Saturday, CSU’s Snowriders and CU–Boulder’s Freeride ski and snowboard clubs will be competing head to head in the Muscle Milk Rocky Mountain Snowdown.
Devin Eppers, a senior business management major and CSU’s Muscle Milk brand ambassador, expected 60 skiers and snowboarders — 30 from each school — to participate in Saturday’s competition at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
The event will feature a rail jam competition in which individual competitors have 25 minutes to complete as many tricks as possible. Skiers and snowboarders will each have separate jam sessions, with skiers hitting the slope first at 11:30 a.m. and boarders following at noon.
The course will include one down box — a wider platform about a foot across — and a down rail, which is much narrower. The features will be set up next to each other, so the competitor can choose which apparatus to launch her or himself off of, Eppers explained.
The event will be judged by two professional snowboarders, Colin Spencer and Celia Miller, and one professional skier, Keri Herman. Tricks will be judged based on creativity, the landing and something Eppers described as “the cool factor.” Judges will keep track of individual jumps using a system of stars, check-pluses and check-minuses. Once time is up, the scores will be tallied and individual winners will be determined.
Prizes include ski and snowboard merchandise, as well as two pairs of Icelantic skis and two K2 snowboards, for the top male and female in each category.
The Snowdown Scrambler, another event taking place after lunch, will help determine which school comes away “kings of the mountain.” Teams of four will be sent on a scavenger hunt across the slopes with several pit-stop challenges along the way, according to Eppers.
“It will take knowledge of the mountain and quick skiing and riding,” Eppers said.
Johnny Reuss, a soil and crops major at CSU, is excited for the opportunity to take on the snowboarders from CU. He is surprised this is the first competition between the two clubs.
“What, are we supposed to leave it up to the football teams? We’ve got to take it to the slopes!” Reuss said.
According to Eppers, planning and coordinating for the Snowdown was a huge marketing event that involved plenty of time and effort on the part of Eppers and Maddie Towne, CU’s Muscle Milk representative.
“We’ve been planning this for about a year now,” Eppers said.
Muscle Milk is providing everything to the competitors and student spectators for free, including transportation, a complimentary day pass to A-Basin, lunch and a DJ, not to mention a plethora of Muscle Milk products, according to Eppers.
The members of the CSU Snowriders are used to these kinds of perks. With the support of local sponsors, the Snowriders host several campus-wide events including film screenings and the Expo — a showcase of the club and its sponsors that takes place on the Plaza every fall.
Through its sponsors, the club also provides its members with discounts on gear, tune-ups and trips. The club also travels to Jackson Hole for five days over winter break and sponsors several day trips throughout the ski season, according to Spencer Kaye, the Snowriders’ president.
“The club has always strived to be the number one resource for everything skiing and snowboarding at CSU,” Kaye said.
One way the Snowriders helps give back to the community is through the “Hearts on the Mountain” charity ski trip taking place April 6. The club will take 25 foster, adoptive and kinship children to Eldora for a day of skiing and boarding. It plans to cover all the kids’ costs, including rentals, lift tickets and transportation, according to Kaye.
The Snowriders hold meetings the first Tuesday evening of every month in Behavioral Sciences room 131. Those interested in joining should go to the club’s office in the Lory Student Center during their office hours listed on the club’s website. The $30 club fee includes a t-shirt and a discount card to many local retailers, according to Kaye.
Though he is not competing, Kaye has faith in the Rams riding in the competition this Saturday.
“We have a lot of really talented riders that will be competing, so we will stack up just fine against those little buffies,” Kaye said.
Bragging rights are on the line — and Reuss is up to the challenge.
“I’m gonna throw it all out there. I’m gonna need my brain bucket,” Reuss said jokingly of wearing his helmet during the competition.
Snow is in the forecast for Saturday, so, if nothing else, the Snowdown might be a good excuse to go make some fresh turns and score a few free protein shakes.