The 2011 TransWorld TransAM, fifth and penultimate stop at Northstar-at-Tahoe. On a cold and very un-Californian February day, with gently falling snow alternating with sunshine, 119 riders turned out to compete. After a frenetic Traffic Jam as all riders dropped in and did their best to impress and win the red t-shirt ticket to the next round, 40 riders made the finals and began sessioning the course line by line. In the end, of course, there could only be one girl and one guy to win.The kids from the Northstar Freeride Team get there early and test out the Zumiez couch; Park Staff put in some flutters as the finishing touches.A mass of snowboards start appearing around the course as the start time nears.And the competition beings. The judges yell “go” and 119 riders clamber up the the drop in zone.Judge and High Cascade organiser Adam prepares the red t-shirts to hand out. Receiving one means you’re through to the top 40.The crowd watches as riders franticly try to do their best to impressed the judges and have a red t-shirt thrown their way.Slight chaos on the course as dozens of riders drop in at once, while others hike back to the top.The viewing area beside the anon zone.Judges and Park Staff watch on as riders do thing thing on the Zumiez couch quarter pipe.Hiking through the course back to the drop in zone.Competitors get decent air on the Ride jump to hip, a postcard-worthy tropical get away.The hiking continues; A rider hits the box and bonk on the giant Coal beanie made of snow.One of the riders hits the pole jam on the High Cascade bus, complete with stop sign, license plate, break lights and exhaust.Some watch, some hike and some prepare to drop in.Park Staff and judge, red t-shirts at the ready, have prime position for watching the steeze on the Zumiez couch quarter pipe.This kid has already earned his red t-shirt but continues working hard to impress.With so many dropping in at once, it’s easy for the crowd to miss impressive moves on the features right in front of them.Spinning over the Zumiez couch.A colourful mass of snowboards on the ground as friends turn out to watch their friends compete.A hand-plant on the Zumiez quarter pipe; One of the groms gets advice from his coach as the Qualification Round comes to an end.Waiting for the finals to begin.A mass of red t-shirts, the first rider drop in for the Top 40 Final.Grabbing backside spinning off the Giro jump; Red t-shirts hike the first line: Giro jump to High Cascade bus.Sending a frontside boardslide off the pole jam.A spectator makes the most of the Ride postcard scene as the exhaust from the High Cascade bus makes viewing difficult.Jumping through the Ride palm trees, right in front of the judges, as competition on line two begins: the Coal beanie jibs to the Ride postcard-scene jump.Men’s winner, Garrett Warnick impresses the judges with big air off the Ride postcard jump; A cameraman records the event for TransWorld.Even with 40 riders on the course, the number dropping in at once can lead to some near misses.The judges watch the competition on line three closely: anon jibs to the Zumiez couch half-pipe; Groms hike with the big kids.Riders make the most of the Zumiez couch.Light snow falls on the watching crowd.At this point in the competition, everyone watches the riders closely as they try to impress; No competition time is lost as riders drop in immediately after each other.Snow flies as a rider hit the jibs on the giant Coal beanie.The riders just keep hiking and keep trying.The crowd of onlookers beside the anon zone.Frontside lipsliding the anon jibs.Another frontside lipslide on the anon logo jib.Trying to impress in front of the crowd.Front boarding in front of the cameras on the anon logo jib.Women’s winner Danyale Patterson, backside lipslides on the anon logo jib.Competition over, the red t-shirts disperse and start making their way to the village for the awards.A wall of snowboards outside the award party in the Northstar Village.Prizes and trophies.Competitors tuck into a well-earned feed.Enjoying the food and mingling with friends old and new.The Women’s Division winners, (l to r) 3rd Tasha Sagucka, 2nd Julianne Brackett, 1st Danyale Patterson.The Men’s Division winners, (l to r) 1st Garrett Warnick, 2nd Ian Daly, 3rd Chase Fromm.
What to see the hard work Northstar’s Terrain Park Staff put into the course in the early hours of the morning? Click here: http://jessgibbsphotography.com/2011/events/terrain-park-staf-prepare-for-the-transworld-transam-northstar-at-tahoe-ca/