SES 2005 - Friday @ Ajax / Buttermilk

On Friday morning, Aspen mountain (Ajax) served up hero snow of epic proportions. We could do no wrong.

Chris Webster leaves contrails.

We stuck to Ruthie's Run for most of the morning, which is just steep enough to make things interesting.

Jack gets angulated. And yes, the grooming was as good as it gets (I mean the snow, not Jack).

With the snow being in the SuperGröom condition, everyone could lean it over another few degrees.
And for beginners, it was ideal conditions for learning (virtual training wheels).

Ajax even has a carving patroller. Some folks ventured over to the Aztec run with a supersteep pitch for a bit more excitement.

Then, we headed back to Buttermilk for the demo tent extravaganza. Shown here is Mark Jeangerard, a snowboard instructor from Santa Fe, who specializes in teaching people how to carve in softies (knees skimming the ground).

We take a census of rare and vintage gear. Here is the Pro Plate binding, from Heavy Tools

The view from the wayback machine reveals Snowpro SP7 bindings.

The MacGyver bindings.

Also available for demo: Donek tele skis with the Bomber Bishop bindings.

Adele has found her true love.

Bordy demoed the Madd. The conditions were a bit too soft to evaluate the ice-hold.

Bruce inspects the competition.

Now, for the limbo contest,

Starting with a very doable 28".

World class rider Mike Jacoby handles the pressure well.

No sweat.

The clearance gets taken down a notch to 22".

Tilledog eeks under.

Bryan from makes it under, using a brand new snowboard.

Now, we're down to 16".

Boing! It helps to have 4-way hips.

Now we're at 13".

Norm must have been practicing.

This is starting to get really challenging.

The final round was at 12", and included two remaining contenders: Mike Sanders from England, and Norm from Lake Tahoe. This is going to be interesting, since Norm came in second place last year, and Mike won the limbo contest two years ago.

Mike goes into extreme-low-profile mode and makes it through. Notice the aerodynamics.

But Norm bumps the bar!

Mike is now a two-time winner, at 12"!

Friday evening was the SES banquet, with a raffle, the highlight video, plus a brand-new SES banquet event.

Up for raffle are a bunch of boards. It's one method to avoid Bruce's 1-year waiting list.

Also included in the mega-raffle: tuning gear, wax, swag, as well as three of the coveted waxWHIZards.

The highlight video shows premium carving, as well as a few "carving blooper" moments.

Then, a new addition to the SES banquet festivities: Carving for Cash, a carver's game show, similar to final Jeopardy. It consisted of three contestants, each with a vast knowledge of snowboard trivia: Jack Michaud, Bryan from, and world-class boarder Mike Jacoby. Here are the questions posed to our lucky contestants:

What board manufacturer produced the Aggression and the Bullet?
Name a model of Alpina hardboots
H2O or Kool Kat
Which board manufacturer was the first to use a 4-hole pattern?
(EDIT: It's a trick question: Gnu had an early 4-hole pattern that did not become the current standard)
What is the highest peak in Colorado
Mt Elbert
The name of the pre-TD generation of Bomber bindings
The sidecut radius of the F2 Beamer
Heelside: 8.6, toeside: 9.5

Jack won handily.
Then, onto the raffle. Statistically, it seems that the raffle tickets have a positive return on investment (in addition to the entertainment value).

The week was definitely a success, with a few days of good cord, as well as a few days for the powder board. Plus,
there was a great vibe to the whole event. For beginners, the four clinics (with video analysis) provided a great
foundation of carving techniques, and I met one first-time-ever plate rider.
SES 2005 was a blast! See you next year!

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