While the top freeskiers and snowboarders in the world flocked to Aspen over the weekend for X Games, amateurs from around the county and across the state took to the rails at Keystone to show their stuff in the seventh annual Volcum Stone’s Peanut Butter and Rail Jam.
“They aren’t necessarily household names, but they ride at a high level,” Keystone spokeswoman Laura Parquette said of Saturday’s competitors. “It’s a fun competition. We see a lot of locals come out, which we really like.”
This weekend’s event was the fourth stop on the Volcum tour, ushering in two consecutive weekends of rail jam competition. Top finishers in Saturday’s competition earned the opportunity to qualify for Volcum’s rail jam championships at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., April 19.
Of the 120 who entered, Chris Corning took top honors in the 15 and under category. Cody Cooper claimed first for the 16-21 bracket. Zach Soderholm and Natsuki Sato were the top finishers in the men’s and women’s open category. Keystone’s A51 Terrain Park crew created three lines with a mix of rails, boxes, transitions, gaps and side hits.
The jam format competition gave competitors in each bracket 20-minute sessions to hit the rail setup as many times as possible. Judges awarded points based on trick variety and creativity.
Rail jam competition continues at Keystone next Sunday when the TransWorld Snowboarding TransAm competition — in its 13th year — returns to town next Sunday.
While next weekend’s rail jam coincides with the Super Bowl, organizers insist competition will be finished prior to the game. Day of registration begins at 8 a.m. with the competition scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Finals are expected to start at 1 p.m. The event will be set up on Haywood at the Mountain House base area.
Parquette expects steeper competition in Sunday’s event.
“It’s a little bit more of an intricate and challenging setup. We see a higher caliber of rider in that one typically,” she said. “We’re looking forward to another fun day of competition.”