Blake Hamm Stevens Pass pillows
Words and video by Blake Hamm
There is an awesome sense of community in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in Shoreline, WA and started skiing at Snoqualmie when I was two years old. My parents bought a cabin in Merritt, WA in 2000 and I’ve had the pleasure of being a season’s pass holder at Stevens Pass for the last sixteen years. Fortunately for me, the last thirteen have been on a snowboard. Learning to ride at Stevens Pass was sweet because, until the park caught my interested, I would basically freeride with various groups in Bob Hall Ski School. I was introduced to the snowboard industry at Windells by Austin Hironaka and Joe Bosler. I was super inspired by those guys and started competing the next winter. I still remember pow days in my youth where getting stuck in that thick northwest snow just wasn’t an option. On those days, my family would return to our beautiful cabin located on Nason Creek with snow piled above the second floor windows.
The massive walls of snow were visible again when I visited over winter break; comparable to the pow days when I was younger. It was epic to ride Stevens because my passion has shifted back to freeriding. Through freeriding, I saw the mountain in a whole new perspective. I had plenty of killer turns with the boys before I started getting the GoPro out. Toward the end of my trip, I filmed some of the lines in the edit and then Matt Wainhouse helped me find some additional, heavier zones. It’s crazy, but some of those spots I’ve been hitting since I was 12. I never really respected how unique the Northwest is until this most recent trip. After living in Utah for the last three years, I have gained a new respect for the remote zones at Stevens. I’d say Cowboy, Rooster and other secret spots don’t see a track while the Wasatch Mountains get tracked out even in the backcountry. At Stevens, if a track does appear in one of the spots, it’s almost guaranteed to be from one of your homies. Also, the pillows are always firing; wet snow is the answer.