Photographers competing in the Arc'Teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge begin shooting at Whistler Blackcomb today
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Words: Doug Bishop and Dan KellarPhotos: Jeff King, Dan Kellar, Amanda Parker, Doug BishopVideo: Dave BrunelleWell yet another March comes around and yet another Triple Challenge. The Triple Challenge is an event that's special to me, as it was probably 6 years ago now that the blue mountain crew banded together to form what was the first ever incarnation of this event. Gotta hand it to Jodi Cooke, who really helped spearhed the creation of all of it. 6 years later though, the event has grown immensely, with greater prize money, bigger features, better riders and volkswagon even threw down and one lucky winner would walk away with a car. Paul bought me fuzzy d20's... which if you laughed at you're a true nerd.Well yet another March comes around and yet another Triple Challenge. The Triple Challenge is an event thatâs special to me, as it was probably 6 years ago now that the blue mountain crew banded together to form what was the first ever incarnation of this event. Gotta hand it to Jodi Cooke, who really helped spearhead the creation of all of it. 6 years later though, the event has grown immensely, with greater prize money, bigger features, better riders and Volkswagen even threw down and one lucky winner would walk away with a car. Its funny, Iâm not particularly used to going out and covering events as that is a task that has now been passed on to Schmuck, whoâs doing a banger job. I decided to take this one though as Iâve been doing the triple challenge for so long. My goal for the weekend: Set a new record for a journalist putting themselves in the article the most number of times. Thereâs a couple of people out there who laughed real hard at that one Iâm sure. ANYWAYSâ¦. So yeah letâs go through the events. Basically I left Montreal on Thursday and drove down to Toronto. There I met up with my brother and his girlfriend and went to see Evil Dead: The Musical. http://www.evildeadthemusical.com/ No word of a lie, this was the funniest shit ever. I did miss halfpipe, but hey what was I supposed to do? I mean weâre talking about Evil Dead the musical here. Luckily enough, Dan âEco-crusaderâ Kellar (who you may remember from such news stories as âSummer of Snow part 1â and âsummer of snow part 2â took some time off from being thrown in jail combating evil car-idling police to cover the event for us! This allows me to use that handy feature of copy/paste and look like I did a good job covering. Booyeah!(Begin poached halfpipe coverage here)Words and photographs: Dan Kellar At newschoolers they don't pay site contributors to post stories, updates, and other fun things, instead Doug has a treasure chest of goodies that he carries around in his Subaru (don't get any ideas, the thing is locked tight like the chastity of some medieval princess) that he randomly digs his hands into and out pops the 'payment'. This time Doug pulled out a pair of 'lovingly used' Salomon SPK boots and I eagerly agreed to to take some photos and do a story on day one of the greatest event in Ontario (for the past 8 years in a row): The Telus Triple Challenge at Blue Mountain. Cam Schuster waiting for the finals to start: It may have had a change of major sponsors over the past couple years, and there may be more than three challenges but the triple challenge has been the same great event, with the best vibe I have ever felt at a competition. Riders are there to stoke each other and to add to the energy pool that everyone pulls from. This year was no different as day one of competition, the half-pipe got underway in the Badlands with what I will call one of Blue Mountain's best pipe's ever. The walls were fully boostable and as long as you rode it proper you would not deck or flat-bottom.Dave Weale on his way up to kick things off in the finals: Unfortunately the weather was not the greatest with snow and impaired visibility, and to boot I fell on my camera and broke my LCD screen, so don't complain about the pictures, be happy they exist, they were shot old school.Happily these pictures do exist so yeah, i don't all the names, so I'm just going to guess and make some up, if I'm wrong, let me know, we're all adults, not louts, I never meant to mess you about:Brad Roy going for a critical on a nice ally-oop:Nathan Wood getting some nice air mid 540:Roy once again reaching for the grab, he got it, don't worry:Wood going big once again with some nice stylie spin:Randolf von Humpington boosting a 540 and into a 900 on the next hit (but we don't see that next hit, I felt it would be too personal):JD Zicat made the trip from Quebec to destroy the pipe with spins of all sorts:Dave Weale was either practicing a grab or stretching away the jet lag before his second run, but either way i thought Head would appreciate this (the top sheet is pretty nice too):All in all it was another killer pipe-event at blue and even though I fell both my runs (who moved my DIN setting down to 6?) the flat 540s, corked 9s and switch tricks were still enough to keep me happy.Max Hill was the high booster of the day easily clearing 4-5m out but could not stick the switch landing of the 7, and of course I screwed up all his pictures...sorry Max.The girls also killed it but i kept missing their runs with my camera. Some nice 5's, 3's ally-oops and other such maneuvers where the tricks of the day for the womenMake it out if you can for the next few days at the Triple Challenge, slopestyle is Friday (and I will be building until 5am again no doubt), Rail Jam is Friday night and Scott Duke has been working on the set-up for that and the Big Air which is on Saturday night. Top prize for the grand champion is a VW GTI and it may be out of my grasp now, I hope a skier gets to take it home over those pesky boarders!Results:Girls1- Steph Bourque2- Gillian McIver 3- Melanie Michener Guys1- Nathan Wood 2- JD Zicat 3-Dave Weale(End poached halfpipe coverage)I woke up super early on Friday and made the trip up to Collingwood. I knew that slopestyle finals started later on in the day, so I had the wonderful opportunity to just be a journalist, instead of running out to train and compete. Also new this year I was not building the jump for the Triple Challenge, as I have made the decision to retire from park building. I was stoked though, as this meant I actually got to enjoy the event. Me and one of the Marketing girls, Sarah McNultyI hopped on the chairlift to go and find our photographer covering the event, Jeff King. I figured that I could kill two birds with one stone: 1) Watch the contest to write about it. 2) Get myself in more pictures. Jeff and I looking insightful... Hanging with a couple of the competitors and park staff on the jump deck.Dave Weale, Max Hill, Cam Schuster, Mack Jones, Tom Dolozel Sandy Boville and many others were holding it down for the local scene, though I guess Max and Dave are technically whistler guys now weâll give it to âem. JD Zicat and Justin Meilleur were locking it down for la belle province and Cam Schuster Aleksandar Lazic and the rest of the BC team were slaying it for the west coast. Also a welcome addition to the triple challenge was Miles Ricketts and his magnificent ski announcing! Itâs really sick to see people from all over Canada coming to check out this growing event. All in all there were 58 skiers in the event and they did their best to provide us with some serious slope style entertainment! Alex James, Little Stittle, Amanda Parker, Max Hill and Doug Bishop. Watching the contest in style! I wanted the shot of this guy jumping over me... and yes that is a coldpole. So sick. :) Super stylish high mute in a big corked spin out of one of the riders This rail is money... and the shot is cool. The park was jam packed with features to give you as many options as humanly possible. One of the Ontario team riders slaying this spin with a super wacky tip grab kind of thing. This is the bottom 3 hits in the course. Absolutely jam packed, which makes for a great show. There's tonnes of rails around this too, but the shot doesn't get them in there. Wider shot of the park, you can see properly here all the rail options. That first deck has a super sick 24' down rail on the left, flat box in the middle and the ever popular down-flat rail on the right.Max was on a mission to take home the Volkswagen and was spinning on and off of all the top rails and going for it with big switch 7âs and 9âs on the bottom hits. Tom Dolozel in true form was spinning every which way, and Mack Jones was showing us that he was a force to be reckoned with. However, in the end the win went to the seeming skiing robot JD Zicat. Much deserved win for JD as he was spinning with precision, grabs all the way through, tech on rails and landings that were a perfect 10. Sadly the skies were a little overcast, though that seems to be standard fare in competition this year! However there was still the same fun vibe that weâve always had a the triple challenge, and the skiers did nothing but have a good time. With slope style ended, there was only a few hours left until the night time rail jam went down. I decided to use this time to take a few runs, and go have dinner with my parents. Sadly I didnât realize that the event was starting earlier, so I will once again have to throw it over to Dan for the story. The third event of the Telus triple challenge at blue mountain, which is in fact 4 events so I think a name change may be in order (har har), went off on Friday night with some amazing skiing. Apparently I did not get the memo that said the event was pushed forwards an hour and a half so I missed most of qualifying and arrived just in time to not make the finals, so instead I watched and enjoyed the show. The set up was good with a smoothed down lift tower with a big gap to the landing followed by a choice of a trapezoid box or three boxes that were set up as a trapezoid. Some riders chose the chair and others chose to hike, both took about the same amount of time to get into another run, unless you were max hill who managed to get in about 15 runs by snaking the line. The cool part about this event is that skiers and snowboarders are going down one after another and everybody is appreciating what others are doing, regardless of the number of planks. High stoke and a sweet night.The riders were coming off of an amazing afternoon of slope style finals where JD Zicat took the win with tom Dolozol right behind him and the action continued without pause in the finals. My favorite and JDâs top run consisted of a switch up on the cannon, with a 270, 360 switch up over the flat part of the trapezoid and a 270 out. It was smooth as butter and earned him 2nd place. Riders were trying variations of spins and grabs off the cannon with 630âs being the most and were either enjoying gapping over the top of the trapezoid with a 360 as Dave Weale did, or gapping to the down of the 3 box set up with 270s, 450s, or as T-Dizzle preferred the 630 on.In the end it was Jamison Irvin who took the win with an icy clean 450 off the cannon, to a 270 on, switch up, 270 out on the trapezoid. He made it look easy and at 12 years old, he put the âoldâ men to shame. 3rd place went to âAlbacore Delonginalâ who was going for a 630 off the cannon but settled for a 450 out to a gap 450 onto the down. The ladies competition was missing some ladies and Jen Creighton placed second with a 270 off the cannon to smooth sliding of the trap, to Blue Mountain local Jessica Warrl who was just slaying the cannon with stylie 270âs off to switch up spin offs on the trap box. It was another cool rail Jam at Blue Mountain and a great cap to another day at the Telus Triple Challenge. Saturday will be another great one with the Big Air competition going on all day.(Back to Doug)Big air is one of the most anticipated events at triple challenge, and this year would prove to be no exception. With tones of cash on the line, and a talent lineup that was hungry for it, we were all ready for an incredible contest. However, there was one problem: It seemed as though that morning a 40cm snowstorm decided to blow inâ¦ and start just absolutely puking. Great for skiing, bad for a big air contest. T-Dizzo and his smooth sw rodeo 7's. Gettin' Corked Dave Weale and his signature double JapanThe traditional format of the TC big air is greatâ¦ you just have like 3 hours to jam and qualify for the night event. No stress, no pressure and youâre judged on your overall performance and bag of tricks (which yes we have been doing this format for 6 years so NA open isnât anything new.). Then a few riders are selected to move on to a nighttime final under the lights. After about an hour of jumping in the ever-increasing snow the riders decided that it would be best to just move to a 3-run âmaybe finalsâ immediately and let those results hold even if the nighttime event was cancelled. Matt Belize getting upside down! Mack Jones had wicked flatspins he was doing all day long. I really liked this guy's style. Max Hill and his burly corekd spins. Just another picture of me... Isn't that a sick joystick facemask?The skiers threw down hard during these runs. Brett Perron threw some super clean tricks, Tom Dolozel threw some signature and very stylish sw rodeo 7âs, and some crazy spinny 10 sorta thingy, and Mack Jones locked it down with good spins and smooth style. Max Hill, Dave Weale, Cam Schuster, Aleksandar Lazic, Jon Harris and Charles grant all had varying levels of success. Some claimed that the flat trajectory of the jump that was built for snowboarders was hurting them, some felt they were off it, but any way you shake it you couldnât see the jump from the start of the in run. Hitting a 75â jump under these conditions isnât easy so definitely the riders did what they could with the given conditions! This is what it was like during the contest... well at least it was like this at the good parts where the snow slowed down!Big shout out to the women who slayed the jump all day long regardless. Jessicaâs big 360âs were definitely something to be proud of! That night big air was in fact cancelled because the snowstorm tripled in intensity and launched high winds at the site making it completely unsafe to jump. JD and Justin relaxing at the knowledge that the big air was cancelled. Sweet shot. Look at how much snow there was!So the day finals stood and the results ended as: Tom Dolezel Mack jones Brett PerronWomenJessica Warll Jen ChrichtonAnnnnd what was the biggest excitement of the event is that through all of the different comps, there was a score tally going on between skiers and snowboarders.Â The winner with the most points at the end would drive away in a brand new Volkswagen GTI!!!Â In true form, JD Zicat layed down all the best runs and is the proud leasee of a brand new car! Gotta spray champagne when you win... JD and his cool novelty key...Lots of shovelling to go before you can bust out your new whip buddy!That night we all piled into the base lodge of the resort for the annual coors light party. Maritimes rapper Classified slayed the stage all night long while king cans of coors light flowed like water. Always a good time at Blue Mountain! The baselodge was packed with partying guests. Moustache March here I come... Now come on if this isn't a perfect sponosor shot then what is? A cameraman taking a picture of a cameraman.... spooky!Â Charles Grant, Jen Chricton and Max hill gettin' crunk. Max showing me a little bit of love.So all in all through mixed weather the triple challenge came out on top once again as a success.Â If you're in the area, or even sort of near the area you should come out to my hometown one of these years and check this contest out.Â There is a good level of talent, decent prize money, good parties, and overall just a good vibe to it.Big thanks to the blue mountain operations crew for putting in all the effort they do every year to make this happen. Shoutout to Jonny Ried, Sarah and the rest of the marketing/events team for making this event what it is!And finally... here's the video for you guys to check out!Click here to download .mov version.
Photographers competing in the Arc'Teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge begin shooting at Whistler Blackcomb today
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The ultimate urban freeski challenge kicks off in February 2016.
A triple-less trip to Stubai. Contains a lack of forward planning, an angry race coach and fun times!