Dropping in to winter at Boreal
Nearly 3,000 snow-starved spectators and a few fistfuls of the region’s best skiers and snowboarders descended on Boreal Mountain Resort Saturday night for the fourth annual Jibassic Pro Invitational rail jam.
Dressed down in beanies, puffys, big pants, skinny pants and lots of other hype warm apparel, the masses and the competitors looked right at home amongst the snow of the contest arena despite puling the gear out of the back of their closets. The Jibassic Pro was the first freestyle contest of the winter in Tahoe or anywhere in the western United States.
The contest format was similar to previous years’, as the invited pro skiers and snowboarders each had a 45-minute jam session to flex their skills and battle to impress the judges. Boreal fabricated a brand-new staircase for the event that included a down-flat-down round bar rail, a down flat box with a banister and a standard flat bar rail.
The level of both skiing and riding thrown down in the jam sessions was as heavy as the best mid-winter rail jams of last winter. No one looked like they had missed a beat coming out of the lazy days of summer. The skiers attacked the features first, with 270s on to and off of the rails being some of the highlight tricks.
Tom Wallisch of Salt Lake City proved to have the smoothest style of the skiers, taking home the winner-takes-all $2,000 prize.
The snowboard competition was stacked with rail destroyers, including several big-name local shreds. Both technical tricks and power moves shared the spotlight as 270s on to rails and ollies popped off middle kinks were a few of the burning tricks.
When the fake snow dust settled on the evening, it was Andrew Brewer of Reno who was named top rider for his steady stomping. Brandon Cocard of Truckee stuck a one-footed boardslide down the flat bar to land himself in second place, while Forest Bailey calmly nailed serious tricks from start to finish to grab third.
Between the buttery slides and the earth-shattering crashes, those in attendance undoubtedly got the winter welcome they were looking for. Even for those who didn’t like rail jams, hanging out amongst the snow was a fix unlike any movie premiere. If anyone happened to rip a turn or trick on the public jib arena at Boreal that day, the satisfaction ran even deeper.
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Team Palisades Tahoe skier Travis Ganong had a career day on Friday, competing on the iconic Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek, Colorado.