Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
Tommy Ellingson spent the last year doing what he loves to do, building sick jumps and shredding Mount Hood in beast mode, top to bottom and all parts in between. That was the fun part. The hard part is figuring out what to keep and what to cut.
Ellingson and his Home Grown partner Josh Larkin are working with Blake McCoy of Premonition Films to wrap up final edits on a new Inspired Media production that will screen in Portland on November 8.
It’s called Nostalgia, and it’s 30 minutes of powder shots, tree lines, cliff drops and insane maneuvers off hand-built jumps, set to a mesmerizing sound track by Portland-based Tired Eyes.
“It’s coming together,” says Ellingson during a break in the final editing process. “It turned out real good.”
Ellingson says the message of his film is “to inspire people to do what they love to do. Ask yourself what you love to do, and then go do it and live the life you love.”
The 33-year-old Ellingson grew up near Mt. Baldy in Southern California and moved to Oregon at 19 to coach at Windells. “My brother and I came up to shred in 2000 and I fell in love with it,” he says. “I moved up a few years later and I’ve been here since.”
One of the kids he coached at Windell’s, Sammy Carlson, has grown into one of the top freeskiers in the world. Ellingson continues to coach on a freelance basis, and he also produces a regular television show for inspiredmedia.tv, an online channel run by Eric Iberg that features shows from Tanner Hall, Henrik Harlaut and other freeskiing superstars.
“Tanner and Henrik are two of the most influential skiers out there, so I was super stoked that Eric wanted me to do a show too,” Ellinson says.
Home Grown productions are shot entirely in the Oregon Cascades, with Ellingson and Larkin and their partners leaping over crevasses, catching air at 11,000 feet on Mount Hood and staging some wild midair choreography off of double features. In one clip Ellingson completes a triple front flip while soaring over a crevasse. He loses balance on the landing, but still.
Some of the top freestyle shredders around took part in the Tommy Ellingson Invitational in May on jumps designed by Ellingson and Larkin. “We built for like seven days up there, and it was huge,” says Ellingson. “Wait till you see the first hit with the head cam.”
They also built a jump up by the summit of Mount Hood, a tricky move to say the least. “You have to get it right, but when you do, it’s an unforgettable moment,” says Ellingson. “You get a shock of electricity going through you when you hit it. That right there is what it’s all about.”
Here's a photo taken by Ethan Stone that shows Ellingson pulling a 360 safety off a jump they built just below the summit, on the Hogsback:
Ellingson and Larkin plan to take it even further in 2013-14. They’re talking about building jumps on as many Cascade volcanoes as they can climb, including Mount Jefferson, the tantalizing but fairly inaccessible peak south of Mount Hood.
The Portland screening of Nostalgia will take place Friday, November 8 at the Refuge, an "audiovisionary center" at 116 Southeast Yamhill, Portland OR 97215. Entry is free, and Dakine, Treefort Lifestyle Products, Smith Optics and Kind Snacks will be giving away goodies. The festivities begin at 7 pm.
Here’s a Nostalgia teaser: