There are two types of events in this world. Those that are corporate to make a profit and those that are community based to celebrate a cause or an occasion. For the latter, there is a sense of energy that is unmatched by a corporate event. It seems to capture a moment in time that will never happen again. These gatherings are special to be a part of. One such event happens to be taking place this weekend in a remote stretch of the Sierra’s. It is known as Patchfest.
How did it start?
Like any great grassroots event there are rumors of its origin. Rumor has it, Patchfest can be tracked back as far as the 70’s. Although this might be true, we are certain it’s been going off since the early 2000’s. It was an opportunity to celebrate the end of a glorious winter in the Tahoe Basin and a way for pros and up and coming riders to create fresh content for the summer. It also showcased the local Tahoe talent shredding it up at home instead of heading to Mt. Hood or Mt. Bachelor. Originally, invitations were by word of mouth like a secret surf spot in Hawaii. This is how current organizers, Duane Bratsch & Andrew Guddat, were introduced back in 2006 the year before the Angora Fire. The original invite came from the First Tracks Productions crew. They immediately fell in love with the celebration and wanted to be a part of it.
Passing the Torch
In 2006 the duo got a taste of the festival. Both came back year after year until 2010. This was the year Duane & Andrew agreed to take over the reins and organize the event! In the beginning, they wanted to use it as a way to promote their company, No Way Snowboards. Even though No Way is no more, the two were still passionate about the festival and have managed to keep it going to this day.
The event will start on Friday June 24th and end on Sunday June 26th. It could happen in a day, but Patchfest is a couple days for a reason. Duane commented, one of his favorite parts is the opportunity to meet everyone involved in the snowboard community around Tahoe. Camping gives you the chance to spend more than five minutes on a random chairlift or standing next to each other at an event, to get to know someone. Finally, for avid Transworld faithful, the “fire cross” from 2013 is making its final appearance before being recycled! Of course this couldn’t happen without the support of their sponsors:
What to Bring
If you do make it make sure to bring the following:
- Positive Attitude – This event has been around for decades so let’s keep it that way by making it a celebration. Leave your egos and beefs at home and come with and open mind prepared to enjoy Tahoe “snow culture” at its finest.
- Trash Bags – In 2013 event organizers had to take an entire trailer full of trash out of the Patch. Not cool!!! Be responsible and hold others accountable. Follow the backcountry mantra “Pack It In, Pack It Out.” If not officials may not issue a permit next year.
- Camping Gear – If we need to tell you what to bring you may want to rethink whether or not you should come and if you are prepared enough for a three dayer.
Like any great backcountry journey it’s your responsibility to plan your route to get here. If you should be there, you’ll find it! The only thing we can tell you is that it will be at Red Lake. From there you’ll need to follow your heart to get there.