The 8th stop of Volcom Stone’s 2011 North American Peanut Butter & Rail Jam tour came and went in a flash on Saturday, February 5th at Moonlight Basin, Montana!
Each year our visits to Moonlight Basin for the PBRJ are both eventful and educational. For example, this year we learned that the 2011 Chevey Tahoe is remarkably difficult to perform proper donuts in. We also soaked up the fact that very rarely does one come across rippers of a similar breed and style to what Montana boasts. Though I mention it every year, Michelle Jondahl, Chris Mountjoy, Shawn Whitehurst, Brent Mach, Ersin Ozer and the rest of the glorious folks at Moonlight Basin are a sheer delight to work with. They know what goes into a solid event and don’t hesitate taking the initiative to see that it happens. From the terrain park to marketing to operations, two thumbs!
Four year-old Will Gannon wasn’t letting his size get in the way of his jibbing
Another distinct and notable aspect of Moonlight Basin is the extraordinary amount of fine shredding terrain that the area is inundated with! We were fortunate enough to snag a few runs with the resort crew on Friday and as always, weren’t disappointed! The similarities to other long-established resorts such as Mammoth and Lake Louise are evident in the playground that is Moonlight Basin.
Nose-bonking and tail-grabbing in zone 2
This year we thought we’d mix things up a little and get the party started with the Men’s Open division. This turned out to be a good way to kick things off as the big guys went to work and immediately inspired technical tenacity and progression! Todd Kirby was back on the PBRJ scene and looking to defend his 2010 victory. Standing in his way were formidable foes such as Corey Schneider and Cole Linzmeyer! Heavy tricks were laid down on Moonlight’s three immaculate PBRJ contest features similar in fashion to the way we were coated with the snow and heavy wind that mother nature dished up. After the scores were tallied, Tod Kirby was on top of the heap once again with Jacob St. John in 2nd and Cole Linzmeyer in 3rd!
Cullen Bernklau leading the charge with a GoPro HD Hero closely followed by Cole Linzmeyer
Inspired and eager to get down to business, the 15 & Under division blasted out of the starting gates with chips on their shoulders! In classic Montana shredder fashion, the worsening weather was shrugged off and didn’t dampen the magic before us! Our ocular cavities were privy to a host of impressive tricks including buttery smooth f/s boardslides on the 30′ double-barrel down-rail and 50-50 f/s 270 f/s boardslide on the up-down propane tanks! When the snow briefly settled, why it was Conner Freeman perched atop the podium with Zach Grobel and Brad Tiefenthaler in 2nd and 3rd respectively!
F/s 180 fakie nose-press in zone 1
No sooner had the lips been raked then the 16 & Over group were upon them like watches on wrists! What would be in store for us? “Hard tellin’ not knowin!” This question was quickly answered to the tone of splendidly stylish lipslides, f/s bluntslides 270 out, half-cab tailpress nose-bonk b/s 360 out! The vast majority of 16+ competitors were worthy of going home with more than a “participant” ribbon. That said, our judges were able to whittle the field down placing Jaeger Bailey in 1st, Andrew Riddle in 2nd and Brady Myers deftly jibbed into 3rd!
Zone 2 provided plenty of excitement/terror all day
Next it was time for the Girl’s Open division to take centre stage and put on a manic menagerie of notable tricks. Courtney Cox and Melissa Ritano drove all the way from Colorado to test their mettle against their Montana counterparts! Of course, with estro-jibbers (note clever play on words) such as Cindy Kilmer, Sarris McComb and Audra Bintz in attendance and riding hard, the winners would not be easily decided. The girls really threw down and made life next to impossible on the judges. Thankfully, our panel was able to make sense of the madness and laboriously decided on winners. Indeed, it was Cindy Kilmer prevailing with Sarah Jensen and Sarris McComb hot on her heels in 2nd and 3rd!
Switch 50-50 in zone 1 courtesy of Cole Schneider
A big thank you is fittingly extended to Michelle Jondahl and Ersin Ozer for making sure all went according to plan. Thanks again to the venerable Chris Mountjoy, Shawn Whitehurst, Brent Mach, Austin, Anne Ramos, Michelle Everett and the rest of the fine folks at Moonlight Basin for once again being hosts among hosts. Of course, a hearty amount of appreciation goes to veteran judges Alex “Papu” Rincon (406 Boardshop represent!), Travis “T-Boss” Bos and newcomer Mary Uravich! Lastly but surely not leastly, thanks to all our PBRJ tour sponsors below for backing the scene!