Thursday, February 22, 2024

Killington Kicks off the season with the 2021 Loaded Turkey Rail Jam

Words By Austin Poulin; Photos/Video by Brooke Geery

I heard about the Loaded Turkey Rail Jam, an annual competition at held Killington Resort in Vermont, through some friends. I have wanted to go for the past couple years, so I on Nov. 18, 2021, I packed my car in Washington DC, and drove 9 hours up to Killington to check it out. This was my third competition, ever, and it was the best competition I have been to yet! Riding all weekend was a blast, and the actual event on Saturday, Nov. 20 was full of good vibes, friends, and a great terrain park set up. Thanks to Woodward Killington’s amazing park crew and snowmakers.

Brandon Westburg (skier) and Kaito Nakaya (snowboarder) in a stunning display of shred unity.

Ladies’ champ Ashlyn Overland

Killington had a nice pop up park set up with a bunch of different features to practice on at the top of the mountain, but for the event, the park crew had a whole new spread on an unopened trail. The set-up featured two rails and a tube, with a wall ride at the end. It was a classic arrangement and the competition was a lot of fun! No surprise, since the crew at Killington kills every park build. They are the best of the best, and I can’t wait to come back and shred Woodward Killington later this season. Killington is officially one of my favorite ski resorts in the United States, by far! I was surprised by the amount of snow they had — the snowmakers and terrain park crew must’ve been working overtime the past couple weeks. And they didn’t stop once the contest started. Between rounds of competition, the crew would step in to shape up all the features for the riders and make sure it was the best it could be, allowing riders to safely ride and try their tricks.

Mike Murda came straight outta Big Snow!

Grom girl champ Jess Perlmutter

The Loaded Turkey jam had it all — music, plenty of snow, and people throwing down some insane tricks. Among many of the snowboarders present were: Red Bull and Burton athlete LJ Henriquez. My new friend Michael Throckmorton, 27-year-old snowboarder from Jutland, New Jersey, who recently moved back from Bear Mountain. His super cool and stylish girlfriend, Michelle Schlanger — a traveler and snowboarder from Brazil — was also there ripping. Luke Wynen brought his well-coached students, Ashlyn Overland and Tristan Robles from the depths of New York. And of course the locals were out in force, including Darkside girls Erin Alexander, AKA Steezballerr, 8-year-old Jess Perlmutter, 11-year-old Callen Hwang, and Saratoga super grom 9-year-old Jack O’Keefe. Maggie and Joey Leon also made an appearance, but unfortunately, Joey broke his collarbone in an early round sending them both to Rutland Regional Medical Center. Honestly, it would be impossible to mention all the other talented skiers and snowboarders from around the country for a turkey, so I’ll stop there!

LJ Henriquez was there getting twisted

Chris Pierce is just one of the member’s of Killington’s all star park crew

This competition set the tone for the season, and it was a great one. There were many tough competitors, and everyone was throwing down some really amazing tricks! There were some gnarly bails and the competition was very tight. In the end, Michael Throckmorton, rocking his Tommy Hilfiger designer outfit and Goon Gear snowboard, won it all. He was awarded a brand-new Burton Kilroy 2020, a turkey, and all-out bragging rights!

“I really liked the community vibe, everyone was very welcoming!” Michael said.

Noah Avallone’s outfit was a real stand out

Chris Squillaci looked sharp, too

After the event we headed over to Darkside skateboard shop for their Goon Gear movie event premiere. It was super sick skateboarding the backyard mini ramp, checking out all the merch for sale, and watching five snowboard movies in the parking lot. They also had the Sustainable Eats food truck there to make sure no one went hungry. I had a great time meeting Goon Gear owner Lucas Magoon in the flesh and learning about the future snowboards they will make.

Lil Homie and Maggie Leon in one pic! Surprised my phone didn’t explode.

Lucas Magoon IRL

As the night wound down, I could only think what an amazing time I’d had over the couple days, meeting so many great people and snowboarding at Killington. The 9-hour drive was well worth it! I have to agree with Michael — everybody was so nice and welcoming, it is one big loving snowboard community up at The Beast. I look forward to coming back next year for the same event, Killington has my heart!

Chander Burgess gets the shot of Nick Schram

Grom boys champ Jack O’Keefe

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Full Results

Grom Skiers
1. Simon Miller
2. Carver Emory
3. Spencer Claffy
Men’s Ski
1. Andreas Stefanakos
2. Silas Chapman
3. Brandon Westburg
Women’s ski
1. Elaina Krusiewski
2. Katie Paroline
3. Abby Allaire

Grom Snowboard – Boys
1. Jack O’Keefe
2. Julian Voytilla
3. Rocco Jones

Grom Snowboard- Girls
1. Jess Perlmutter
2. Callen Hwang

Men’s Snowboard
1. Michael Throckmorton
2. Austin Esposito
3. Tristan Robles

Women’s Snowboard
1. Ashlyn Overland
2. Amelia Williams
3. Michelle Schlanger

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