By Will Eginton
Fifty skiers battled it out for a piece of the $20,000 prize purse at the seventh annual Rails 2 Riches competition at Killington Mountain Resort on Saturday. After logging just about every trick in the book, the Park City local and 4bi9 fixture John Kutcher walked away with the men’s win, followed by Dom Laporte in second and Keiren McVeigh in third.
Rails 2 Riches has become one of the premier rail jams in North America. With a new registration system–that requires the good word of a team manager, and an increased prize purse–Killington was able to take an already amazing event and ensure an even more insane level of rail trickery. Contingents from Breckenridge, Quebec, Salt Lake City, and of course Vermont stormed the venue around noon for the qualifying round. Every skier present unleashed their best tricks on three features–a down-flat-down, an oversized single barrel with extended donkey dick, and a down box with an aggressive donkey dick–with hopes of getting a chance to battle it out under the lights.
The skiers came out firing, landing every trick imaginable. Spins on, double switch ups, pretzels and disasters were par for the course for all the competitors. It was no simple task for the judges to break down the field of fifty talented skiers down to the final eleven. “We didn’t even take into consideration simple 270s and 450s out,” said Matt Benedetto, founder of the Eastern Collective and judge of the event. “The level of skiing was too high to even think about tricks like that.” The quality of skiing bordered sheer absurdity. One skier, who laced a front swap misty 450 out of the down box, didn’t even make finals.
Photo Owen Ringwall