Paige Blankenbuehler
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August 24, 2012
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Keystone rail jam calls for 10 tons of Sept. snow

Out of the norm for typical September conditions, 10 tons of snow will be dumped at Keystone Resort for the inaugural A51 River Run Rail Series slated for Sept. 15, where skiers and boarders can compete for $6,000 in prizes.

Keystone Resort organizers are bringing in a wood chipper and massive amounts of ice to produce some 10 tons of "snow" that will cover the new multi-rail feature.

"We're going to put ice through the wood chipper making a slushy, snow that we'll cover the rail feature," said Keystone Resort spokeswoman Tucker Vest Burton. "It reminds me of good, spring snow - it's not powder, but it will be the best you can find in September."

Registration for the rail session is $15. Participants of all ages are encouraged to register for the event. For spectators, it is free to watch the earliest rail jam session in the state.

The inaugural rail session gives athletes the chance to compete on chipped snow adjacent to the Summit Express Chairlift.

Event organizers are giving away over $6,000 in prizes, including GoPro WiFi backpack set ups, entries into the Transworld Trans Am, entries into the Freestyle competition at Breck, Epic Summit Passes and more. Season passes will also be available for purchase for the last day of lower season prices.

A maximum number of participants has not yet been set by Keystone, but depending on the popularity, organizers may close registration to the event prior to Sept. 15.

"We haven't set a cap on the session yet, we might have to depending on the interest level," Burton said. "We're already getting a lot of buzz and excitement around the event so it looks like we might have to cap it when it starts to get closer - everyone interested in doing it should sign up as soon as they can."

At the rail session many activities are there for spectator and participants to enjoy like a DJ DC, giveaways, contests, the latest gear from Never Summer and Fat-ypus, food and beverage services, drinks and barbecue available for purchase.

With no snow in the forecast yet, Keystone is getting a head start on the 2012-2013 ski season.

"The Backyard Barbecue Rail Session is Keystone's way of showing we are stoked for winter," Burton said.

Other resorts have experienced success with rail sessions this summer.

Woodward at Copper Mountain hosted Summer Shredding sessions Saturdays during July.

The first session July 14 sold out to a capped 50 participants causing park organizers to expand as conditions permitted.

Skier Jaron Stabler from Silverthorne came out to experience the terrain park.

"This is awesome, you can't beat a Saturday in July doing this in Colorado," Stabler said after Copper's first session.

Park organizers are optimistic about the possibility of expanding the Summer Shredding sessions.

"Based on the great turnout from this week's Summer Shredding session, we will look for more opportunities to expand to more sessions in the future," Ben Brown, director of Woodward at Copper said in July.

The terrain park is located at the base of Copper Mountain near the American Flyer lift and Jack's restaurant.

"We've had a terrain park open during the summer in the past but only during camps," Bush said. "Now it's possible for the public to enjoy and practice the Woodward park."


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The Summit Daily Updated Aug 24, 2012 11:18PM Published Aug 24, 2012 11:16PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.