“Slam on the brakes!” the bus full of snowboarders yell at the driver. After a few erratic swerves, he brings the bus to a grinding halt. The kid standing in the front entrance stairwell is well miffed by these motional irregularities as they upset his aim—a precarious aim down the neck of a small bottle perched to receive the yellow brew of his near bursting bladder. It had been twenty minutes tops since the bus made its last pit stop. Consider the tone set for a weekend in Siglufjörður flavoured with irresponsible drinking.
Shit Does Not Pause Before Going Down
As our horde of knuckle draggers settles beneath the magnificent peaks, which arguably contain the country’s best slopes, shit does not pause before going down. A jib course has been prepared and a shindig unfolds with talent from up north slaying rails like it was their day job. But the show soon moves from the unreal ripping taking place on the monument to the macgyvering on the sewer pipe corner jump. Under the moonlight, riders sail down the sketchy in-run at a terrific clip and explode off the lip in a variety of fuck nuts displays of upside down trickery, while paying no mind to the innumerable hazards in the way of their trajectories.
After upside down is returned right side up, one Danni Magg emerges victorious in the rider’s choice awards, proving once again that the borderline senile with age can also play the young man’s game. The day ends with festivities that are but a bated foreshadowing of what is to come on Saturday night.
As Saturday greets us with perfect weather, the slopes are draped in a hellish hard pack. The hill is adorned with some sizeable jumps, albeit with landings so unforgiving that only the most foolhardy would tackle them. Hence, a hastily erected wall ride feature hosts the day’s competitive session. Lo and behold, the talent proves that every obstacle is suited to flip off of, even wooden walls.
As the wind picks up, however, peeps seem to be over it, and the public pool calls until it’s dinnertime. At the awesomely cosy Kaffi Rauðka, half a metric ton of primo lasagne feeds the gathered masses while civilities are being observed before they break down into full-blown Bacchanalian debauchery with a side order of utter mayhem.
Nary A Soul Bids Sunday A Good Morning
As a sunny Sunday knocks good morning on the still inebriated skulls of last night’s mob, nary a soul bids good morning back. I decide to sleep in and hitch a ride to the slopes around noon. Once strapped in with a T-bar between my legs, I discover that all the noise in the guesthouse corridor two hours earlier had been caused not by a busload of hung over wretches, but by seven or so responsible drinkers. The hill is all but empty!
The organisers seem to have given up as well, seeing as the event tent has not been pitched, the stereo remains silent and only the sole straggler Ingó Olsen cares enough to put the PistenBully at his command to work shaping the jumps, which seem fated not to host the old school trick event slated for today.
The less frightening of the jumps, which remained largely un-sessioned yesterday, see a bit of downsizing and the landings are infinitely more inviting than the previous day with the dump that the heavens saw fit to grace us with during the night. I manage to locate my balls somewhere in the deepest reaches of my backpack for a single jump. Mid-air flailing ensues, but I set it down safely, sure that the young talent still in bed (or on pee-stained floors, under a toppled stove or on a broken couch—as it turns out) would not nominate me as having “sent it,” but rather crafting a phrase to describe how stupid the middle-aged look in the air.
The Ride Back Is Markedly Less Eventful
As the area’s operating hours draw to a close, a few of the least hung over manage to make it up there and share stories and rumours from last night’s ballyhoo, each one more graphic than the last. The bus ride back to Reykjavík is markedly less eventful than the trip over, and as I gaze back down the seat rows of spent riders, nearly every one of them has been paid a call by the sandman.