One run all pass-winner could handle after night out in the cold
Freeze Factor contestant Greg Foxwell endured 24 hours of blistering cold, bobbed for kidneys in a broth of egg yoke, ate sauerkraut with maple syrup and stripped down to his underwear to win himself a free ski pass and a 100-chair head start on everyone else for the 2003-2004 season.
"In spite of the minus-12 Celsius temperatures through the night, not one participant gave up," said event organizer Chris Strome. "Each contest had to be eliminated through the challenges. That sort of dedication shows the value of a Whistler-Blackcomb season pass and adds to the glory of opening day."
Over the course of the night, the 17 contestants were subjected to test after test, narrowing down the field to just five competitors by the wee hours of Saturday morning.
A short-list of elimination tests include: making a clothesline out of garments, diving into a snowbank to collect playing cards in a game of frozen poker, bobbing for beef kidneys in a vat of egg yokes, chugging slurpees, holding snowboards out at arms length, wall sitting, a magic carpet race, and, finally, struggling into a T-shirt that had been dipped in water, tied in knots and frozen solid.
Early on it appeared that Yoshi Nishita had the right stuff after dominating the challenges, but he met his Waterloo during the thigh-burning wall sit.
By 7:30 a.m., the field was down to three Daniel Shears, David Koblynski and the 22-year-old Foxwell.
The final challenge was the frozen T-shirt, which Foxwell managed to pull over his shoulders first, in five minutes, to win the pass, valued at $1,639.
Shears and Koblynski were presented with five day Gold Card passes for their efforts, and all of the competitors walked away with something.
The Freeze Factor tradition started in 1999 with the Let It Snow Enduro, where competitors had to stand out in the freezing cold all night listening to Let It Snow over and over again. All of the competitors made it the full 24 hours except for one, and the field was weaned down to just two after a trivia contest. The winner was decided by a contest to see who knew the lyrics to Let It Snow.
Since that first year the challenges have become more and more difficult, eliminating people over the course of 24 hours, culminating with the 2003 Freeze Factor.
Foxwell was able to bring up to three friends with him on the first chair, but he didnt have any in the line so he grabbed two guys who knew the mountain and headed up. After one run down Wishbone he was finished, and went back to his van to sleep.
Hailing from Ontario, this is Foxwells first season in Whistler.