What happens when ATP schedules the first ever SFTC Rail Jam competition under the lights for 2012? Temps drop in the single digits before sunset and the wind gusts faster than a speeding train, of course. What does ATP decide to do about the situation? Man up and run the event anyway regardless of the crazy weather, of course. What do the riders do given the grim forecast, arctic conditions including wind chills well below zero? They make the absolute best of the situation, and show up ready to shred even if they get blown back up the hill, of course!
As everyone knows, the weather is the biggest factor that affects anyone’s experience riding on the mountain. It seems that our events have had an interesting relationship with the weather in the past years, and although the Big Air went off without a hitch earlier in January, the SFTC Rail Jam wasn’t going to get by so easily. The one night ATP plans to host a SFTC event just happened to be the coldest and windiest evening of the year by far. An entire park that was carefully planned and setup with several features offering lots of possibilities for riders to link unique lines together all of a sudden became a tundra with blizzard like conditions and wind gusts that would stop riders in their tracks in the middle of the slope. ATP saw the forecast, knew what was ahead for the night, and tried everything to make the competition as legit as it could be. A snowcat was left in the park to groom out the setup as best as possible, because it was known that the single digit temps and 60+ mph winds would leave Appaljack as windblown and firm as an ice skating rink. The plan was to dust the park with some fresh man-made snow a couple hours before the event then groom it out. Snowmaking was attempted, using the word “attempted” because the majority of the snow probably ended up in Lenior somewhere. The park was groomed out anyway and opened for practice around 6pm, much to the anticipation of all the riders.
This is what is great about all of ATP’s riders/competitors. One of the most intense nights ever at ASM to be outside in the elements, and over 80 competitors left the comfort of their warm houses to shred rails with us. If that isn’t dedication – we don’t know what is. Volcom & Electric didn’t let the weather stop them from hanging and helping out tons w/ the event – hooking all competitors up with custom pressed hats at registration, grilling out hotdogs during the event, and awarding winners from the event with tons of Electric & Volcom gear, along with Recess Ride Shop, Burton & Red Bull.
The original format planned for the Rail Jam was going to be individual runs for all riders, so that each rider’s consistency and ability to link a top to bottom run would play more of a factor than in a Jam format. However, what do you do when a rider gets blown up the hill and can’t hit the second feature anymore? It was agreed on by all judges and riders to have 3 jam sessions for all ability categories, all going down on the top tier of features, including a 20’ Flat Box, 24’ Shotgun Rail, and 21’ Down Flat Rail with ATP’s new stairset in between the 2 rails.
All sessions went off as expected; needless to say all categories were going for it like they meant it! Too many combos to name on the flat box for beginners, 450’s on to the shotgun rail, one-footed front boards, tech tricks on the down flat rail for the intermediates and advanced; it was like a pleasant sunny rail session in the park – except that riders weren’t sure if they could even have enough speed to hit the rails until they were riding off the takeoff. The jam sessions lasted until riders could no longer feel their hands and feet, which was around 25 minutes per division. This was plenty to see who the standouts were – check below for complete final results from the Jam. Top 5 in each category were designated, the remainder of competitors tied for 6th place, and received the same 200 points to go towards their series points. The order of competitors after 5th place is simply based on registration, not riding.
Thanks again to the riders who made this thing happen, without a doubt this will be a SFTC Rail Jam to remember. A good story to tell anyone who is complaining about the weather in any way! Big ups to Recess Ride Shop for their help as always, along with Volcom & Electric, Burton, Red Bull, and all of our contributing event sponsors. ATP is looking forward to the Slopestyle Finals coming up Sunday, February 26. Series points will be added and posted in a new thread asap – keep track of your points and see if you have a chance at winning the series!
Recap photos courtesy of Chad Roffey – thanks!
Shred for the Cup Rail Jam Final Results
6 Cam Smith 200
6 Tyler McCullough 200
6 Michael Carswell 200
6 Clay Burchell 200
5 Skylar Hicks 220
6 Alex Fuentes 200
6 Carter Sharpe 200