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By Chrissy Mallette
All right, everybody's been talking about how much snow has fallen these past few days in Vermont, so here we’ll just say it dumped all day and leave it at that. Conditions were still pretty ideal for checking out the first day of Winter Dew Tour, whether that meant hanging out in Festival Village (dipping into sponsor tents to warm up), or riding pow on Carinthia, catching glimpses of the comp between runs. Sponsor tents set up by Dew Underground, Toyota, Nike 6.0, Ride Snowboards, Grenade Gloves, and Ogio were displaying their latest designs, and giving fans a chance at winning free gear. Despite the cold conditions, it was a great turnout, on the hill and in the village.
In the Dew Underground tent, the Dew was flowing like water from an unscrewed fire hydrant, all like ppshsshssshshssh! Riders and fans lined up for free sticker jobs, while others checked out a gallery of artwork by Winter Dew Tour Featured Artists. Every day a different artist contributing to snow culture makes an appearance in the tent. One of those featured artists, Mikey Welsh, painted two new paintings in the tent as spectators watched. Before Mikey was a painter, he was the bassist of a little ol' band you may have heard of called Weezer…! In 2001, though, Mikey left the band and started painting. He figured out his niche in this medium pretty quickly; this year his work is featured on five new Burton Farmhouse snowboard top sheets, and he spends much of the winter traveling around the country, showing his work and creating live-paintings at snowboard shop sponsored events.
Danny Davis, Kevin Pearce, Hannah Teter and Mason Aguirre will be hanging around the Dew Underground signing autographs throughout the weekend. And if you stop in you might be lucky enough to catch a taping of Keir Dillon's Dew Underground show for Fuel TV.
The Toyota tent was airbrushing facemasks and bandanas and giving away prizes and the chance to win a new Toyota FJ Cruiser! Kids were grabbing Toyota cash in a glass money chamber for a chance to win prizes, and those good-looking Toyota Models were hanging out on the back of a flatbed truck all afternoon. Be sure to stop by the tent throughout the weekend to meet athletes like Andreas Wiig, Elena Hight and Simon Dumont for autograph signings.
The base area was littered with Winter Dew Tour athletes checking out each other's runs and scores. Everyone—athletes and fans—seemed to mingle together, united by the mountain, sharing chairlift rides on the Junkyard lift to the top of Corinthia. Isn't that nice?
The group came together again once the sun went down for the Toyota Antics party at the Hermitage Lodge in West Dover. The Toyota Antics party, hosted by Todd Richards, gained a good reputation after the killer party they threw on the first Winter Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge. DJ Kid Koala was back with a set of dance music that got the crowd breakdancing for an hour. There was live t-shirt silk-screening taking place, video games to play and a custom photo booth to cheese up the night with. Industry insiders like Fuel TV's Marketing Director, John Stouffer, Winter Dew Tour athletes like Hana Beaman and Tanner Hall, and Mount Snow locals like Tommy, the coach of Mount Snow's Jr. Comp Team, mingled together late into the night. It was an AWESOME party…and the weekend is just getting started.
When we returned to our hotel, the Matterhorn Inn, Tanner Hall was sitting at the bar with some friends and greeted us all like buds. Chris Taylor from Solomon Skis and Murph of Swix wax were camped out downstairs waxing the skis of Simon Dumont, Bobby Brown, Kaya Turski, Alexi Gadbo, Charles Gangnier and others in preparation for the next day's competition. It was fascinating to see them carefully layer the skis with wax, a process they tailor to the weather predictions for competition day, and they spoke about how they consider shape of the snow crystals to determine gliding properties and how they apply various powder wax accelerators that cost upwards of $200 per vile to assure a pristine finish for smooth landings and transitions. Murph estimates, "Between us, I think we have about 40 years of experience tuning skis." Let's just say we were a little star-struck.
Seeing this much work going into the preparation of Friday's competitions got us amp'd all over again, just when everyone was feeling exhausted from the days non-stop fun. Day one of Mount Snow kicked off things right.