One of the hardest parts of COVID-19, for many people, is how much it has thrown off our rhythms. As humans, we’re massively reliant on our routines and habits to get us through the day, week, month, or year ahead of us, so when a worldwide pandemic comes along and tells us all to stay inside, not see each other, and not engage in our usual activities and events, it can be pretty devastating. Which makes it all the sweeter when those old friends, activities and events start creeping back into our lives as is happening right now. One such event is Gerry Lopez’s Big Wave Challenge at Mt. Bachelor.
In a recent episode of The Inertia Podcast, Gerry mentioned that he was pretty bummed about not being able to run his Big Wave Challenge at his home mountain in 2020, and the prospects of it happening this year were pretty slim. Well, a lot has changed in the month-and-a-half since we recorded that podcast, and it looks like those slim prospects have paid off.
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Last night, Gerry announced via Instagram that the Big Wave Challenge will be happening at Mt. Bachelor, its 10th running, but the format this year will be different and more inclusive. Instead of a gathering of pros tearing the crap out of a white wall of powder, the course will be open to anyone who wants to give it a shot, from April 17-25. “The BWC course will feature a series of huge sweeping banked corners, quarter pipes and spines, incorporating the natural terrain as much as possible, to create wave-like features for a flowing course that brings the surf to the mountains,” Mt. Bachelor announced. “Open to anyone, on skis or a board, and don’t forget to bring your Aloha.”
More than a fun course, the event is also a fundraiser for Pat Malendoski (@parkraker), one of the original visionaries of the Big Wave Challenge. He’s been battling cancer for the past five years now, and 100 percent of the proceeds of the event, including Aloha bag purchases and an online auction, will be donated in support of Pat. Both are available starting April 17.