Casey Pflipsen snowboards at Trollhaugen
Riders warm up at Lord of the Ropes snowboard contest at Trollhaugen in Wisconsin
Mike Liddle snowboards at Trollhaugen
Peter Sutherland snowboards at Trollhaugen
Eli Lamm snowboards at Trollhaugen
Jaylen Hanson snowboards at Trollhaugen
Matt Dunn snowboards at Trollhaugen
Kiefer Aschemen snowboards at Trollhaugen
Tanner Seymour snowboards at Trollhaugen

Benny Miliam is the Lord of the Ropes at Trollhaugen for LOTR: Ingrained

At the heart of Midwest snowboarding culture is the tow rope. Not having grown up in this bastion of board world, I can only speak to the rope’s importance as an onlooker, though the gravity of how it shapes snowboarding is clear, no matter where you’re from, thanks to the talent that emanates from the region. If the tow rope is a pillar of our culture, visiting Dresser, Wisconsin, the home of Trollhaugen, it felt like a pilgrimage to a mecca of its existence.

Half a decade ago, Pete Harvieux, venerated member of the industry, founder of The Interior Plain Project, and constant, hard-charging conduit of Midwest snowboarding community, catalyzed a meeting of the minds on the rope. Each winter, Lord of the Ropes brings a crew of the Midwest’s best rail riders–which is to say, a crew of the best rail riders, end sentence–to Troll where they battle it out head-to-head for the title of Lord of the Rope. Last Friday, at the fifth iteration of infamous Midwest event dubbed LOTR: Ingrained, 64 men and women took to the Troll set up under the lights, moving through the rounds until Benny Milam was crowned champion.

The contest in its entirety can be watched on Trollhaugen’s Youtube (we’ve posted it here), and the lofi aesthetics of the broadcast match the grassroots ethos of the proceedings. But that’s what is wild about the IPP event at the same time; it’s a local event with a leveled up roster. Benny Milam, Mike Liddle, Eli Lamm, Alexis Roland, Justin Fronius, Skiba, Rob Roethler, Colin Wilson, Kyle Kennedy, Emily O’Connor, Casey Pflipsen, Sam Klein, Ryan Paul, Matt “Boody” Boudreaux, Garrett McKenzie, Blake Lamb–just a few of the 64 individuals that were at the top of the park for this year’s contest. It was a meeting of experience and aspiration, of veterans and up-and-comers, of energy and calculation, of a community whose finesse on the ropes has given them countless laps in Troll’s celebrated parks and in turn, they’ve brought their personal brands of style and ingenuity to the foreground of our culture.

Mike Yoshida was at Trollhaugen for Lord of the Ropes and captured what went down. Enjoy the gallery of photos, a cross-section of Midwesterners fully Ingrained.

Spoiler below.

Comments

Up Next

June 28, 2022

Clocking In: Lora Bodmer – Owner/Publicist of Deep Communications and Senior Director of Media and PR for Protect Our Winters

Since its inception two years ago, the Natural Selection Tour has appeared multiple times on SportsCenter’s Top 10. It’s...

June 20, 2022

The Ever-Evolving Archetype: An Interview with Hana Beaman

A conversation between Robin Van Gyn and Hana about Mt. Baker, finding fulfillment, Natural Selection, and also, speed suits.

June 16, 2022

Clocking In: Jordan Hall – Western Canada Sales for 686, Salomon, SPY, and Globe

So you want to work in the industry? Snowboarding luminaries share their experience and perspective, and how they combine...

June 9, 2022

evo Opens Campus Salt Lake: Community Space, Retail, Hotel, and Gallery in the Granary District

evo's new Campus in SLC is a hub for everyone who loves the outdoors.

June 3, 2022

Pitch Sessions Returns to Wy’East Academy to Open up the Off-Hill Week at IT’S TITS!

A connection and conversation starter for the riders at IT'S TITS!.

June 2, 2022

10 x 10: A Season Through the Lens of Andrew Miller

10 photographers share 10 photos from the past year. First up, Andrew Miller.

May 26, 2022

Wood Fired-Up: Frank April’s Pizzeria des Battures

Pizzeria de Battures is open for the season in Notre-Dame-du-Portage.

May 18, 2022

Stefi Luxton Visits Home For The First Time Since The Pandemic

A transplant staple in the Mammoth scene for the past decade, Arbor’s Stefi Luxton finally visited her  home country...

May 15, 2022

Monster Hell Week, Dream or Nightmare?

Who are we kidding. It is a dream team. Tess, Zoi, Ryo, Judd, Stale, Sage, Jamie, Ayumu, Halldor, Rene,...