Local competition season is off and running with Thanksjibbing rail jam
Scott Kloss is all for winning, but he enjoyed watching others get steezy on the Thanksjibbing course Friday at Snowmass as much as anyone. Actually, considering he’s part of the park crew there and helped put everything together, he probably enjoyed it more than most.
“It’s such a good start (to winter), especially getting our park going,” Kloss said. “I get to see everyone jibbing at this and then enjoying different features. Everyone has their own skills they can bring to the table and it’s so fun to watch.”
The annual Thanksjibbing rail jam included 18 skiers and 15 snowboarders going head to head in a roughly 45-minute jam session, each contestant getting three runs on the course that features about four hits per run. The best run in each division resulted in a $300 check for the winner and a one-of-a-kind trophy in the form of a knife and cutting board.
“So great. The trophy is a little crazy,” Kloss said. “Only one day sooner and I would be chopping a turkey with it.”
Kloss, who is in his third season in Aspen, held off runner-up Logan Lauffer and third-place finisher Cooper Bryan for the snowboard title. The Cleveland native claims to be on his 37th consecutive month of snowboarding, as he’s made Oregon’s Mount Hood somewhat of a summer home.
The skiing title went to Aidan Sheahan, a local of about 10 years who coaches 10- to 12-year-olds through the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Taking second for the skiers was Charlie Lasser, while Luke Penton was third.
The event featured many well-known locals, including former U.S. snowboard team member Jordie Karlinski and current World Cup and Grand Prix halfpipe skier Cassidy Jarrell, among others.
“My first run I actually felt pretty good about,” Sheahan said. “It was really consistent. And my second run might have been a little bit more difficult, but maybe not as clean. So I don’t really know which one won. But I definitely stomped them both and got the tricks I wanted.”
The contest unofficially kicked off the winter competition season in Aspen. Snowmass only opened Thursday, with Aspen Mountain having opened last weekend. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, known for hosting X Games, is scheduled to open Dec. 8, if not sooner.
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American riders invited to compete in X Games from Jan. 29-31, who have continuously tested negative while in mandatory quarantine in Austria, are expected to compete at the event later this month in Aspen.