words & photos by Jason Mousseauvideo by Andre Nutini (Stepdown Productions)The Game is not your typical rail jam.
Unlike most events which are held at the local mountain, The Game, which was presented by the good people at Coors Light,
switches things up and brings the rails from the mountain to the
streets of downtown Rossland, BC. The course was built the night
before by volunteers and athletes alike, as a fleet of rails had to
be brought from Red Mountain and setup outside Rossvegas Boardshop.
Rossvegas Boardshop was
the main sponsor along with Ontic Clothing and Red Mountain.
The format for the competition was
fairly simple. The pool of athletes was split into age and gender
categories and each category had an hour to session the course in
order to impress the judges and move on to the finals. If they did
manage to make it to the finals, each competitor had three stabs at
the course in order to put together the best run and win some nice
gear and a wad of cash.
Organizers did a great job of putting
the course together with so little time, and the athletes appreciated
the hard work that was put into the competition. As you can see from
the drop in, the whole rail line is setup on a regular street and
finishes right across the street from Rossvegas and the rest of
downtown Rossland. It took place during the winter carnival, a
cornucopia of snow-oriented festivities, resulting in a little bit of
main-street madness in town. Downhill bobsledding, snow volleyball
and a ton of partying and dancing at the ice bar, located right at
the base of the course, are all amongst the debauchery that went down
during the event.
The drop in for the
The flat rail got
destroyed during the jam, and skiers got creative with 360 switch ups
and hand drags on the rainbow rail.
The down flat down was
home to many disasters and 270 disasters done by both skiers and
The course finished
with a flat down rail or down box option, which led into a C-box.
Most of the competitors liked the
format of the jam, as they had a chance to session it and warm up
before having to throw down for the judges. When athletes did drop
in, they knew that they had three other runs, and that they were
being judged on their overall performance rather than just one run,
which gave them the incentive to try more technical tricks. The vibe
was high throughout the day, and it was easy to see that the skiers
were having a great time and were in the competition in order to have
fun, with the added bonus of winning some gear and cash if they
podiumed.Steezing like no other
My favorite run of the day was not by a
single skier, but a team of superstar athletes which totally killed
the course with plenty of spreads, daffys, 50-50 box slides and
kangs. The three skiers went through the course as a train with one
skier on each side hitting the features, and the other cruising down
the middle of the course rocking out to his electric keyboard. Not to
mention they were all dressed in some of the best gaper gear I have
ever seen. Mad props to you guys.
Finals in the snow.
The competition continued
throughout the day, with the finals going into the dark. The snow was
falling pretty hard all afternoon, and the notion of skiing some
powder at Red the next day kept the vibe high not only for the
athletes, but everyone else outside enjoying the festivities. The
last run was finished, the scores were tallied and a whole lot of
amazing gear was tossed into the crowd at the ice bar before the
winners were announced.