You’ve read the interview and you’ve seen the teasers, now it is time to jump over the pond to Holland and experience the Inside Out Tour with Cole Navin, Spencer Schubert.
Continue below for more words and photos from Jon Stark.
With Thanksgiving looming in the coming weeks, we discussed warming up for the season in the most unlikely of places, the air-conditioned indoor slopes of The Netherlands. With little time to do a trip and upcoming obligations visible on the horizon, you could say at the least, the Inside Out Tour was a strike mission. An 8-day trip where we planned to snowboard 6 times at 4 different snow domes, in a country we’ve never been before. Our goal was to see if we could push the limits of the infrastructure encompassing the ski run. Really trying to think outside the box, while being inside the box. Other than watching a few edits and staring at the webcams online, I didn’t know much about the snow dome culture in Holland. Thankfully for us, we met up with Kas Lemmens, a Dutchman made up of candy and effortless style who with the local knowledge of the language and the ins and outs of the icy slopes of the domes, was a perfect fit for our three-man crew. Consisting of Cole Navin, Spencer Schubert and myself.
Our first destination, The Hague, was a winding canal city located on the Western beaches. Its museums and 17th Century style buildings made an incredible first impression on us. Our Airbnb was paralleled by a deceivingly large canal on the outskirts of the city limits. Fighting jet lag, we awoke on the first morning determined to discover Snowworld Zoetermeer. Tucked into the rolling hills of the northeastern city limits, Zoetermeer was the only snow dome we saw whos slope was fully suspended by steel scaffolding, it provided us with a perfect taste of indoor snow life, icy and cold. A dimly lit interior, this resort was the most unwilling to allow us to “think outside the box”. Impervious to their efforts to stop us, we continued to get our legs under us and to test the waters of what’s possible inside these frigid domes.
Two ice boxes, the beach, and the M.C. Escher museum checked off our list for our first leg of our trip. Our second leg brought us to the southern region, where Kas’ home dome Montana Snowcentre was located. Montana is as close a replica of Yawgoo Valley in Rhode Island than anywhere else I’ve seen before. With permission to have open reign on their junkyard and the features indoors, we had finally found our dark horse resort. At first glance, Montana is nothing more than a 70,000 square foot air-conditioned warehouse with two runs and an airbag. But looks can be deceiving, the runs are fast and the possibilities are endless. Though a full bomb of the run was necessary to get speed for the features we set up, it was all worth it. We were finding our path.
Employees of the resort and getting speed weren’t the only obstacles on this trip we had to face, the crowds of beginner skiers and snowboarders in an already crowded snow dome caused us the most grief. All while trying to manipulate dehydrated man-made snow for our lips and features. But our efforts weren’t going unrewarded. As time went on, we were finding ways to use the walls and structures to our advantage. Our last dome stop on the trip, Snowworld Landgraff, was once the largest indoor snow dome in the world, only recently getting beat out by the new indoor domes in Dubai and China. This building’s most impressive quality is its usage of the tallest hill in Landgraff. The run is as long as a New England or Midwest resort and even is equipped with a fully detachable 6 person chair. Quite an impressive sight to see. With the vastness of its interior, it provided us with the most cover to execute some of our final maneuvers “in plain sight”. The last trick we filmed was Spencer’s long 5050 on that wood rail that ran alongside the magic carpet. With low beams, minimal run-out and a disintegrating lip, Spencer pulled off a most impressive maneuver to end our trip on.
For our final night, we sent it to the very center of Amsterdam to dip our feet in the culture for one night before we all had to grab flights back to the US in the early morning. Our night started off right with free beers from our shitty hotel pub then straight to the red light district a few blocks away to see the dark twisted corners of Amsterdam. Without much sleep, we dragged our feet to the airport to exit Europe, exhausted and dazed while dreaming of a Thanksgiving feast waiting for us back in America. With our strike mission complete, we contemplate whats next for us. Hopeful to find the same welcoming locals and passionate snowboarders we found in Holland.
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