Words, photos & video by Jeffrey Wenzel

Arriving at Bear Mountain, California this weekend brought much more than a surprise, it brought the incredible War of Rails course setup. The second I stepped foot onto the snow and walked up to the features I was blown away by everything Craig Coker and the park crew at Bear had done to put together this behemoth of a rail jam setup.

The first day of event brought the best amateurs from around the country to compete for a free session at Windells and a spot to compete against the invited pros in Saturday's finals, where a $20,000 cash purse is up for grabs with $10,000 going to the winner. Needless to say, everyone threw down, despite the intimidating size of the setup!

Pat Goodnough

After two heats and a finals run, 15 skiers were selected to move on to Saturday's competition. The top three (Pat Goodnough, Joey Vandameer and Dom Laporte) definitely stood out amongst the crowd and without question deserved the top spots. Saturday's finals are shaping to be a good one with the pros being added to the mix, so check out the list of riders who will be moving on to face them, and stay tuned to Newschoolers for more coverage on the event.

Joey Vandermeer (2nd), Pat Goodnough (1st), Dom Laporte (3rd)

Qualified Riders

Pat Goodnough

Joey Vandermeer

Dom Laporte

Aidan Sheahan

Alex Dorzinsky

Sean McGowan

Hugo Pelletier

Michael Briggs

Connor Bennett

Rory Walsh

Trevor Stameson

Martin Boulais

Seb Chartrand

Keagan Kilbride

Brendan Trieb

War of Rails Day 1 Recap