Though no actual mention of Nelson, the area received huge exposure this past Friday on NBC’s Today Show.
Earlier this month a crew from the massively popular American morning news program touched down in Nelson to film a segment for the upcoming Red Bull Signature Series snowboarding event that will take place at Baldface Lodge in early February. Correspondent Jenna Wolfe and her NBC crew spent several days filming at the catski operation just north of Nelson and speaking with world renowned snowboarder Travis Rice who is the Signature Series host.
“Everybody has their idea of paradise. A perfect spot where every dream comes true,” Wolfe waxes while a helicopter shot of the mountainous terrain is featured.
As far as a specific mention of Nelson, the four-minute segment never uses the city’s name. The closest descriptor is “deep in Canada’s wild mountains” and “just over the border in Canada’s British Columbia.”
NBC is a sponsor of the Red Bull Signature Series that kicked off Saturday on the American network. The series will feature a number of adventure sports like mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill and BMX. The idea behind the series is to bring viewers “custom courses from the inspiration of the athletes themselves.”
Travis Rice is one of the world’s top snowboard athletes. His recent The Art of Flight film has bolstered his status even further in the outdoor scene. Rice told TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine associate photo editor Chris Wellhausen that he chose Baldface because of its reputation for great snow and world class terrain.
“I was very particular about finding the perfect run so we actually looked everywhere, from heli terrain to off-resort,” Rice told Wellhausen. “It became apparent that with the infrastructure needed to run the contest, a cat operation would be the best call. We scoured three cat operations in the area because, statistically, the safest bet was to do something in Interior BC. We wanted to get enough elevation that [the course] could survive some warm spells or a week or two with no snow. That’s why we chose something on a Northeastern aspect. Basically, if it didn’t snow for two weeks, the aspect would still hold good snow. So we found this run [Scary Cherry] on Baldface.”
Rice and a team of builders have been busy planning the course for almost two years. A total of 100 jumps and features were built during the summer months in preparation for the upcoming event. Though unconfirmed, Red Bull has invited the best snowboarders on the planet to take part including John Jackson, Nicolas Müller, DCP, Lucas Debari, Scotty Lago, Kazu Kokubo, Jake Blauvelt, Gigi Rüf, Wolle Nyvelt, Mark Landvik, Devun Walsh, Pat Moore, Shaun White, Terje Haakonsen, Mark Carter and of course Rice himself.
The goal of the event is to bring snowboarding’s elite together in order to crown the best.
“Seeing events like the North Face Masters and the resurgence of the King Of The Hill contest, that stuff is great,” Rice told TransWorld’s Wellhausen. “But you don’t see those contests with the best riders in the world and they’re not showing snowboarding at it’s best just due to the situation. Snowboard films come out every year, and they show the current state of snowboarding. As far as contests, nothing is on par with what you see in a snowboard video. Of course, it’s an impossible situation because when filming people seek the best features. When we go out and off a couple mountain peaks, we might find one, maybe two, really cool features. A video part is the sum of these moments.
“I want to create an event where a contest run has the potential to be more progressive than a video part. I’d like to see this event become the highest echelon of competitive snowboarding. I’m totally backing slopestyle, all the stuff, but I feel that there’s even a level above slopestyle. Riding fresh snow changes everything. I’m hoping that the up and comers will be a big part of these events as they continue in the future. This one is a little legend heavy, but it’s the first year and we had to start it off.”
Rice’s Signature Series is being called Supernatural and will take place February 2 to 9. It will air on NBC on March 31.
Signing off her story this past Friday, Wolfe summed it up for viewers.
“Travis Rice’s Supernatural event is the next chapter in winter’s hottest sport. Pushed to the edge by the creative genius of a man who is more than just a little crazy.”
A link to the promo video can be found at http://win.gs/xBB28A.