By Brooke Geery
Sometime during the middle of December, a large metal monolith appeared on top of a mountain in Pittsfield. Like the other monoliths that have showed up in Utah, Romania and California recently, its appearance was a mystery. Then, late in the day on Wednesday, Dec. 23, it disappeared. Not, however, before some locals got the chance to snowboard on it.
Darkside Snowboards manager Tucker Zink resides in Pittsfield and met up with Mike Garceau and Killington Mountain School photographer Devon Gulick early in the day on the Dec. 23 to complete the mission.
“We couldn’t let a random piece of metal in the mountains go un-jibbed,” he said. “The Green Mountain Trails are in my backyard so we just followed the trail of Reese’s pieces right to its base.”
In an almost perfect scenario, a sunny day combined with the recent 2-foot snow storm, creating ideal conditions. However, a lack of slope around the sculpture made things a bit tricky.
“We had plenty of snow to build a transition, a good hour of shoveling led us to a nice pile of packable slope,” Zink said. “We’d reshape the lip after every hit. As soon as we strapped in it was as if the monolith pulled us towards it like some sort of jet propulsion. Just kidding— we used a banshee bungee and some pump bumps. We had seen someone else try and drop off the roof of Shrek’s the day before and not have nearly enough speed, so we knew the bungee was the ticket.”
For about two hours, the crew took turns flinging each other into the set-up, and managed to capture some photographic proof, in addition to the memories. Their session was a spectacle on top of a spectacle, so they did have some company.
“One character who claims he had just been in Utah studying the monolith was there, and one nice couple who seemed bummed at first, but accepted us after Mike offered to take a photo for them,” Zink said.
With social media content achieved, the crew left the monolith gleaming in the sun. A few hours later, it was gone… but then reappeared on Christmas Eve. Zink and crew admittedly had left some scratches on the metal with their boards and it seems someone attempted to fix it. The sculpture now stands at a different orientation and is slightly less stable. Riverside Farm general manager Peter Borden hopes to stabalize it and was happy to learn it wasn’t intentionally vandalized and that people we’re getting outside and being active.
Working at the Darkside, Zink said lots of people are getting out snowboarding admid the pandemic.
“The shop has been thriving,” Zink said. “People are flocking to the outdoors and we have been reaping the benefits of that. Split/uphill gear is almost completely sold out. We’re seeing less people overall but everyone that comes in is looking to buy. We’ve been adhering to all CDC guideline, but otherwise it’s biz as usual. Just don’t ask us to use the bathroom!”