Words: Doug BishopPhotos: Dominic Gratton(action), Christian St-Marie(lifestyle)Video: Paul Stanisci, Outline FilmsWe departed for the Val St. Come at about 5pm on Friday. Not the smartest idea, as that left us smack dab in the middle of Montreal Traffic. Not very well planned on my part, but what can you do. VSC is a sweet resort, but its really hard to find if you don't know where you're going. We had an expert with us, but still managed to take 3 hours to finish the 1.5 hour drive. I think its almost tradition that it takes way too long to get up there, but oh well. I blame the traffic. We were still shaking off the hangover from the night before, as it was my 28th birthday (damn I'm getting old) on Thusday, so it was a slow drive up and a quiet night. We simply picked up a pizza at one of the local restaurants and sat in the hotel room and played Wii.

Amanda demonstrating the proper wrist strap wearing technique whilst playing Wii. I think we played about 100 rounds of bomberman '93 that night. Such a sick game... about 800 wii points, and worth every single one of them.
Here we are walking towards the room. I'm definitely looking pretty tired. You can see Paul (NoPoles) poking through there in the middle. The Auberge at VSC is sick. Its a cutle little hotel that is right on the mountain, full ski in and out. Friday night the place is completely dead, but then starting saturday the entire place fills up with skiers, and we take the whole thing over. Its really secluded and is just a damn cool place to be. So yeah Friday night, playing Wii, going to bed. Not very exciting. Saturday morning hits, and thats when the action gets going. I was armed with $1,000 in $20 bills, a huge megaphone, 14 beers and 8 giant NS flags. Paul and I scraped our faces off the pillows first and made our way out to the hill. We wanted to be sure that NS would get good flag placement, and make a plan for the hostile takeover portion of the day.
Here's the setup at the bottom of the park. There's DJ, BBQ, Demos and lots of places to just chill and watch. Check out those NS flags... Sharp!Once we got the flags up, Paul and I decided to take a few laps and check out the scene. I say it every year in this article, and I will say it again. The D-jam has one of the most positive vibes of any event out there. The format is simple, just go skiing with your friends. The entire resort is taken over by a seeming army of twin tip skiers, and the park is chock full of talent so its a great opportunity to showcase your skills. There's always pros in attendance sharing in the action, with this year being no exception. Phil Belanger, Iannick B., Guilllaume St-Cyr, Dom Legare, JD Zicat, Phil Casabon were just a few of the names out there that day. I'm sure there was more, but I'm gapping right now. There was a bit of cloud cover in the morning, but you could see an actual line approaching where it was going to change to complete bluebird. Around 10:30am, the sun made its presence known, and turned it into one of the best days of the year. The talent level of skiers was high as per usual. The most sessioned feature of the day ended up being the big air jump at the bottom, and standing there watching you could watch every trick from zero up to 12 being thrown. Every axis imaginable was coming out, as the Pros and local talent alike lit up the park for all the onlookers. Even if you're not jumping the D-jam is a fun time to just go hang out. I took a bunch of laps with Paul and random NS members, and had a blast watching everyone. After a bit of waiting, I decided that at around 11:15 or so it was time to start giving away some money. I began with my favorite game, paper rock scissors. There's nothing more entertaining than watching a round of PRS for $20.
Early on Cedric T-F was a champion, and for $60 he got into only his underwear and lay in the snow for 30 seconds while we kicked snow on his back. I only told him afterwards that the guy at Echo who did that made $80, which he was none too excited about. It was mad hilarious though, kicking snow on your buddy's back while he lies there in his underwear. Maybe a little twisted of me, but everyone seemed to be laughing. The basic idea of the Hostile Takeover, is to have a non-event sort of vibe. I've got money and a megaphone, and I'll tell you what I want to see to win cash. We had a little rail contest, which ended up being just who was the first to the end of the big battleship rail, an oldschool contest in which someone put down 6 twisters in one jump. What else... man there was so many different things... we did a chinese downhill, which is always a good time. There was a kid who offered to do a switch backflip for $20, and I always love seeing those. Here's a little video of how that went down. I really apologize for the worst whitebalance setting ever, Paul and I aren't much good with a camera. This gives you a feeling for how the hostile takeover goes down though. The day's madness progressed, with me getting more obnoxious by the minute, and starting to throw away ever increasing amounts of money. I don't remember who it was, but someone had the amazing idea to hold a spin to win contest on the smallest jump in the park. I thought this was an excellent idea, so we proceeded on to do that. Once again, more video, bad white balance. Oh well, thats what you get for having the Tech and Sales guy think they can handle coverage of an event. Needless to say it was really funny to watch. I couldn't believe how much people were hucking themselves, it was unreal. I guess I would have too for $100. JD Zicat ended up being the big winner, tossing a 1260 on the jump that couldn't have been more than 20 feet. He stomped it pretty clean too, though you can't tell much from the video. After that we did a few more challenges around the park, such as double tip grabs, shifty contests, rail jam, etc... all was leading up to the big show at the end of the day, which is my favorite. The crowd judged big air. Here's the basic idea: Tricks must be 7 or under. You've got about an hour at the end of the day to jam one jump, and everyone who isn't skiing comes to watch on the deck. I stand on the deck, skiers lap through, and the crowd picks who they think the winner is. This year we decided to put $160 on the line for the big air, just to make it interesting. We had a great contest, Alex was throwing down with some crazy reverse mutes in a cab 7, Simon with the mad Octograb, Cedric just oozing with style... and plenty of other talent floating around. It ended up being Simon who took it, his cab 7 octo was just insane. Once again, we filmed almost the entire contest and it would have been so sick, save the whitebalance mishap. Oh well, at least there's something right? I tend to get a little obnoxious throughout this, but hey I think it adds good animation to a day of skiing. Shoutout for everyone that put up with me, and all the riders who threw down for the money!
I forgot that we did a hotdog eating contest. It was funny because we made them eat it dry, with no condiments.
Iannick B. I call this the "I'm a computer programmer and still sick as hell" grab.
Iannick again tossing it down.
Random skier on the second biggest jump.
Beautiful scenery at VSC. What an absolutely lovely place to be!
This is Simon, who was our winner of the big air. You can see him mid-octo and the big crowd who was feeling his tricks.
Thomas Lefort showing how a tip grab is supposed to be done.
I think this is Alex... this guy was just tweaking the living shit out of this grab. Super Stylie.
Cedric kickin' it true rockstar style. Those jeans sure were tight, and that leather jacket? Just sick. Mid cab 7 that almost got him the win for the day.
What day of skiing would be complete without someone not using poles? I think we could officially call this a trend now.
From beside the big jump. VSC has amazing takeoffs, I'd imagine its the same cat driver who I worked with last year. That guy is good.
Dom Legare rockin out with the Japan grab. Japan is a wicked grab, and I think everyone should do more of them.
Dom once again sailing over the crowd and looking really pretty with the NS banner in the background.
JF from Bula was kind enough to provide some Tuques to give away. This is me yelling at someone and probably drunk.You would think that after all that action in a day it would be over, but oh no the D-jam is just getting started when the day of skiing ends. Everyone headed back to the hotel to grab a quick nap before the evening gets started. We are all treated to a wonderful dinner in the restaurant at the hotel, in which you get to hang out with all the new friends you made that day, and laugh at the guys who started drinking too early.
This is certainly one of the guys to laugh at.
Me trying to recover from the day and not miss the party. Also notice my horrible facial hair which I was cultivating for moustache march. My brother got the good beard, mine sucks. After dinner finishes, we all return to the rooms to hang out and get ready for the party. Since the whole hotel is only people who are in the D-jam, you can kind of just wander the halls and pop by any of the rooms to meet new people. I lay down and played bomberman for way too long again, and wasn't social enough at the start. People just sort of slowly begin gathering in the bar downstairs, which is the same room as the restaurant. D-Structure gives out a whole bunch of prizes, which sort off the evening. I waited until things were kicking (since its all in the hotel you can send scouts) and joined in the fray. You see here in Quebec there is a reasonable drinking age, so anyone 18 and over can participate in the evening's festivities. Hell if you're under 18 you can still come party, just not buy drinks at the bar. So the night continued way into the evening, with plenty of dancing and yelling going on. What a freakin' fantastic time. I'm telling you, I have no idea why more of you guys don't come out to this thing... I'll say it time and time again, its one of the best happenings of the year. Remember next year to book early, and lets get some more NSers out there!Day 2 was a complete write-off for me. I managed to stay up way too late, and sleep until noon when we had to check out of the hotel. I felt so sick that I just skied up and grabbed the flags, which was about all I had in me. So we really dropped the proverbial ball on the second day, but hey day 1 went off with a bang. What did Kurdt Cobain say? Better to burn out than to fade away? That was stupid. Anyways, here's a video from Outline Films that I found on Putfile. Its way better than our videos, and it shows a lot more action. I apologize for the crappy NS videos, we really fucked up. Oh well. Upload Video - Top 50 - Get Video CodeAnyways, that pretty much wraps up what I've got for the D-jam. Big thanks to Dan and all the boys at D-structure for having us out to this wonderful event. I've said it three years in a row now, don't miss this next year. Put it in your schedule right now, trust me! Later, and spread some love around!