Let's talk about rail jams, personally I've met so many cool people through the experience of rail jams. Rail jams bring together people from different areas, different mountains, different disciplines, and bring them all together.
I really think rail jams were one of the core pillars behind creating such a strong community that drew me into skiing.
So why don't we see them anymore? I believe the disappearance of rail jams is because people do not see affect they have on community. There is no tangible result or product that you can put down on a spreadsheet. They certainly don't make a profit. But that doesn't mean that they don't have immense value!
So how can we help change people's perspectives on this?
One way is to educate, another way is to go extremely out of our way to support any rail jams that still are in existence. To give the organizers of the event large crowds or insane participation numbers, so that they can have something tangible to show for why the next rail jam should happen!
That being said, I have been tasked with running a rail jam this Saturday at Gilson. I ask that if you found any of the things I've said true for yourself, and your experience with rail jams. And you are within a vicinity where you could show up to this event. For the sake of rail jams, please turn out and show your support!
Honestly, we will have another rail jam next year regardless. Because it's something we believe in. Don't need anything more to convince us. But it would certainly be easier for us to get other companies to join in on it next year. Get even bigger prizes. Get even larger sponsors, build bigger setups, it could turn into a circuit of winter rail jams, who knows. But all those things have to be pitched to a company, or a mountain, or a sponsor. And companies have a hard time buying into "strengthening the community" Some don't have the same value placed on that as others.
Sorry for my rant. I just really hate to see so few events for the next gen. When I had some of the best memories traveling with my friends to a rail jam or whatever.