Tommy Ellingson sent out word via Facebook on January 17: “Jump spot for tomorrow! Let’s blast!”
Ellingson is a freestyle and big-mountain skier well known for going huge off jumps. He and his skiing and film production partners Josh Larkin and Ethan Stone have built some amazing jumps in out-of-bounds sweet spots on Mount Hood, and they had just scouted out a new spot with serious potential, even in a low-snow season.
“Bring a shovel, pack a lunch and bring some water!” Ellingson posted.
By Saturday Ellingson’s Facebook feed was packed with awesome photos and footage, including a helmet cam view of Ellingson ripping down into a canyon at about 50 miles per hour, popping back up to a kicker and flying and twisting through the air in slow motion, about 30 feet above his friends watching from below. The photos and clips just kept coming, crazy air with a perfect blue sky in the background.
I caught up with Tommy a few days later by telephone. He told me he and his friends built the new jump at the landing spot of a huge quarter pipe they used for last year’s Tommy Ellingson Invitational. That’s where they filmed some great stuff for the Homegrown film Nostalgia. It’s also a spot where long-time Hood shredder, jump builder and videographer Kurt Heine has built in the past.
“This jump is absolutely perfect,” Ellingson said. “I can’t believe how much air we’re catching off that thing. It is just crazy.”
Ellingson, Larkin and Stone designed the jump after studying the terrain (down a canyon and up to a ridge), snow conditions (fast but softening) and the landing (steep). Blake McCoy of Premonition Films, Simon Elston and his sons Jared and Jonah and their friend Jake Mageau broke out the shovels and started building the lip.
It took eight guys with shovels about two and a half hours to build the jump, a perfect table top designed to lift the jumper about 25 feet high and 60-70 feet long, for that floating feeling of weightlessness that big-air bangers crave.
Normally Ellingson, 33, flies first to test the jump out. This time he offered it up to some young guys who had heard about the jump build and showed up to help out and shred. Jake Mageau, a teenager from Bend, took Tommy up on his offer, went for it and landed it.
Skiers and snowboarders took turns soaring off the jump and throwing down tricks for the rest of the day and for several days following. The Home Grown crew picked up all sorts of footage for future productions, including a show for Inspired Media TV coming soon, showcasing Josh Larkin.
Tommy and Josh are working on a preview with fresh footage from their new Homegrown jump. As soon as they have something to share, I will link to it here.
Last modified: January 24, 2014