Grad your board, grab your skis and get ready to throw down local style at the Frostbite Festival. This three day festival celebrates the roots of the freeskiing and riding movement with rail jams, big air contests and a mini pipe competition that will determine who is the baddest shredder in all of Girdwood! Before the freeride movement came to fruition people were just making turns on snow, all be it fun, but there was no real creative outlet. In the early 90’s the masses started to build jumps, hit handrails and hand dig half pipes. With this new direction came ski movies, snowboard movies and the X-Games, the mass media was hooked on what was possible on skis and snowboards, what people could actually build to incorporate, and how far people could push themselves and each other. This organic love to push oneself to a new realm of self expression on snow is why the local skiers and riders come out to participate in the event.
Friday night kicks off the festival with a rail jam behind the Sitzmark Bar & Grill. This 3 hour event has riders hiking the venue and dropping into the different features over and over again in no particular order. These jam sessions are more about building camaraderie and pushing each other further than they are about winning medals or prizes.
Saturday night starts off with a big air competition. In this competition skiers and riders get three jumps off of a forty foot table top jump and bust their best trick. They are judged and scores are tallied up to determine a winner. Much like the jam format of the rail event, skiers and rider typically pump each other up and push each other to pull bigger tricks each round.
Sunday afternoon brings the close of the festival with a mini half pipe contest. Skiers and riders get three runs in the halfpipe located underneath the Bearcub Quad. The size of the mini pipe brings an extra challenge to the event. In a normal size halfpipe riders can gain speed fast, jump higher and have more wall hits to pull tricks, given the small size of the mini pipe, riders have to be more technical with their line selection, tricks and technicality of their run.
Music has always had a huge influence in extreme sports. The weekends festival is complemented with music with two shows by local Anchorage DJ’s. Up first on Friday night is DJ Encyclopedia Brown. Brown has been playing gigs and spinning tracks in Anchorage for years and has a solid following of fans involved with the local ski and snowboard scene. Saturday Night will feature DJ RawB, also from Anchorage. This mash up DJ plays the up and coming club tracks and mash