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Friday, January 19, 2001 - Sunday, January 21, 2001 -- Champion, PA
Kahlua/ K2 Half-Pipe Jam Series
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]

Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Kahlua/K2 Jam
Jamin' in the halfpipe at 7 Springs
The K2 Sacred Hunger / Feed Your Need Tour recently paid a visit to Seven Springs Resort in Southwest Pennsylvania, one of only several East Coast stops. What they brought was some of K2's best athletes for a weekend of "skiing, hucking, jamming and laughing", topping it all off with the Kahlua / K2 Halfpipe Jam.

Special guests for this stop on the tour included four members of the K2 Freeride Factory Team. Having just flown in from the West, 16 year-old Rory Silva from Mammoth Lakes, California, joined the rest of his mates. Already settled in to Willie Nelson's former tour bus was 18 year-old Pete Mehrhof (Mammoth Lakes, CA), 24 year-old Mike Atkinson (Whistler, British Columbia) and 18 year-old Rory Will (Sugarloaf, Maine). In the words of K2 Tour Manager and bus driver Ben Cheek, "Our mission is to put on fun events to promote participation in freeskiing and to have a good time in the halfpipe."

Friday got everything started with a reception followed by a Kahlua Anything Goes Party (for those 21 and older). What also rolled in that night was some fresh snowfall, perfect for shaping the Seven Springs halfpipe into a sick launching pad for an awesome air show. And that is exactly what it was for Saturday's Kahlua/K2 Halfpipe Jam.

Kahlua/K2 Jam
Trained pros... you know what they say about trying this at home
The free admission Jam was open to all comers, skiers and snowboarders, with everyone given a chance to drop in and strut their stuff. With the K2 Team on hand to put on a little show-and-tell, the excitement got underway as the crowds feasted on the giant air and hardcore moves displayed by these young masters. With the crowd roaring, the music pounding, and all the participants amped, it was time for the pros to sit back and see what the locals had in store.

The K2 pros were now judges, and the one who proved the most impressive would be awarded $500 cash. The runner-ups also worked their moves for nice schwag including a new pair of K2 Enemys along with goods from Freeze, Skiing Magazine, Smith, Helly Hansen, K2, Motorola, Balance Bar, and Kahlua. Even if you didn't have the best-of-show abilities, most all the hardware was up for grabs in raffles and giveaways that extended into the evening at the Anything Goes Apres Jam party.

So, who did the most to impress Mike, Pete, and the Rorys? It was the skiing trio of local riders Brandon Tracy, "John-John" Josephic, and Matt Webb (a.k.a. "Junior"), all from the Seven Springs area. Grabbing the cash was the 21 year-old Tracy who rides for Willi's Ski Shop and Mojo's Goggles and a featured rider in the Pow Pow Productions video "Unknown". Having started out on skis at "around 3 years-old", Tracy gave credit to the sweet arena, "It was the best halfpipe I've ever seen at Seven Springs... and I've seen a lot of this place."

Kahlua/K2 Jam
The snowboards join in and kick it up
The 18 year-old Josephic took home the new skis for his efforts as he kept the pressure on his friend. "He's one of the up-and-coming, definitely the smoothest local skier around," commented Tracy. Third place honors went to the the 15 year-old youngster who simply goes by Junior. Skiing since he was just four, and not afraid to jack it up for anyone, "My cockiness finally paid off!" was rumored to be his mantra for the day.

The K2 crew kept the fun pumping into the night as the snow continued to fall. Sunday would be just another day of fun on the slopes before they packed up the bus and hit the road. Next up for their invasion was a Superbowl Weekend date with Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, Hew Hampshire. But the buzz they left at Seven Springs will certainly keep everyone jamin' in Southwest PA for some time... both in and out of the halfpipe.

For more details on the K2 Sacred Hunger / Feed Your Need Tour and the Kahlua/K2 Halfpipe Jams, check the Kahlua and K2 web sites.