Boarders, skiers break the ice at rail jam

A veteran snowboarder and a new freestyle ski team member ruled supreme at the second annual Sandor’s Icebreaker Rail Jam at Mt. Sima last Friday night.

A veteran snowboarder and a new freestyle ski team member ruled supreme at the second annual Sandor’s Icebreaker Rail Jam at Mt. Sima last Friday night.

Eight snowboarders and 10 freestyle skiers braved frigid conditions, occasionally breaking to warm by the bonfire and enjoy the tunes blasted over the course like the floodlights used to illuminate the rails.

Max Melvin-McNutt, 17, the first Yukoner ever to make BC’s provincial team, was top-dog on the rails for the snowboarders. For the skiers, Dylan Reed outperformed the competition for a first-place finish.

“It’s great; it’s a lot of fun. That’s all I can say,” said Melvin-McNutt. “It’s all about having fun. I had a good time.”

Melvin-McNutt, who finished second in the inaugural competition, was throwing down the 270s. Among his tricks were a switch 270 to front-board 270 out, a front-blunt to 270 out, front-side 270 to 270 out, and a front-side 270 to board-side 270 out.

“I got everything (I was hoping for),” said Melvin-McNutt. “I’ve been training so much, so I’ve been progressing. I’ve got new tricks.”


A year ago at the Canada Winter Games, Melvin-McNutt finished in eighth in the half-pipe for his Yukon’s best finish in snowboarding. At the 2010 Arctic Winter Games he was awarded the overall silver in the juvenile boys division, winning gold in the half-pipe, bronze in the snowboardcross.

Taking second was Adam Waddington, last year’s winner of the U-16 category. He qualified for the finals with a backside 270 on to a switch-up with a 270 off. “That was probably my best trick of the night,” said Waddington. “I was working on it in the finals, I just couldn’t land it.”

In the finals Waddington did a 50-50 to a backside 270 out.

“I feel pretty good about it,” said Waddington. “When I heard the crowd (cheer), I was so stoked to go back up and do something even cooler.”

Tim Schirmer, the only U-16 boarder in the competition, took some big risks to land third overall. Schirmer, who was the Yukon champion last season, landed a backside 360 to 5-0.

“Tim’s was definitely a pretty sensational trick with a high risk factor,” said Mary Binstead, head coach for Snowboard Yukon. “But he wasn’t able to ride away from it clean, which is why he ended in third place.”

One could say Reed “slipped” into first for the skiers. The 15-year-old secured the top-spot with a lip-slide front slip-up with a lip-side front 270 out. In fact, it was the first time he pulled off a lip-slide.

“It was actually fairly easy,” said Reed. “I’m pretty stoked. I didn’t think I was going to win but it turned out good.”

Reed and a number of other skiers just completed a weeklong training camp with Yukon Freestyle Ski Association head coach Stu Robinson.

“Dylan is the new member of the team and he made a ton of improvements this week and it really ended up showing at the rail jam,” said Robinson. “He beat out some of the veterans and showed that his training paid off.”

Another skier testing his limits was Aiden Allen, performing a K-Fed – a front-slop to a back 270 off – to take second.

“I’ve never tried it in my life,” said Allen. “I wasn’t doing too well in the warmup, but somehow the pressure helped me.

“I was not really expecting it. I came around and pulled off the 270 and rode it out.”

Last year’s winner, Josh Harlow, took third with a back-slop on the kink with a 270 out.

“I didn’t land the tricks I was trying to land,” said Harlow. “Dylan was killing it, landing new tricks, so he deserved it.”

If Shayla Hamilton didn’t have enough pressure from competing in her first ever rail competition, she had the added pressure of being the only female competitor – for skiers and boarders. However, the competition did provide the motivation to try something new: a 90 on the box rail.

“I attempted landing the switch, but it didn’t work out too well and I bailed,” said the 13-year-old. “But it was fun either way.”

Local snowboarders and freestyle skiers have a lot to be excited about this season. With Whitehorse hosting the upcoming Arctic Winter Games, Mt. Sima’s halfpipe will be open for the first time since Whitehorse hosted the Canada Winter Games in 2007.

“We’re very excited about that,” said Binstead.

“We’re waiting to see how the halfpipe plays out at Sima and if we have a good training facility then we’ll go to the Canada Olympic Park halfpipe competition in February,” said Robinson.

In addition to the halfpipe reopening, Mt. Sima’s terrain park was rebuilt during the summer. Snowboard Yukon is working towards having a full-time snowboard-cross course at the ski resort.

Unfortunately for Yukon’s freestyle skiers, the sport has been dropped from the upcoming Arctic Games and the following installment in Greenland in 2014. (Alpine skiing has remained as an event.) But Yukon freestyle skiers will conduct a “jumps and bumps” demonstration at the Games.

“Unfortunately the Arctic Winter Games have to cut back on sports (for) Greenland because they have to cut 1,500 (athlete) spots,” said Robinson.

“So any sport not represented gender-wise, as well as area-wise, has been cut. There was no reason why we couldn’t go in this one. There are plenty of people who could go … After Greenland maybe we’ll get the chance to go back in again.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision


Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read