After a snowy week, the gracious Colorado skies cleared, allowing the sun to shine down upon the freshly groomed TransAm course. In a classic example of innovative Winter Park snow engineering, the Mini Course was a thing of beauty. The first feature was a fun-box wedge made from a of solid block of ice (4 ft wide by 16 feet long (straight from the bottomless creative mind of pro shred Pat Milbury). The next feature was a three-way option consisting of a jump hooking left, a jump hooking right and an up-sloping Planet Snow Design T-Box ledge. This lead into the final feature, which included a giant wooden spool jib, a stuffed unicorn jib and a barrel bonk.
The riders took a bit of warming up to the setup, as the beginning of the contest was a scary scene. The concept of Mini-Slopestyle evaded a percentage of the competitors, and excessive speeds lead to some progressive slams. Over shot landings, high speed body-bonks, and unplanned limb-jibs made onlookers squirm in vicarious pain. One rider front-seven-corked his way 15 feet passed the landing of the second jump landing belly flop style out in the flats. Harsh. The highlight slam, clinching the Bail Jam victory was from 15-year old Ryan Gibbs who was magically ejected 10-feet up into an unintentional front-flip, after slamming base first into the wooden spool jib. Ryan luckily came down feet first in the hands-down “craziest thing I have ever witnessed on a snowboard.
Once the riders dialed in the course, however, it was a virtual buffet of innovative snowboarding. Leading the charge was Boulder’s James Mammele. Dubbed “The Mammal, this kid destroyed every obstacle winning the Rider’s Choice award by a landslide. Tip/Tail double slides across the wooden spool, front board backside 450’s off the T-box, and ridiculously clean style sent The Mammal home with enough prizes to make a cyber-killing on EBAY, including a Ride DH board with Slimewall technology.
Judges Raul Pinto and JG Mazzota (Satellite Board Shop owners), Chris Hotell (Oakley team manager) and pro shreds Jeff Meyer and Pat Milbury teamed up to pick out the best 40 riders during the 2-hour Traffic Jam. The Top 40 received a TransAm T-shirt Bib and advanced into the Final Jam.
Thirty-two guys and 8 girls battled it out in a 1-hour display of snowboard ingenuity. Matt Kennedy a Winter Park local won the most creative line for fs180 gapping from the jump for the wooden spool over the hiking competitors and event fencing landing up on the backside of the neighboring Super Pipe. Other stand outs included Graham Letorney’s unicorn bonks, Laura Lake and Theresa Jennings’ rail skills and Denver’s Derek Summering dominating the entire course. Summering was the first rider to drop in the Final Jam setting the tone with a fancy ass run.
In the end, the variety of tricks and effortless execution from Hannah Fuller and Maxwell Scott gained them the number one spots from the judges. Maxwell and Hannah won the gold Oakley Blades, custom Dakine packs, Ride gear and a Satellite gift-card shopping spree. In addition, the High Cascade prize for top guy was a sweet Pirate Play Set equipped with a working cannon, and an Easy Bake Oven for the top girl.
Top 3 Guys
1. Maxwell Scott (Buffalo, NY)
2. James “The Mammal Mammele (Boulder, CO)
3. Derek Summering (Denver, CO)
Top 3 Girls
1. Hannah Fuller (Freeport, ME)
2. Theresa Jennings (Boulder, CO)
3. Laura Lake (Newport Beach, CA)
Rider’s Choice (B.O.N.E.R. Award -- Best Overall Nutty Extreme Rider)
1. James “The Mammal Mammele (Boulder, CO)
2. Greg Hayes (Buffalo, NY) & Maxwell Scott (Buffalo, NY) TIE
Bail Jam Winner (Best Fall)
Ryan Gibbs (Denver, CO)
Most Creative Line
Matt Kennedy (Winter Park, CO)
Be sure to check out www.highcascade.com for photos, results and more. Also be sure to check out the video footage on SoGnar TV. See you February 11th at MMtn. Creek in New Jersey for the third stop of the TransAm Series.