Whistler-Blackcomb event organizer Seb Fremont is the first to admit that the conditions for the fifth annual Harvest Huckfest are a little damper than he would like — but he’s confident that local riders are tougher than the weather, and will sign up in bigger numbers as the event gets nearer.
“The boneyard is turning into a mud puddle, and the weather is killing us,” he said.
However, three out of four planned events shouldn’t be affected by the rain and wet conditions.
The Air Dome Jump Jam takes place indoors this Friday night, and more than a dozen riders have signed on to ride the wooden ramps and make use of the massive foam pit.
The Team Air Downhill takes place on the A-Line trail, which was designed to shed water and is already popular on rainy days. There aren’t many roots or rocks to negotiate, just one wooden bridge up top, and traction is always pretty good.
The Whistler premiere of New World Disorder 8, Smack Down, is also an indoor event with both all-ages and adults only shows in the Air Dome.
The event that will be most affected by the weather is the third annual Huckfest Slopestyle, an amateur freeride event that will take place on Sunday. The course will be determined by the weather, says Fremont, but 20 riders had already signed up by Tuesday — far less than previous years, but more than he expected with the weather.
Looking into the weather forecast, Sunday could be perfect weather after all with a mix of sun and clouds, and a slight chance of rain starting in the early evening.
Given those circumstances, Fremont is expecting most people to sign up on event day. Still, he is encouraging people to sign up as early as possible and get tickets to the movie premiere in advance from Whistler-Blackcomb Guest Relations — both so organizers know how many riders to expect, and to ensure that you get a spot. The movie premiere is expected to sell out and the slopestyle has filled up the past two years.
Air Dome Jump Jam
Friday’s jam session qualifier runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with three judges deciding who moves on to the finals from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. In the finals each rider will have a set amount of time to ride for the judges, showing off their street moves and their biggest tricks into the foam pit. The cost is $25 to take part and there will be pro, sport and amateur categories. There is no separate category for juniors, who showed they can match the older riders trick for trick at Kokanee Crankworx.
Team Air Downhill
The Team Air Downhill is a first for Huckfest. To take part you need a team of four with at least one female rider, and the winning team is the one with the lowest combined time on A-Line. Training is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the race gets underway at noon. The cost is $25 per rider, and all participants must attend a mandatory check-in from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the base of the mountain.
Riders will have two runs to impress the judges once this event gets underway at noon Sunday. The Boneyard will be open for training after 2 p.m. on Saturday and after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Once again the cost to enter is $25 per rider, and foreign riders will need to bring proof of their travel insurance to register.
Smack Down Premiere
The Air Dome will host the Whistler premiere of New World Disorder 8: Smack Down on Saturday evening. There are two shows, an all-ages presentation at 5:30 p.m. with a barbecue and a licensed event at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, and are available in advance at Guest Relations.