Early season jammin’: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hosts 2023 Turkey Jam
The snow sports community assembled at the Howelsen Hill terrain park Saturday for the first community rail jam of the season — the Turkey Jam.
The community rail jams are entirely free and open to the public, and with the Turkey Jam taking place before the opening of Howelsen Hill and Steamboat Resort, the event was a special way to get on the snow early.
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboard coach and Turkey Jam event coordinator Laura “Lo” Ying said it was nice to see young athletes who compete in disciplines like Nordic combined give the rails a shot. Some skiers even strapped on a snowboard for the first time.
“We get really excited at the beginning of the year because Howelsen is not open to the public and the mountain is not open yet, but everyone is excited to slide on some snow,” Ying said.
In preparation for the Turkey Jam, SSWSC coaches and athletes worked hard in the week prior to set up the rails and create the lips. Athletes even had a chance to train on the terrain park.
The lack of snow and recent rain was a slight concern, but the team managed to set up a safe space for the five rails in the park. Ying explained that the snow’s high moisture content actually made it easier to construct the lips.
Carter Einfeld, a 15-year-old snowboarder with SSWSC, was one of the athletes to set the rails and learn how the terrain park gets put together. He said it took a lot of hard work, and while some rails have feet at the bottom for stability, others do not and take much more care to stabilize.
“We had set spots where we had to put them in so that gave us something to go off of,” Einfeld said. “I would say it came out pretty well, but just was a lot of digging and a lot of setting up the lips.”
SSWSC big mountain skier Gavin Murphy, 16, said the Turkey Jam was a great way to ease back into the winter season. He showed up in jeans and a T-shirt to take on the rails in style, and he cannot wait to get back out for the next community rail jam.
There will be three more rail jams this winter — two at Howelsen Hill in January and February, and a final one at the resort in March.
“I’m super stoked and grateful the rails are out here, and I get to hike them because I’ve been waiting for snow for a while,” Murphy said. “Obviously, I was super excited. I came straight from work with no snow clothes or anything. I’m super grateful the club put this out for us.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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