Back to the grind at Keystone Resort |

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Back to the grind at Keystone Resort

Summit Daily/Paige Blankenbuehler

Keystone Resort isn’t wasting anytime getting back to the grind this season. Ski area officials, terrain park staff and skiers and snowboarders celebrated Keystone’s opening weekend with the first rail jam session Saturday.

The Back to the Grind Rail Session, part of the A51 River Run Rail Series brought numerous skiers and shredders out for opening weekend.

The session featured three rail features: a flat-down box, down rail and double kink rail at the base of the Rive Run face.

Check-in and registration for the session began at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with 30 male skiers and 30 male snowboarders. Three women skiers and five women snowboarders signed up for the 4:30 p.m. event.

Preliminaries ensued in 15-minute heats. Finals began at 5:30 p.m. with 10 male skiers, 10 male snowboarders, three women skiers and five women snowboarders competing.

Winners from the session received cash prizes and free entry into the 2013 Backyard BBQ Rail Jam. Second place winners in each category won various “swag awards.”

The men’s snowboarding category was capped at 30 participants and was a popular spot, according to Laura Parquette, spokeswoman for the resort.

Missing out on early registration, snowboarder Greg Hoche, a Silverthorne resident, came out to watch the session Saturday.

“I was here (at Keystone) yesterday practicing and even being able to watch this is getting me really excited for the season,” Hoche said. “I just want to get the season off to a good start with hitting some steel. Guess I’ll have to jump on the registration for the next one.”

Kevin Laverty, Keystone’s terrain park manager, said creating the venue for the first rail jam of the season wasn’t easy.

“We owe a lot to our grooming team at Keystone,” he said. “They had to move so much snow over here to give the terrain park team something to shape.”

Throughout the rail jam, terrain park team members maintained the features.

“There’s a lot that goes into maintaining them during a competition like this,” Laverty said. “Everyone on the terrain park team is a skier or snowboarder, so we know how we want to experience features and we want to give our competitors the best so they can perform.”