South Lake’s own Jimi Tomer won The Block at Tahoe rail jam this past weekend in downtown South Lake Tahoe. Jimi beat out a field of vets and rookies including, Travis Rice, Chad Otterstrom, TJ Schneider, Michael Goldschmidt, Eric Jackson and more. The weekend was not about the rail jam though, it was just the best snowboarders hanging and having fun. The contest was only a small part of the weekend festivities planned out by Marc Frank Montoya and his partners at his hotel, The Block at Tahoe.
It became apparent that this was a unique experience simply walking through a huge casino in full snowboard garb. All the leery casino lurkers would look at you as they flick the cigarette and pull the handle, hoping for riches. Sitting in the lobby early on Sunday, Scotty Wittlake walked by wearing his only shirt and carrying nothing but a sleeping bag. Scotty dropped out of the pro spotlight to avoid the limelight, so to see him at a contest, in a casino, was pretty unique. The prize money was all donated to the Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program so all the pros were there for fun only, no prize money or no photo incentives. It’s good to forget about the money every now and then-get back to the roots.
For those that have never been, South Lake is like a mini Vegas, in the mountains, complete with casinos and entertainment. The setting is gorgeous; surrounded by mountains on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. To top it off, Heavenly resort has a gondola right from town so you get riding, nightlife and fine dining without getting in your car or taking one of those crappy busses you always have to at the resorts. A short drive takes you to Kirkwood, Sierra at Tahoe or Mt. Rose. More fine options.
South Lake has some crazy nightlife to begin with, throw in a bunch of snowboarders and you know there will be some puking, cops, trips to see the strippers, nightclubbing, gambling and other such good things going on. Friday night saw a little party at The Block. Imagine a whole hotel overrun by pro snowboarders, with free beer and sushi. It was actually surprisingly mellow considering pretty much anyone could walk up and party with the best shreds in the world. The Block served not only as the center of activities but also a hub as people went out to take on the rest of Tahoe’s nightlife. Either way, many people saw the dawn on Saturday and Sunday mornings with blood-red eyes.
Daytime (after Noon) saw riders dispersing to various spots. Travis Rice, Marc Frank, Alexis Waite and Erin Comstock were seen up at Heavenly; others made the drive to Sierra-at-Tahoe, basically, you were riding with the best at any resort you picked.
The contest went on at night so the mood was festive and low key. There was one obstacle, a van with a rail. It looked difficult to get enough speed but the riders still managed some sickness. TJ Schneider nailed a switch 180 on to the roof of the van to nosepress on the rail. Travis was working smooth little combos despite a lack of speed, Chris Dufficy spun a 270 on to 270 off combo, MFM was looking smooth. You get the idea. After a one hour jam the field was cut to 4 males and 2 females. Laura Hadar won the female category simply by pulling a 50-50 the whole length of the rail, no small task. Erin Comstock took second. On the men’s side of things, Jimi Tomer won with a nose press. He pulled the full rail and that got him first place. Travis Rice could have won with his combos but the speed was not there for a victory so he got 2nd. T.J. Schneider and Chris Dufficy (in no particular order) rounded out the top 4. Of course everyone headed out again for more debauchery afterwards.
All had good times and there was probably a spike in Visine sales in Tahoe this weekend.