To the right athlete a rail represents endless possibilities - do you hit it regular or switch, do you spin on, do you press your nose or tail, do you spin to the end, do you gap over most of the rail and tap it before you land, do you spin off, and if so do you land switch or regular? More importantly, how do you do it with maximum style?
There are so many tricks out there and so many styles of rails and boxes that it's almost become a winter sport in itself.
If it's your sport then you might want to consider registering for the first Park Rider Session rail jam of the season this Sunday, Dec. 13. The contest, presented by Telus, is fun and informal but with professional judges calling the shots and manning the microphone. Since it's a jam, athletes will session various rails and boxes in the Habitat Terrain Park on Whistler Mountain, spending time on each feature before moving on to the next.
Park Rider Sessions are open to skiers and snowboarders of all ages, although waivers are required for minors and all athletes are required to wear helmets. Other protective gear is recommended.
If you register in advance at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations the cost is $26, going up to $30 on the day of the event. Registration will be available on the lower level of the Roundhouse until 9:45 a.m. with the contest getting underway at 10:30 a.m.
The top athletes in each category will win prizes, while all participants are eligible to win various draw prizes donated by sponsors. The awards are at 4 p.m. at 18 Below, Blackcomb Base II.
Kokanee Valley Race Series back in the start gate
There's still time to sharpen your edges and wax your skis or board before the Kokanee Valley Race Series kicks of its 2009-2010 season.
The first event on the schedule is a giant slalom on Blackcomb Mountain (CONFIRM WITH WB) on Thursday, Dec. 17.
Racers can compete in either the pro or amateur classes, with both getting two timed runs on a professionally set and marked course. This year there are cash prizes in the pro class (providing there are at least five racers in the category), but all participants are eligible to win draw prizes including a pair of Atomic skis. The first run is at 10:30 a.m. and the second at noon.
The event is open to skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers, and the cost is $26 in advance at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations or $30 on race day at the timing hut at the top of the Garbanzo Chair. You can also buy a pass to compete in all six events for $126.