A Day in the Life of a Moonlight Basin Events Department Team Member…
Friday, February 4th, 2011.
The message on the snow phone this morning said, “someone must have burnt some skis last tonight, because we have received over an inch of snow!” Although an inch and a half of wet pow might not be the best conditions, I found the humor and new snow – bonus – to set the score for what would become a really fun day on the mountain as well as in the office. A day of snowboarding, networking, falling, laughing, and stoking out guests with chocolate coins.
This morning started with an email from Cutbird Skateboard Company based in Billings, Montana. Turns out, Moonlight Basin has a stack of skate decks coming our way to be given away as prizes this March during Huck-A-Berry Rail Jam. Psyched. On the rail jam note, tomorrow Moonlight Basin will hosting Volcom’s Peanut Butter and Rail Jam and Moonlight Basin is hosting Snowboarder Magazine’s Superpass Tour on Sunday. So, today’s agenda: first and foremost make sure we have everything all set for this weekend’s events to run smoothly; then, go snowboarding with the crew from Volcom and Snowboarder Magazine. Moonlight Basin is Montana’s only stop on the Volcom PBRJ circuit and they come back year after year for a lot of reasons, but after riding with them today; I know one reason they love Moonlight Basin is because the mountain is always fun to ride – even with just an inch and a half of new snow. This is the 4th Annual PBRJ at Moonlight Basin but this season is the first time Snowboarder Magazine has come to Moonlight Basin for Superpass. Thanks to a combination of fun terrain and a great park crew, I’ll bet you $100 that Snowboarder Magazine comes back again next year (minors need not apply for bets)!
As far as “cool” goes, Volcom is almost like the iPod of the snowboarding/skateboarding industry. Those guys are all pretty humbling for being representatives of one the “coolest” brands in the industry. Top it off with the brother of one of snowboarding’s most published and accomplished professional snowboarders – Avert Guldemond representing Snowboarder Magazine – and you have a crew ‘shready’ to ride. We rode and skied trees, ankle-deep pow in gullies, launched off natural wall-hits, and all six of us crashed a couple of times! It turned out to be one of the best times I’ve had on an s-board all year. After a morning of fun, we ate lunch in Headwaters Grille and the Volcom crew proceeded to partake in a few “sociables.” I checked the clock, 1:30 p.m.; time to go set up the treasure-hunt course for Moonlight Gold Rush. Moonlight Gold Rush is a new program this season that gives kids aged 10 and under the opportunity to ski through trees and collect tokens in order to turn them in for a gold prize. Gold prize you ask? Yup, gold-foil chocolate coins with JFK on the heads side; Ski Patrol will tell you it’s actually Lee Poole though!
I loaded the Derringer lift with bamboo and a tupperware full of job supplies: spray paint, zip ties, hi-vis fencing, and chocolate. At the top of the lift I was greeted with a high five by Jeff, a Moonlight Basin lift operator. While we waited for kids to arrive for the Moonlight Gold Rush treasure hunt, we talked about the results from the Moonlight Basin Level One Avalanche Course; which Jeff had recently graduated from. A couple of chairs later a family from Helena unloaded the lift, and the kids – one on a leash and the other gracefully in the pizza stance – were psyched on the idea of a treasure hunt! They were followed by Mary, a Moonlight Basin Freeride Team coach; and her “soon-to-be-on-the-Moonlight-Basin-Freeride-Team” protege. We made our way to the entrance of the Moonlight Gold Rush treasure-hunt course and Mary’s student looked ready to compete in the PBRJ with his baggy snowboard pants and sagging goggles. He asked, “can I have two chocolates?”