Words by: cko
Photos by: Felix Rioux
Much like Pink Floyd's One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces,
the D-Structure Ski-Jam at Val St Come was successful for two main reasons:
it's something to be taken seriously and it's done in a way that makes it catchy,
fun, and most definitely memorable. A few weeks ago NSC Team rider and Blue
Mountain local Doug Bishop and I headed up north of Montreal to Val St. Come
to check out the scene at the second annual celebration of everything good in
newschool skiing. Picture this: take a resort in the middle of nowhere with
ample snow and solid park setup, you bus in 50 kids from all over Quebec whose
soul purposes in life are to throw down, and add starring appearances by visiting
pros and D-Structure team members Iannick B., Phil Belanger, Phil Larose, and
Thomas Rinfret and even a cameo by the infamous JP Auclair (crutches and all).
What you get, when you add in the fact that it's a two day event and they've
rented out the on-hill hotel, is a great vibe mixed with a lot of talent.
Belanger posing for the camera
After a decent night out in Montreal Doug and I somehow managed to leave the
city on Saturday morning at a decently early rate, so after navigating my computer-aided
directions in Doug's Subaru, we made it up to the hill in a reasonable amount
of time. Now coming to smaller resorts can be sketchy organisation-wise, so
I was stoked when our passes were waiting for us at the ticket counter. Stress
level goes down to zero and we head up the lift to check out the park. Upon
surveying the scene and finding a degrading pipe and a set of over-the-line-gnarly
rails we came to the conclusion that the majority of the weekend would be played
out on the jumpline that wound through the tight trees - this ended up being
the case. Base camp for the event was set up at the take off to the money booter,
which made for quite the high-traffic area. Demo tents with next year's Line
and Salomon line-ups sat downhill from the DJ booth and the bbq area where Dan
from D-Structure was cooking free hotdogs (free food on the hill can never be
over-appreciated) and handing out Base like it was candy, which I guess in a
sense it is.
Boosting on the spine
Doug and I called it a day fairly early under breaking greybird conditions
and made it up to the hotel to check our accomodations for the night. Even though
we didn't ski the whole day, it was abundantly clear that there is a high level
of talent in the province of Quebec - and this talent certainly isn't sparse.
After making a beverage run and stuffing ourselves with some hearty road-side
poutine, Doug and I relaxed in the hotel and vegetated until dinner. Since the
resort and surrounding town of St Come is relatively small we enjoyed the entire
hotel to ourselves. Dinner was served in the large banquet hall and food was
demolished by all the rippers in attendance. One of the great things about the
whole event was the vibe; super relaxed and very friendly which allowed everyone
to mingle casually throughout the night as the banquet hall was turned into
the venue for the party.
JP shows off his latest scar
The girls huddled around something interesting
Apparently the past few days excitement had caught up to me so I struggled to
stay awake through dinner. I headed back to the room as the prize tossing began.
When I got back to the party everyone seemed to be having a great time so I
can only imagine how much schwag was given away (for the record I believe that
everyone in attendance got some sort of prize for taking part - quite the feat
when you consider they filled the entire hotel with skiers). Re-energized from
my napping strategy I was able to keep pace with all the other partygoers until
everyone realized we had a big day of skiing ahead of us and we hit the sack.
Sunday proved to be the day of all days - and it even began with a full buffet
breakfast in the hotel. Blue sky, t-shirt and goggle-tan weather by anyone's
standards, and a freshly groomed jump-line had everyone sessioning the various
jumps in front of various photogs and video guys (myself included). Like I said,
the talent here was amazing. I think I saw every corked and inverted manoeuvre
ever named thrown down with ease.
Iannick and JP enjoy lunch together. Awww.
With most people taking a bit of a break for lunch the die-hards kept skiing
right through the day. Munching on hot dogs and Base I watched Mr. Bishop tweak
his unmistakable style on the money booter as the rubber chicken that hung from
his belt garnered all sorts of attention from the spectators. Apparently when
questioned about said chicken, Doug, using his best french called the person
'crazy', and although it was his intention to call himself crazy I think everyone
had a laugh - but probably at Doug's expense.
Doug floats a 5 through the trees, chicken intact.
While Doug flung himself every-which way on the booters, Kim Lamare was practising
her rail skills on a down-kink mailbox that was set up not too far away. Belan
and JP coached her through 270s, switch ups and anything else they could think
up. It was quite the spectacle.
Happy Camper walks away with a pair of Scratches
But then again so was the entire weekend. With a gathering of all those talented
skiers and not a competition in sight, everyone was in a good mood and the event
illustrated the fun that can be had while sessioning with some friends in the
sun on a nice spring day. No word on any concrete details for next year but
rest assured the event will be just as fun. Thanks again to Felix and the rest
of the D-structure crew for the sick weekend. See you next year.