Kicking Off the Ski Season
With a sound that resembled the tearing of a cardboard box, the skier swept across the snow while skidding to a halt. Immediately unlocked his skis and sped up the hill for another round on the terrain park. While in the background more skiers and snowboards made their way down the course as the crowd around them cheered. The fast pace and high energy combined with the bright purple lights helped to bring vibrance to the chilly October night. The announcer, Allison Larew narrated the wipe outs and impressive tricks landed by the shredders in the background of the eighth annual Halloween Rail Jam.
The event brought a lot of excitement to campus and even bigger crowds to the Trinity Campus starting at seven on Halloween night. The Ski and Snowboard Club (SSC) worked tirelessly for the nights leading up to the event to create and shovel snow. Sugarbush Resort provided the rails and set up necessary to hold the event, as well as staff to help keep everything in order. For the first time the rail jam was held on Trinity Campus instead of its usual location on Redstone Green.
According to UVM Bored, “UVMSSC is the largest collegiate ski and snowboard club in the U.S. Their mission is to provide the UVM skiers and snowboarders with the opportunity to foster and develop relationships with the greater ski and snowboard community in northern VT”. The club provides buses to local resorts during the spring semester and works to put on a variety of events throughout the year. With the proximity to mountains and an abundance of snow, ski and snowboarders flock to UVM to experience the winter months and all that the area has to offer. And the annual Halloween Rail Jam is a great way to kick off the season.
Allison Larew, a senior and member of the SSC mounted the stage (or snow filled hill) as the announcer for the event. When looking back at the work put into the evening she remarks, “Despite the odds of this crazy weather, we pulled off an absolutely epic rail jam. Come hell, high water or literally no snow you best believe we’ll always bring our shredders what they want to see; Dawn of the Shred!” The large crowd of students surrounding the jumps and snow covered green proved just how successful the event really was.
After a few rounds of tough competition between the forty skiers and snowboarders, the finalists were announced, the snow was melting but there was no stopping the determined shredders. Andrew Bock, who has competed in the Rail Jam for the past three years, excitedly disclaimed, “Everything is on point. The snow, the setup, the people; it could not be better!”. Andrew was definitely a crowd favorite in his new wave aang costume and risky moves.
As the clock neared nine and the final tricks were complete, the crowd waited anxiously for the announcement of the winners. The first-place winner in men’s skiing was Nick Murphy, while Honorine Klinkner took the lead in the woman’s category. As for the snowboarding categories, Maggie Leon snagged first for the woman and Joey Leon for the men.
In its eighth year the Rail Jam is still an event that UVM students are eager to participate in and excited for. In a school filled with outdoor enthusiasts there needs to be more events like this., where students have a chance to do what they love and have a good time in the outdoors. Lindsey Koski, a junior and member of the Club Alpine Ski Team was especially excited about the events success, “Despite the unfavorable conditions it was great to see the SSC put on another sweet rail jam. Always a good time to spread some winter stoke in October!” With that and the dropping temperatures the ski season has almost begun here at UVM.