NewsWinter Festival on Capitol Square

FasterSkierJanuary 14, 2006

The mid-day events prior to this evening's main SuperTour sprint relays on Capitol Square in Madison drew a fair number of participants and casual spectators. Below are some photos from the open-to-anyone ski, the rail jam, and equipment expo.

The bad news for the racers here is that the snow is some of the dirtiest that anyone has ever tried to hold a ski race on. It is filled with lumps of half-frozen dirt and chunks of asphalt from the parking lot where it was taken from. Most of the top skiers are either using or trying to find rock skis to “commit to death” in this evening's SuperTour sprint relay.

These kind of conditions sure keep the stonegrinders in business, and maybe the ski companies as well for pairs that are beyond saving and need to be replaced. Despite the conditions however, many people – both spectators and participants – are enthusiastic with the opportunity to race at such a unique venue.

Coverage of the sprint relay this evening will be coming shortly.

A look at the ramp of one of the hills.

Kids ski equipment was available during the day and volunteers helped introduce many young first-timers to the sport.

The snowboard rail jam

The riders got a little extra air thanks to a luge-style launch made possible by the two “flingers” on either side at the top of the mound

All ages welcome

The corner of the course closest to the rail jam. This will be final, all-out sprint at the end of tonight's races, with the finish/exchange zone at the top of the gradual hill.

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