Words: Doug BishopPhotos: CkoVideo: Campbell TruemnerLets see… where do we start? First off the D-jam was a blast. If you missed it, that was an extremely bad call, and you should never do something that silly again. My weekend started on Thursday night. My girlfriend and I headed up to check into the hotel room, and my brother, Alex James and Max Hill were meeting us there later on in the evening. Guyaume St.-cyr, LP, and JD Zicat were already there ready to help out with the tweaks we were doing on the terrain park. We had the entire day to work on stuff and make it the way we wanted, which was fantastic of the mountain to let us do! In my typical slave-driving fashion, the alarms began chirping at 6:30am, and the troops were rallied bleary-eyed and dragged out to the hill. Armed with about 24 beers and a bottle of Jager, we were determined to get this park to perfection in the one day we had to work on it. I had gone in the Wednesday before and prepped a few things, so that only shovel work remained. Only problem… no lifts, no sleds, no nothing… so we had to hike all the way up to the top of the park to work on the first rail. The troops were none too pleased at this fact…. Perhaps it was that I didn’t tell them we were going to be walking until we got there that day, but they wouldn’t have come if I had. J It was a long day of shoveling, but the rewards were fruitful. We managed to take all the rails that Val St-come had, and set them up super-pimp style. The cat driver went over and worked on the jump landings, steepening them up and making everything uber-sick. Lunchtime rolled around, and the frenchies who had come up a bit later had to drive us to the restaurant, as us Ontario boys had hit the Jager starting at about 8am, and were getting more and more silly by the minute. I even slipped and fell down like half the run at one point, getting snow burn all over my arms… I deserved it though, as I was lagging on the morning hike, and snagged a ride up the last pitch with the cat, laughing at the guys walking. My fall promptly slid me down to the point that I hadn’t walked up in the morning, much to the delight of the other guys. It had started raining by noon, so the end of our day was a tad wet, but spirits were high. When we built the hip/table feature at the bottom, Max was so motivated that he built a mini-ramp on top of it. The idea was that people could gap into the mini-ramp from the hip takeoff, which was a pretty damn good idea in theory. Might have worked too, if after we left some scumbag hadn’t walked all over it and totally destroyed all the hard work. Lesson to you: If you ever come across a park feature that looks like its been freshly built…. DON’T WALK ON IT. Max was really mad, and if he ever finds you he’s going to give you a wedgie you won’t soon forget. Friday night was when the rest of the crew rolled in. Cko, Cam and Nopoles arrived with Dave Crichton and Garrett Brittain, and headed into the already crammed hotel room. We kept it pretty mellow that evening and got ready for the insanity that was going to be Saturday. You see, as with the nature of the Hostile takeover, Chris and I each had $500 in our pockets that was going to be given out over the course of the weekend, and I had a megaphone to yell at people. Me looking pretty haggered.For me, this pretty just makes up a good time. I’ll get into that insanity in a bit, but first the morning. Just a bit slow getting out of bed, everyone went down stairs to enjoy a nice breakfast at the hotel. Fueled up and ready to go, we all busted out the door and went skiing. The hostile takeover was on, and I had $500 burning a hole in my pocket. I had all these fluorescent bands that people were supposed to wear to be entered, and all they had to do was say “I love newschoolers.com” However, for some reason not too many people actually came up to me. Lesson for the future: Don’t be shy to do something like this, as the first few people who entered got to do a chairlift paper-rock-scissors tournament with a prize of $20 to the winner. Many small games such as this ensued, with the now-paid attendees walking away pretty stoked. At one point, we were riding the chair, and Max looked over and said, “If I 270 onto the flat-down within two runs, will you pay me?” It was a pretty burly setup; so I said that was fine, but if anyone did it before him they would get his money. I wondered how it would go offering money that early in the morning, and really I think it may have ended up being a bad idea. Dave Bishop, in a hope to steal Max’s money and glory 270’d onto the top box, caught his front edge and landed on icy chunks on his kidney. I thought that was bad, but when Max went for the glory he stomped the sickest 270 you’ve ever seen on a HUGE flat-down rail, stomped it, went a little backseat and then basically accepted death. Max caught an edge and was rocketed into the trees at the side of the run full-speed. When we found him, he was heaped over a rock with blood everywhere. Funny thing about Max… hardly ever falls, but man when he does he just fucking kills himself. Miraculously, Max was ok. “I really thought it was over. I just accepted that I was about to die.” In a feat of toughness, on the way down Max noticed that JF Houle had started going end-to-end on the hip, and decided to gap over. He was the second one to hit it, literally 5 minutes after being picked up in a bloody mess off of a rock in the trees. The Uber-sick shifty 180 didn’t hurt either. We all decided that today wasn’t the day, and we were going to ski down and make new friends with the 28 pack of some Quebec beer (Laurentide) at the bottom. It was time to grab the megaphone, and give away some money! I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun really. I got to be that guy… drunk, holding a megaphone and handing out money to people for doing tricks. For anyone who knows me well, you can just imagine what it was like. We decided that at first, we’d head up to where people were hitting the spine, and talk as much shit as possible. The funniest part to me was that people really didn’t believe we were handing out cash. Our entire group was chirping that we’d pay for uber-style or anyone doing a true tip grab in a spin, yet nobody was trying it. Riders had begun hiking up to hit the feature, so we had more of an opportunity to heckle them as they walked by us. JF Houle was the first one to get paid, as he finally believed us when we showed him that we had cash. Soon after, we started tossing out bills to anyone who would do what we want. There was one guy from Avila who got paid for a nice flat 5, another for a double tip, and a few others. The real excitement for me was Iannick B. We had been offering up $40 for anyone to hit it switch, and harassing Iannick about doing a trick for us. He combined the two, and was the first to send the kicky hip to the end with a cab 3. Iannick hated his style, but we paid him nonetheless. This guy got paid for his fantastic doublegrab. Doublegrab and style... paid for two categories. After putting a serious dent in our beer reserves, we decided to go replenish at the tents and give some money away at the small flat-down mailbox right at the bottom. The chaos was about to ensure… we announced to the crowd what was going on, and parked ourselves on the box above the rail. Cedric T-F (quebecfreestyler) came up with a great idea… He would set the trick, and the first one to do it got paid $20. Blindside changeup pole pass later, and the session was on. One of the riders (didn’t get any names in the chaos) did it, got paid, and had to set the bar for the next round. We went through a bunch of tricks and threw out a few hundred bucks in cash to everyone hungry for it. We even had one guy purposely nut himself for a $20 bill. There’s no end to the entertainment when you’ve got money to hand out. : ) The session on the mailbox kink wound down, and we decided it was time to move the party around the park. Backup beers in bag, beer in one hand, megaphone in the other, I departed for the top of the terrain park, announcing that we’d be out there somewhere giving away cash for tricks, courtesy of Newschoolers.com. The rest of the day we moved from feature to feature in the park, with a huge group of hungry skiers looking to get paid. One by one the features were sessioned and money given away. I kind of wish we had a good shot of me paying someone, but sadly we don’t… so you’ll just have to imagine it. The day ended with the sickest session on the big table you can imagine. I rallied up all the riders and said that we had about 45 minutes left in the day. I had $40 that was the prize purse (cko later added $60 to that, making it $100) and I wanted to see some style. There were very simple rules… go session the jump until we say stop, and tricks over 9 will get you zero points. Judging was going to be done by the crowd on the deck of the jump watching. It was a pretty heated battle actually, with people pulling out style left and right. Mack Jones from Ottawa held it for a while with his flat 5 way down the landing. For a while we thought he was untouchable, until Cedric stepped in. Ced threw an unbelievably sick rodeo 5 tip grab, and the crowd instantly erupted, agreeing that it was his. Max hill took a stab at the title, with his almost inhuman shifty zero, but a small arm flail kept the crowd on Ced. Ced solidified his win with a cab 5, and went home with the money. Props to everyone who was in that though, it was wicked to watch, and everyone threw down with smooth style, which I like. The skiing was over and everyone got ready to party that evening. The entire hotel was sold out to D-jam people, so the place just lit right up. There was a bar open for dancing and hanging out, and even the under-agers were invited. It’s Quebec, so people are mellower about that. Piles of free stuff were thrown out, and the entire thing caused about $1000 in damages to the hotel, and the night was off the chains. Well at least so I’m told, as I wrote myself off so bad during the day I passed out at 8:00pm right after dinner. Alex even had the megaphone right in my ear yelling, and everyone poking me, but it was hopeless. The Hostile takeover money throwing had taken it all out of me. Well maybe it was the beer… details… The weather was unbelievable for the whole weekend. Sunny and beautiful both days, and people just going off. Sunday was a big day for shooting, and all of us headed up. Charles Boileau was shooting for Plehouse, and Phil Benjamin was there getting film for the Poorboyz movie. Everybody went off, but I’ll let the pictures tell the story of that day. Antoine Gangier and his crazy grabs. Two hands on one tip. Antoine again. I'll tell you this guy has some very unique style. In this picture he's grabbing both tip and japan... roll that one around in your head. Phil Casabon with some nice tricks. Cedric once again throwing down. I think this was big 540s, which really looked good. That was a dumb caption, eh? Dave Bishop breaking the monotony of corked spins, and throwing the flattest flatspin you can imagine. It was flatter than a bitch on bigwheels. JD doing his crazy tweaked out grabs. Can you see how we cut a mini-ramp into the top? You can also see the bootprints that destroyed Max's hard work. Max Hill in a 540 blunt... smoove! Charles Gangier with a 540 and grabbing it like no tomorrow. Animated Sequence of Dave's flat 5.... I just love this trick so much. Max hill demonstrates how to properly do a shifty and make it look good. I keep trying, but the little fucker just always does it better. Overall it was pretty much just the shit. D-structure offering hotdogs in the village at the bottom, people both ripping hard and chilling out. The loose overall nature of just getting together with a bunch of people, hanging out and skiing for two days makes for an amazing time. Next year I want to see more of you NSers out there! The whole Hostile takeover idea worked out pretty well too, so we’re planning on doing it again. Just have to make some more money to give out, but that will come. The Moral of the story, when there’s another gathering of the NS members, come to it! It’ll be a blast. WATCH THE VIDEO
The University of Vermont Freestyle Skiing Team is back, kicking off their first event of the season with Vol. 2 of the Design & Ride Rail Jam at Sugarbush Mountain. On January 20th, Sugarbush Parks and UVMFST will be hosting their first rail jam of the year, with a twist - a custom designed rail plaza. Competitors can create and submit a custom rail design for the chance to have their dream design featured in the competition.