Words & photos by John Vandervalk
Earlier this month the epic Nike Ski Chosen Contest wrapped up with a bang right here on Newschoolers and Nike Ski's Facebook fan page, and once the smoke had cleared, Dale Talkington and Andrew Napier were crowned the winners. In addition to the $10,000 and truck load of Nike swag they were able to put in their pockets and closets as a result of the win, they also received an all expense paid trip to Keystone, Colorado to participate in a balls-to-the-walls Nike Ski team shoot.
Once the happy victors arrived, they were welcomed by Nike Ski team members Andreas Håtveit and the unfortunately injured TJ Schiller and Sammy Carlson, who are both chomping at the bit to ski. It was around this time that Andrew revealed he entered Dale in the contest without him even knowing it until they were in the top 5, which of course made Dale that much more stoked to be here to shred with the Nike Ski team, especially since he's been off snow for a couple of weeks after taking a hard fall in Park City.
Nate Abbott, Dale Talkington and Andrew Napier
Following the meet and greet, everyone met at the base of the now closed Keystone Resort and took a couple of cats up to the fabled Area 51 terrain park. And although things looked a bit grim at the bottom due to an over abundance of dirt, due to the fact that Keystone blew 100 million gallons of snow into the park this winter there was still more than enough white stuff to play with up top.
The day began with a session on a massive kicker, which had enough pop to make the late Michael Jackson proud and seemed to send everyone into the upper reaches of the stratosphere. Dale came out swinging and proceeded to throw down hard all morning thanks to his trademark smooth style and an onslaught of switch tricks.
Dale Talkington, winner of the Nike Ski Chosen Contest...
Crushing it alongside Dale was wild child Willie Borm, who absolutely kills it for being only 14 years old, and Håtveit, who was skiing like a machine without an off switch.
After a few hours of insanity on the kicker, we all stopped for a barbecued lunch on the deck and a little bit of time to relax before Jossi and Beau-James Wells arrived from Whistler to join the hysteria.
From there, the afternoon was a whirlwind, with the crew sessioning the transfer gap for half an hour before setting their sights on the 'dirty' rail line: three rails in a row with a cannon at the bottom.
By the end of the day everyone was exhausted and frying like eggs thanks to the thin air, warm sun and high altitude, so it was time to call it and head back to the plush accommodations Nike has hooked up followed by dinner a killer Mexican restaurant.
Andrew Napier and Dale Talkington, exhausted after Day 1 of the Nike Ski Chosen Shoot.
Stay tuned for more coverage on the Nike Ski Chosen Shoot (including edits that Poor Boyz Productions and Andrew Napier are producing on the shoot), and big thanks to Nike for putting together such an amazing time for Dale, Andrew and everyone else who is lucky enough to be here!