I get way too obsessed with this stuff.   The first night I got here, I used 7lbs of flour making a HUGE pile of play-dough.   I then used popsicle sticks to create a model of the rail setup.   We're trying to do something pretty cool with them, so I wanted to get a visual before we started.   Even built it to scale... kinda nerdy but whatever.  So...  getting into it.  What some people don't realise is that the first 75% of building something like this is SUPER boring.  Think of how big the pile of snow is that a big air jump sits on... like the deck and landing and whatnot.   That takes a LONG time to push up.   It's not always necessary to be there while the guys are making this mound, but I like to stay just to see the whole process.   It gives you much more apprectiation for what it takes to build a jump start to finish.   Takeoff is the easy part!  So... schedule so far:Sunday 10:00pm - Show up... go over with Adam to do some pushing.   Just getting a start on the jump.   You have to work from the "toe" backwards.   The Toe of the landing is where the landing ends and goes back into flat ground.   So you put a pile there, and then just start pushing snow towards it like crazy.   We also had to build flatspots for the Stage, Generator, Telus Superdome and the Events trailer.   You can't really just throw that kind of thing on the hill, so you've got to put it on flat ground.  We got finished by 1:30am, as the guys had to go finish the trails on the hill.  Run home and sleep from 2:30am - 6:00am and head back in for 6:30am.   Go over to event site with Adam again, and as the other guys finish their trails, we were joined by four more cats to get the giant pile pushed.   Being the wonderful stand-up gentlemen they are, they stayed late until 10:30, and we got a huge chunk of the pushing done.  At 10:30 Steve Spiessman (Spiezz on NS) showed up in his cat, and we began prepping the deck for the rail feature.    Mostly just pushing, nothing super exciting, but Spiezz is making sure that when the rails go in they have a good mound of snow to sit on.    We worked until about 3:30pm, and then raced home to catch a bit of sleep.  10:00 pm, go back in and head over with the Winch Cat driver.   I don't know if you guys know what a winch cat is, but it's the ONLY way to get a sweet landing.   You park one cat ontop of the deck about 100' back, and clip the cable of the giant winch mounted ontop of the second cat to the blade.   The winch cat can then back down the landing, and push the snow from the toe up to the knuckle, building it up to give more consistently pitched landing.   The snow was not so good though... really uncooperative.   If anyone knows what "sugar" snow is, you'll know what I'm talking about.   It's when the moisture dries out of the snow, and it's the consistency of sugar.   Imagine trying to build a snowball out of a bag of sugar, and you can imagine how hard it is to build.    Dan Vigus (the best winch operator I've ever worked with) did everything he could, and we got a nice rough shape of the landing going.   We were finished by 4:30am, as other work had to be done.  Due to a dummy downhill happening today at the event site, this was a great opportunity to get a good chunk of sleep.    I'm heading back in at 10pm tonight to get that landing winched to proper shape, install the rails, and get a start on the takeoff.   I'm hoping to be finished work by 4:00pm tomorrow if all goes well.   I've got four rockstars, and a giant thermous of coffe to hopefully stay awake and alert.   I've got a few pics so far, but they're not all that exciting... as I said 75% of the work is simply massive amounts of pushing, and it's up to the cat drivers to simply put in the time to get it done. Tomorrow I should have some good shots of the developments to show you guys.

Me standing beside the rail deck... you can't really see it here, but it's not much yet.  Landing for the big air jump is in the background.
Spiezz pushing a big blade full of snow.
The beginnings of a landing.   This is pre-winch.
This is Steve Spiessman.   Best cat driver I've ever worked with.  I'll get some better pics tonight of everything as it develops. 


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