Snow covered the stairs of DeMoss Hall as Liberty University held its first ever rail jam on Saturday night. The event was the first of its kind in the Lynchburg area and was sponsored and organized by Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. Snow was transported to Liberty’s campus from Wintergreen Resort in Wintergreen, Va., about an hour away from campus.
“This is part of the snowboarding culture, to set up on some staircases, so that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted the students to be part of it so we came to them,” said Will Scheren, operations manager at Snowflex.
About 50 snowboarders and skiers participated in the competition, including several members of Liberty’s freestyle ski and snowboard team. The competition was open to the public.
The winning snowboarder, Austin Leonard, and the winning skier, Ross Rowan, each received a $1,000 cash prize. Both Leonard and Rowan traveled from North Carolina to compete in the rail jam.
Scheren said spectators had the chance to win about $4,000 in prizes, including a television, PlayStation 3, iPods, Flip cameras and a weekend vacation package to Massanutten Ski Resort in McGaheysville, Va.
“We wanted to do something that’s different. It’s not a traditional sport … but in a location like this, where 90 percent of your population doesn’t ski or snowboard, you just don’t ever see it,” said Snowflex general manager Drew Sherwood, who helped organize the event. “It’s 100 percent for the students.”