Jibs before the storms
One might wonder how it’s possible to host a ski and snowboard competition in the middle of October, with no snow or the sub-freezing temperatures needed to create it. The answer: a few features to slide on, 30 stairs and man-made ice ” lots of it.
But the key ingredient in pulling off a winter event held in the wrong season is the ice, which Eric Rosenwald, Boreal Mountain Resort’s terrain park director, said is scheduled to arrive at Boreal Saturday afternoon in the amount of 750 cubic feet.
The ice will then be spread around at the top and bottom of the Boreal Base Lodge staircase in preparation for the Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational.
The job won’t be easy.
“It’s going to be quite a process,” Rosenwald said of laying down the ice and moving the three custom-made “ledges” ” which basically are boxes but with only an 8-inch slide surface ” onto the stairs of the Base Lodge deck.
The ice, called pea ice because of its resemblance in size and shape to the tiny round vegetable, is similar to glacial ice or corn snow, Rosenwald said, and is very fast when rode on.
Ordered from Crystal Ice and Oil in Reno, the surface will be delivered via a refrigerated semitrailer in 40-pound bags. Crystal Ice and Oil general manager Art Sandoval said the cargo weighs in at 11 tons.
Moving all that ice, which Rosenwald said should arrive around 2 or 3 p.m. and be placed around 5 or 6 p.m., is only part of the preparation. The remaining chunk of work for the Boreal crew to knock out includes moving and placing the three ledges, which may require crane, Rosenwald said.
Each of the three ledges are about 30 feet in length, Rosenwald said. Two are straight and the other slightly longer because of a 22-degree kink in the middle.
Brian Reardon, Boreal’s mountain operation supervisor, and Josh Ridenour, Alpine Meadows’ terrain park supervisor, said while putting the final touches on the ledges that the kink should make the competition interesting.
“Hopefully no one gets hurt, but I think some are gonna fall,” Ridenour said. “There are a lot of good riders invited, though, so everyone might slay it.”
Asked if he would get a chance to test the kink, Ridenour said, “I hope so. Someone’s gonna have to.”
Reardon, who along with Rosenwald constructed the 100-or-so new features that are set to transform Boreal into an all-mountain terrain park this winter, knows the kink must be respected.
“People are going to fall when they hit the kink,” he said.
Boreal public relations manager Rachael Woods said she expects a large crowd ” possibly in the thousands ” to show up to the Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational.
“It’s going to be a happening little event,” Woods said of the free contest. “I’m anticipating a really fun night.”
Gates open at 6 p.m. The main competition, which will pit 20 professional skiers and snowboarders against one another for $7,000 in prize money, starts at 9:30 p.m. Leading up to the main event will be Boardfest, a skateboard contest taking place in the Boreal Red Bull Skatebowl from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is $5 and practice sessions begin at 9 a.m.
Also scheduled before the competition are three ski and snowboard film premiers: “As If,” an all-girls snowboard video, will play at 7 p.m., Plehouse Film’s “White Shine” will play at 7:30 p.m. and David Benedek’s “91 Words for Snow” will show at 8:30 p.m.