Most of you have already seen a grip of images and videos of this year’s Spring Marhill Freeride on either facebook, youtube, or vimeo; but what you haven’t seen yet are the pics from inside the helicopter cockpit. Thanks to Deano, the event organizer; and Louis Pilloni of Sector 9 & SkateHouseMedia, I was blessed with the opportunity to shoot photos of Maryhill from inside a 1950s helicopter. It was such an amazing experience and I am so thankful to be able to share these unique images with you via Wheelbase.
This was definitely my first time in a helicopter, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty freaked-the-hell-out as we slowly started to shakily lift from the ground. I remember looking over at Louis and smiling a we-could-possibly-die-right-now smile. He just looked back and did the Louis laugh and proceeded to start filming. I followed his lead and began clicking away.
We arrived over Maryhill from the Dalles airport about twenty minutes after takeoff. We came in low and could clearly see everybody tripping out on us—waving and shit. I think I even saw P Swiss throw up a Canadian gang sign, but I’m not 100% sure about that. While the Uhaul shuttles made their way to the top we flew as high as we could and I snapped off a few shots of the entire road. I can’t even begin to express the feeling of floating above that winding black strip of a road—Life changer most definitely!
Louis was the first to notice when all the riders were at the top and ready to go. The pilot quickly swooped us in low, as a huge pack of riders began to mob down the hill. We came up from behind them, zoomed by the pack of over 60 riders, and whipped around again and did that repeatedly—all the while I was clicking away, and intermittingly we yelled, hooted, and laughed out load as we jammed down Maryhill just above the skater’s helmets.
On the second run we got in so low that we could faintly hear the riders yelling and their pucks slappin’—the excitement from the riders on the road and us up in the helicopter was more than tangible—you could feel the adrenaline rush heavy in the air and smell the pungent odor of stoke. Wait, you can’t smell stoke? Whatever—ha ha! The pilot came in hot and swooped and dipped with each corner. So radical!
The pilot was fully into it and had figured out his pacing. We ripped back up top and proceeded to follow Deano and “King” Brian down a couple solo runs. It was so fun chasing those dudes down the smooth curvatures of Maryhill. At one point Louis says to the pilot: “Hey, let’s scare this guy!” So we skim just above “King” Brian’s head. If he would have been a wild Zebra and I’d of had a tranquilizer gun, I couldn’t have missed the sonofabitch. Anyway, coming in so low didn’t bother him one bit—he just got even more excited; he gave us a wave and railed the corners even harder—it was so epic!
In conclusion I’d like to say. . . Wow! Yeah that’s about it. What a mind blower.
Thanks again to Deano for putting on this epic event, to all the people who help support the event, to the homies from SkateHouse and Sector 9 for letting my old ass tag along with them, to Louis and Dubler for helping work it so I was in the helicopter, to all the homies we stayed with along the way (Dave, you rule!), and to every skater that was there at Maryhill—we are family. Thank you, and I love you all!
To see SkateHouse’s video footage from inside the helicopter, click here: Spring Maryhill Freeride 2011.