For the 2012 West Coast Invitational Mammoth shifted gears in a BIG way. For 10 years straight the WCI showcase event was a Snowboard Rail Jam at the Village. The powers-that-be decided it was time for a change… And, despite a markedly low snow year, Mammoth forged ahead with plans to move the excitement of WCI from the Village to Canyon Lodge.
A Village Rail Jam would forego something totally new for WCI – a skier/snowboarder paired Big Air Team Format Comp at Canyon Lodge. No snow at Canyon Lodge? No problem… Actually, more like BIG problem. A team of snowcats worked day and night to push a tremendous amount of snow from the lower slopes of Lincoln Mountain all the way down to Canyon Lodge to bring the massive Big Air jump to life.
The result? 1) A beautifully constructed 70-foot (90 to the sweet spot), true table, channel gap jump. 2) A spectacular display of top-caliber ski & snowboard talent under the prime-time lights – see video above for a sampling of the action that went down.
The comp was great. Teams of 1 skier and 1 snowboarder competed head to head, the team with the highest score advancing. As teams advanced the competition became more fierce, jaws dropped lower and lower.
The verdict on the comp? Great venue, great comp format, some very worthy talent. Shortcomings? It needs a bigger audience. With a bigger crowd there would be that much more energy and excitement pulsing through the air. The natural “amphitheatre” that is Canyon Lodge would take hundreds (if not 1000s) to make it feel like a full house. How to draw more attendees? Spread the word… Mammoth Spring: awesome weather, great snow, top-notch freeride ski and snowboard comps and free live music.