After day one of Cold Rush, sports boners were the topic of discussion. While still a valid point of conversation when looking back on day two, discussing cliffs takes prominence.
The original plan for day two of competition was to shuttle the athletes out to the backcountry slopestyle and touring venue, but limited visibility at that course opened the conversation to consider foregoing the slopestyle contest in favour of the cliffs competition. With 20 centimetres of fresh on the ground, the idea of rocketing off of rock outcrops became the best idea. Due to the cliff venue's remote location, it was only accessible via helicopter.
And with that as the backdrop, what follows is an approximate take on the minute-by-minute unfolding of the day:
06:00 a.m. Wake up. Hate everything except my bed. Hate skiing. Hate bacon. Hate that Bruce Springsteen overlooked every Canadian city except Toronto on his current tour. Hate myself for not packing my day pack the night before.
06:30 a.m. Make it to breakfast. Eat bacon. Slowly start to appreciate the marvels of being awake. Forgive Bruce Springsteen.
07:00 a.m. Get slapped in the face by excitement for the day ahead.
08:09 a.m. Drop one mitten in the gondola line after fumbling with a chocolate muffin. Board gondola without realizing a soldier had fallen. Hate the muffin.
08:17 a.m. Return to bottom of the gondola from mid-station to learn that the delinquent mitten was sent up in a gondola after I loaded.
08:30 a.m. Arrive at the top of gondola. Reunite with lost mitten.
08:31 a.m. Wait.
09:00 a.m. Wait more.
09:45 a.m. Watch Scott Serfas pour chocolate milk into the mouth of Charlie 'Chunk' Grinnell.
09:48 a.m. Watch MC Reed Speedman lie on a picnic table with food on his face in hopes that a bird will swoop in and claim the snack.
09:49 a.m. Watch a bird dive bomb into Speedman's face, snatching the food without damaging his precious good looks.
10:00 a.m. Receive confirmation that today's competition will be cliffs, not backcountry slopestyle.
10:15 a.m. Josh Bibby breaks the news that he didn't break anything in his fall yesterday, but that the contest is over for him.
10:20 a.m. First helicopter load of production staff gets out to the cliff zone.
10:45 a.m. Athletes attend a helicopter safety meeting. When the floor is opened for questions, Kye Petersen raises a query about the "World Championship" sticker near the rear of the aircraft.
10:46 a.m. Everyone within earshot learns the owner of the helicopter also owns a jet boat that has carried him to a World Championship, and that the owner felt his helicopter was the appropriate place to brag about being a jet boating World Champion.
10:50 a.m. Wait.
11:05 a.m. Wrasslin' matches start to break out in the waiting area. No one is safe.
11:29 a.m. Sammy Carlson describes the new snow as "something to write home about."
11:55 a.m. Board last helicopter into the contest zone. "I keep hoping my next ride is going to be for the Red Bull girls," says our pilot as we buckle in.
12:02 p.m. Arrive at the contest venue.
12:40 p.m. It is announced that contestants may only get one run in order to shuttle everyone out of the zone before dark. Mike Henitiuk starts reciting Eminem's "Lose Yourself" lyrics: You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.
13:01 p.m. Red Bull arch marking the finish corral deflates.
13:03 p.m. Red Bull arch marking the finish corral is revived.
13:07 p.m. "I'm a little stressed," says Tatum Monod, regarding the pressure of scouting a line so quickly.
13:33 p.m. Sean Pettit drops in for the first run of the day. He stomps the first cliff and floats an enormous 360 to his feet but gets bucked forward into a tomahawk upon landing.
13:40 p.m. Kye Petersen takes a piss, delaying his start. Petersen, with an empty bladder, then stomps a three on the same hit that claimed Pettit. The run would hold as one of the best of the day.
13:44 p.m. "Stan Rey has officially achieved psycho status," announces Speedman over the mic. Rey earned such status with an attempted double backflip off of the same feature that Petersen landed his 360.
13:52 p.m. Leah Evans takes the scariest fall of the week. After getting turned around on a cliff, gravity and slough drag her through a smaller cliff band and into trees before releasing her.
13:53 p.m. The elapsed minute passes at 240 frames per second as everyone waits for confirmation from Evans that she's alright.
13:55 p.m. Evans starts walking down without the ski that remained attached to the tree she hit.
14:10 p.m. Mike Henitiuk finds his way out of the most what-the-fuck-where-is-he-going line of the day.
14:16 p.m. Greg Hope digs in for a face shot up top before dodging a freight train of slough, then sends off one of the bigger cliffs of the day.
14:39 p.m. Johnny Collinson earns a smattering of oh my gods from everyone at the contest for hulking through the biggest 360 of day two. "You didn't really land in the tranny," says his sister Angel Collinson as she greets him. No one objects.
14:41 p.m. Collinson is attended to for the nosebleed he earned by smashing his face into his knee upon landing his 360.
14:45 p.m. Dave Treadway takes a tumble on his last run, and with that, the contest is wrapped.
14:50 p.m. Johnny Collinson pulls a tooth pick out of his pocket and plops it into his mouth—a staple of his character.
15:12 p.m. A ski patroller retrieves Leah Evans' ski from the tree that played nice with her.
15:23 p.m. The patroller at the heli pickup zone informs us that they did a heli-assisted poutine delivery yesterday.
15:36 p.m. Arrive back inbounds at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
15:46 p.m. Milk some faceshots on the way back to the hotel. Confirm Carlson's thinking that the snow is definitely worth writing home about.
17:49 p.m. Overhear a women in the hotel lobby declare that she used leather Canadian Tire ski boots at one point in her life.
19:26 p.m. Receive a beer delivery to the media room by a plain clothed bartender. You rock, bar guy. You know who you are.
19:27 p.m. Recognize that I'm not a morning person.
Weather permitting, Friday will see the third and final component of Red Bull Cold Rush take the stage: backcountry slopestyle and touring. The backcountry slopestyle and touring venue is accessible to those skiing Revelstoke Mountain Resort, so if you're in the area, come watch the show.