Photos: Jeff KingThe triple challenge was pretty much the most fun contest I have ever been in. I keep telling people that they need to come check it out… it’s a blast. This article is going to be long, so read it in chunks. Paul, Myself (Doug), Cam, Jeff, and a whole whack of others were there to watch and partake in the happenings. This article is in two parts, the first about slopestyle, as Cam managed to make it over there. I was assisting in the build of the big air feature, so I had my hands full… I did manage to get finished in time to take some laps alongside the athletes, so I’ll be writing from that perspective. All parts of the event were sweet. Moods were high inspite of the rainy conditions of pipe and slopestyle, and the energy went through the roof on big air day when the clouds parted and gave us a day to remember. Without further ado, Cam on slopestyle:(Words: Campbell Truemner) It was a cloudy and rainy start Friday morning when the slopestyle practice got underway. The course looked pretty good, as the riders had good choices of jumps, boxes and rails. There was a men’s and woman’s division. For the men there was an AM category and a Pro. Lots of local guys came out for the pro division. Max Hill, Charles Grant, Dan Kellar, Alex James and Dave Bishop to name a few... While only two women entered, Ariane Hanemaayer and Alaina Lorieman held it down for the ladies. It started with a choice of 15ft jump or a 25ft urban style flat down, both features were sessioned equally by the riders. Next, was the showcase feature of the event, a giant step-up to snow box, which ran about 30ft, to step down. As options they had a choice of a down-flat-down box or the pink-panther box (30’ long x 1’ wide). The course widened to choice between a nice 35ft table, the K2 Red River rail that ran about 30ft; or, the Expo Swing-set rail thingy. It’s like that swingset from the poorboyz movie, but huge and filled in with steel on the front and back. After that, was another 50ft jump with some pretty good kick to it and next to that was a 35ft jump and a big rail, which you had to gap on and off of. It was a pretty big rail that stood about 7ft and the gap to it was about 10ft. The last features were the choice of two jumps. A 55ft jump or a 35ft jump. As these were the last jumps of the run, this is where we saw the tricks come out. Practice ran for an hour from 9am – 10am. Then the qualifiers got started right away. By the time the qualifier got started, it had cleared up a bit. It had stopped raining, but it was still cloudy and pretty flat light. Only the top five of each category qualified for the finals. There was a two-hour break between the qualifiers and the finals, so the finals got started at 2pm. It was definitely worth the wait as the guys were throwing down. The AM’s started this off and we saw great stuff from all the guys; big 3’s, 7’s and a great variety of all of the features. In the Pro division, Dave Bishop was throwing his signature sw rodeos and flat spins, while Max hill and Charles Grant were spinin 9’s. Max was also demonstrating the proper way to 270 on and 450 off of the rails. Slopestyle was a fun contest for all involved. The athletes met up afterwards to all share their excitement of the day, and check out the big air/rail setup. (Words: Doug Bishop) I did 70 hours of work to make sure the all-new big air to rail setup was immaculate. I started at 10pm Sunday evening, and finished up at 11:30am Saturday, 30 minutes before training started. Huge shoutout goes to Blue’s operations department. Those guys worked their balls off to get this thing as pimp as it could be. Crazy Dan Vigus and his immaculate winching ability got the landing to perfection. Adam “the tank” Watson worked long hours making sure the rails were in just right, and the mountain of snow for the jump was perfect. Rob “The Steelman” Sheridan and his team of ninja-welding jedis made some of the hugest rails I’ve ever seen. The man known only as “Spiezz” came through with his immaculate jump shaping ability in the snowcat. It was an honour to work with these guys, and you will see from the pics that they know how to build a sweet event. The operations boys:Dan Vigus on the left, and Adam Watson on the right.The "Spiezz-man"Coming into the final hours, waking up on the last day to be at the jump for 6:00am, everything just started to come together. I drove down to the mountain in the dark, and watched the sunrise over the jump with not a cloud in sight. It was big air day, the sun was shining, it was getting insanely warm, the features were perfect…. Everything was perfect. I went through registration in a haze, and choked down a western sandwitch to try and get some energy back that I would need for the long day. As I skied up the hill sandwitch in hand, I ran into the whole crew. Dave, Dan, Max, Alex, Charles, Andy, Andrew, Bergey…. Everyone was there. It was time to get the helmet on, get suited up and get ready for battle. We skied down to the event site, and saw the park staff laying down the final layer of fertilizer, and raking the takeoff into perfection. Special thanks to Dan Kellar, Bender, Brad , Gary and everyone keeping that jump pimped out. First speed check I took the honour, with Max at my side each throwing shifty straight air just to get the speed. The jump ended up being one of the most fun jumps I’ve ever hit. The takeoff was roughly 40’ wide, so you had a million different options. Lip to knuckle, the jump was 55’, so a bit smaller, but the takeoff had the smoothest kick… and a landing that went on forever. Though the deck was only 55, you could really get your tricks around going deep. Everyone got their speed checks, Dave throwing huge daffies and everyone else just having a good time. Training went on for about a half hour, with everyone just having fun throwing smooth tricks on the beautiful jump. Since it was big air to rail, after you landed the jump the run opened up into an option between two rails. The one on the right was a 40’ flatbar that angled up with 15’ gap to landing. On the left, there was a 12’ – 24’ flat-down, with lipslide takeoffs and a 32.5’ lip to kink gap straight on. Some teched out the uprail, while others prepared themselves for the spin over that gap. Qualifiers started at 12am, and the sun was beating down intensely on the course. Everyone knew some crazy shit was going to go down. You could tell the moment that qualifiers started. It was kind of funny, as due to a last minute change in the format of the contest, the qualifiers simply gave you a better spot in the bib order for the evening. However, once we all realized it, it meant we were going to have 3 hours to just session this thing, and then a four-run contest in the evening. It was pretty much the best news ever, as the pressure was off and the show was on. I spent my day doing 180, 540, and sw 3…. Trying truck and shifty in all my tricks…. I just wanted to have a fun day. It’s also my style to just throw the low rotation tricks, though I did do one seven and yardsale my ass pretty good. Tricks began to go off the hook. Dave B. was tossing his crazy flatspins, switch rodeos, and a big huge backflip just to enjoy the day. Max did one of the sickest zeros I’ve ever seen. Went huge, did a late zero, grabbed his tip, and released it slower than you can imagine. No flailing whatsoever just made it off the chains. Dan Kellar and Alex James had a cork 3-off both getting into some weird flat axis. Alex continued it to cork 5, and worked his sw 5’s all day. McIver was busting sw cork 5 truck like nobody’s business, showing that he learned a lot in mammoth to add to his already smooth style. Charles Grant fresh off touring with the Atomic team around Colorado was bang on his game with crazy cork 7/9 blunt and reverse mute. Sequence below: NS’s Flamboyant was chucking this crazy grab in his tricks… Antoine Gangier style… Cole “Hamstring stretch” Drexler almost had this double-tip all day… don’t know if he ever got it, but man it was close… Tom Dolozel was doing cab 5, 7 and 9 with a plethora of cool grabs. I liked this one the best. Andy Stewart was the first one with the moxie to spin the gap, and sadly most of the rest of it just did the gap and imagined how crazy it would be to spin on. Save that for the night, when it matters. J The day contest was one big session with your buddies. The mood was so high, as skiers and snowboarders sessioned this booter all day. Even the girl boarders were killing the jump, throwing 3’s and 5’s… it was a perfect day. By the end of it, everyone was exhausted, and took a well-needed break before the nighttime money throwdown. We went up to my parent’s place, located at the top of the mountain, and were greeted with a mountain of taco fixings courtesy of The Bishop parents. Thanks mom and dad! I took a nap, got an hour of sleep, geared up and got ready to hit up the contest part of the day. Still in good condition the jump sat there waiting to be hit. It was colder, so the t-shirts being worn in the day had been replaced by jackets, and everyone was ready to see who went home with the cash. The format was simple. Hit the jump for two hours, taking runs in bib order, and your best combo run of the evening would count towards the winning score. Simple format, takes the stress off of your runs. Tom D took home the gold in one of his first runs of the evening. He stomped a massive cab 9, and 270’d the rail gap cleanly. Tom was taken out on one of his final runs, as he tried to 450 the gap, over rotated and gave himself a nice headache for a few days. Rumour has it that Tom is doing fine, and just got knocked out but is ok other than that. Dave Bishop took a well-deserving second that evening. He’s been finishing up 5th year of Mechanical Engineering, building a robotic hand for their final project. I can’t even imagine how much time it would take away from skiing. Dave locked it down. He knew what he had to do to place, and killed the switch rodeo all night. Capping off the run, he stomped a 270 over the gap, and took home the $1000 for second. Andy Stewart came third with a switch 7 on the top jump, and a super-smooth 270 over the gap on the flat-down. Super sick. Dave and Andy claiming their prize.Dave "Beers are on me" BishopMax hill represented with sw7 shifty, and shifty disasters on the gap, moving up to Max-style 270 on. Charles had magnificent cab 9, and a good gap to switch on the rail. Andrew M did cab 5 truck, Alex cab 5 tail, Weale cab 7 tail. I missed some of the other guys, but everyone was throwing down. There was 4 runs that we had, and the night went off without a hitch. It was great to have a little contest ontop of a day of training. You were used to the jump, and there was 2 training runs, and 4 comp runs. The day took all the pressure off of you for getting to know the jump, and only left you doing the best trick possible in four runs. Check out some of the weird artisitc shots that Jeff got:Charles Grant with ghost following.Two frames of T-dizzle and his sw 9.I'll bet this is what skiing looked like in the '60s. All in all, it was an amazing time. Each year the triple challenge grows into something better, and I highly recommend that you come out to it. It’s fun, everyone is friendly, there’s tones of events to compete in, the village gets hopping when the contest ends, and the whole NS team is there. Next year, put it in the plans, we’ll make sure you have a good time. Big thanks to Blue’s marketing team and the man, Johnny Reid for getting something of this scale happening at the mountain. Results:Men's Pro Big Air:1. Tom Dolozel2. Dave Bishop3. Andy StewartMen's Pro Rail Jam:$500 on Uprail: Dave Weale$500 on Flat-down: Andy StewartSlopestyle: Men's Pro:1. Dave Bishop2. Charles Grant3. Max HillHalf-pipe Women Ski 1. Alaina Lorriman 2. Ariane Hanemaayer Men Ski AM 1. Kasper Sherk 2. Wesley Liikane3. Nevin Metzger Men Ski Pro 1. Andrew Mciver 2. Dan Keller 3. Brad Roy (more results will follow when we get the official release)Check out this video from Cam, it's got all the coverage of the nightime you need!