The legend has it that a guy named Dick bit it in the ditch a decade or two ago and wasn’t found until spring. So every year Jackson takes this man eating ditch that splits the mountain in half and adds some terrain traps and gates in precarious places. This year a serious snow debt prevented Jackson’s park and pipe crew from getting as nasty as they usually do, leaving racers with a more traditional featureless slalom course.
The hard boot guy was fast, so fast in fact, that I kept missing him in pictures. The absence of the usual Terje Kicker and the step up over the cat track set a more traditional banked slalom and made locked in Graham Watanabe, who is on the U.S. SBX team, untouchable. It didn’t stop past winners and JH locs Pat Holland and Rob Kingwill from continuing their ditch rivalry. Kingwill reminisced for, “the upper section super turns and the double airs, but the conditions were super fast. Some of the costumes from the preliminaries were stripped in the finals for speed, but no one else rocked the hardboots and no one else had a chance against Watanabe. On the ladies side, it was a tossup, no big names made the trip and local speedster Emma Rahme was down with a blown knee.
While the lack of workable snow for bigger features kept the racecourse shorter and less burly then in the last few years, after the preliminaries Smith wheeled in their jacked up limo for a booze fueled après rail jam. I didn’t know there were any jibbers in Jackson, guess that I should cruise through the park more often, because there were a ton of guys out there and they were killing it.
Illuminati rider, Adam Dowell pulled off a clean cab 270 on, frontside boardslide, 270 off, with some rotating in the middle and smooth nose presses for first. Mike Mahron drove from Casper, WY to get stylie for 2nd over Jackson Park and Pipe’s Mark Carter. Jackson mini ripper “Dirty Dave Pistono eventually nailed the rail with one foot unstrapped, in a move judge Jeff Moran dubbed ‘shooting the duck’ and grabbed most creative for his efforts.
Ditch ResultsMen’s Pro Snowboard1. Graham Watanabe 1:10.68 $7002. Pat Holland 1:11.27 $5003. Rob Kingwill 1:11.66 $200
Women’s Pro Snowboard1. Katelyn Reid 1:26.53 $7002. Meg Petersen 1:30.86 $5003. Hannah Steele 1:31.92 $200
Smith Rail Jam1. Adam Dowell2. Mike Mahron3. Mark Carter