amateur riders competed for cash and prizes in halfpipe, rail jam, and
words and photos
by Lauren Traub Teton
Two feet of
fresh snow and intermittent snow showers greeted riders at this year's
Spring Loaded, making it more like Winter Loaded, but surprisingly also
making for some of the best riding conditions of the season. On Saturday
weather changed minute to minute, and sometimes the sun was shining
while it was snowing at Bear Mountain, Killington.
Pro riders competed for $5,000 in cash, and amateurs threw down for some
great prizes at Saturday morning's halfpipe comp and barbecue, Saturday
evening's rail jam, and Sunday's slopestyle. Saturday afternoon there
was a live performance from up-and-coming hip hop act Kidz in the
Hall on the legendary deck of the Bear Mountain Lodge (voted one of
the best places to watch the snow action by Outside Magazine.)
The long halfpipe was cut fresh for Saturday morning, and a snappy rope
tow conveyed riders smoothly and swiftly to the top. "Juice" is the only
announcer known to ride down the halfpipe with his cordless microphone
behind a competitor, giving commentary the whole ride down. Killington's
Park Supervisor Jay "Rosey" Rosenbaum wowed the crowd and won his
division with his halfpipe handplant.
The crowd was a little light this
year, with Spring Loaded tailing the end of USASA Nationals in
Tahoe, and Easter Weekend, but those that showed were warriors of fun.
Tyler Lynch was styled-out and calm as he tirelessy hiked the rail
set-up during the jam, while other competitors sweated and panted on the
cold climb up. Women's winner Ana Zeller of CT looked fab on and off the
Saturday night the action was at
The Outback/Tabu with a metal band and hip hop dance party. The dancers
went wild as usual for Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." (I never
understand that!) At 2 a.m. the still lively crowd was escorted out,
where they congregated outdoors, not wanting the night to end.
"This is definitely Killingtonšs biggest and best snowboard event of the
season," said Josh Arneson, Event Manager for Killington. "Spring Loaded
brings together sun, snow, loads of great riders, and a springtime vibe
that keeps spectators happy and fosters a high level of competition."
(Editor's note: Rails to
Riches was also a great event at Killington this year, with Lucas Magoon
kicking off his stellar rail riding season. Check it out