Set to jib |

Set to jib

Challenge to showcase 'Boat's best rail riders

Dave Shively

— Steamboat Springs’ finest freeriding specialists will be on center stage Friday.

The Jeep Terrain Park Challenge will bring a local field of about 30 skiers and snowboarders to a course near the base of the Steamboat Ski Area for a pair of judged runs.

Ski area spokeswoman Heidi Thomsen said the event replaces last year’s Friday Night Jib-Jams. The free Jeep event is aimed at the aprÃs-ski audience.

The event will move to an earlier afternoon start time, running from 4 to 7 p.m. It will be held at the base of the Headwall trail.

“(The Jeep Terrain Park Challenge) was actually a good opportunity for us to tie it into a bigger event,” Thomsen said.

The Challenge series invites participants from over 75 similar qualifying events at ski areas nationwide. The field is whittled down to 24 qualifiers for the series’ national championship, March 10 in Snow Bowl, Calif.

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The top two male and female skiers and snowboarders at Friday’s event win spots at one of six Regional Qualifiers, the closest of which will be held Feb. 24 at Monarch Mountain.

“They’re super fun and everyone’s having a good time,” Lex Koski said. “But everyone wants to top each other overall for the contest. We’ll definitely be pushing each other.”

Koski, a Steamboat native and former Junior World Champion, will compete against many of his other fellow teammates who were recently named to the 17-member 2006-07 Steamboat Freeride Team.

“It’s fun for (the competitors) to try and put on a show for the home crowd and the tourists,” Freeride Team member Spencer Tamblyn said.

Tamblyn also coaches the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s pro-am freestyle team and hopes to see some of his athletes use the event to gain a little competition experience.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to put on their game faces and do the best trick they can at that time,” Tamblyn said.

The course will feature one flat-down-flat box and one gap jump to a down-rail landing. DJ Also Starring will provide the music.

“You’re guaranteed to get a group of athletes that are the top people in the (terrain) park,” added Ariel Tredway, a snowboarder who rides for Tamblyn’s pro-am team and the Steamboat team. “There’s a bunch of really good people, good rails and good music.”

Steamboat will host a second Jeep Terrain Park Challenge event Feb. 16. Participant entry fees benefit the Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Visit for more details.