of days past. As the whiskey bottle passed around the campfire and as I strummed my guitar, David would tell jokes to get everybody laughing. The chaos would slowly evolve throughout the night.

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Austen Sweetin, Backside 540

Building a jump over the fire to jump the sleds, Hiro yelled to someone to grab more gas. “Let her roar,” they screamed as he tossed the gas onto the fire and I pinned the throttle straight ahead. Headlights beamed as I approached the rapidly growing fire, staring straight ahead as I approached the jump and sending into the darkness on the other side. If snowmobiles and gas weren’t enough, there was nothing to worry about because whenever you go anywhere with Hironaka, he always brings fireworks and for that I thank him. The duals on the sleds with roman candles lit the rhythm section up with big booms as someone would send the first jump. It was at this time we felt like kings and lived like royalty. With a mountain to ourselves to do as we please with our friends, there was nothing to do except snowboard and enjoy the festivities, feeling as if we were on top of the world and knowing that this was our grand finale as winter had come to an end. The greatest things about snowboarding are its outlets of creativity and getting together with your friends to cause chaos. Thinking back to when I was a kid, seeing the US Open quarterpipe jam with people jumping over fires and beer cans being thrown at anyone and everyone, I can’t help but think that this was our version of that. All you need to have a good time snowboarding is your snowboard, your friends, and a place to let loose. The creek run at Hyak was ours and as we let loose we said one last time, “Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, stand up straight, it’s Hiro and Ten’s rhythm section time.”

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