To see one of the world's best skiers in the movies and in the magazines is one thing, but to see them up close and personal while they're shredding the gnar, well, now that's something special.
As the lucky winner of the "Win a Trip to Keystone and Spend the day With Jossi Wells" contest, thirty-one-year old Jake Bogdon of Elko, Nevada did just that – Jake, his wife Sarah, some Keystone staffers, yours truly, and Jossi Wells himself all joined forces on Monday for a fun-filled day at Kesytone.
A video recap of the day, produced by Keystone.
And how did Jake earn the opportunity? Months ago, Keystone collected testimonials; essentially, what they wanted to know is, "why are you worthy of winning this trip, and spending and entire day ripping around with, and getting to know Jossi?" Jake, being the selfless man that he is, entered a submission on behalf of his friend Chris Chapman, who 10 months ago suffered a severe spinal cord injury.
Jake desperately wanted to get Chris and his brother Clint out to Colorado, and Keystone was all for making it happen. Unfortunately in the end, the logistics didn't work out, and Keystone simply decided to extend the invite to Jake, since he sounded like an awesome dude.
So that's how it all went down. Jake was thus the lucky recipient of:
– A day on the slopes and A51 park with Jossi Wells
– 2 round trip airline tickets to Colorado
– Round trip shuttle to Keystone Resort on Colorado Mountain Express
– Ski or snowboard rentals if needed – provided by Keystone Sports
– 3-day lift tickets for two people
– 3-night stay in hotel or studio for two people
And here's where this gets good! Just last Thursday, Jake and Sarah were married, making this trip and this special day a part of their honey moon. Talk about a great time! Here's how the day broke down:
We met at Inkspot in town for some breakfast. Once we'd fueled up, we all headed over to the marketing office; there Jake found heaps of product waiting for him, including brand new Atomic boots (he would later receive brand new Atomic skis), Oakley goggles, and tons of schwag from Nike 6.0 and Giro.
Jake was completely taken aback by the amount of stuff that was being given to him; he remarked, "I totally wasn't expecting any of this. I'm floored… totally speechless."
Jake once again demonstrated his selflessness, exclaiming, "I can't believe how much stuff there is. This is perfect, I can give all of it away to my friends."
Once Jake had sifted through all of his new stuff, we headed up to the hill from some shredding. In the morning, we hit up the Outback, and enjoyed some long groomer-runs. Jossi did what he does best, which is jibbing everything in sight. Hugging the tree line, he'd pop off all the rollers, and weave in and out of the trees. Jake watched with a keen eye, and expressed to Jossi, "it's awesome to watch you ride, man, you open my eyes to stuff that I never even would have thought about."
After a few more laps, we broke for lunch at the summit. Equipped with an "all you can eat" meal voucher, everyone loaded up their trays to the max, and we had an awesome time kicking back, and getting to know one another.
In the afternoon, we made our way to the A51 terrain park. Jake and Sarah were excited about the opportunity to watch Jossi in his element. We ripped around for a couple of hours; Jossi put on a show, and Jake followed in tow with his GoPro capturing all of the action. Jake noted, "it's pretty unbelievable to see him in the park. He's completely effortless when he's riding, it's so cool."
At the end of the day, it seemed Keystone had found the perfect contest winner. Jake couldn't have been more appreciative, and genuinely blown away by meeting Jossi, and having a chance to ski with him. In addition, Jake earned his way to Keystone for all the right reasons… so here's to you, bud!
Jossi had this to say about the day: "Well, it was my first day back in the US, after five weeks of being in Europe, and I couldn't have asked for a better day. Nice and sunny up here at Keystone, took some laps over in the Outback, had a sweet lunch, lapped the park, and overall just had a great time with Jake, it was awesome."
Top of A51.
Jossi puts on a show in A51.
Finally, on behalf of everyone here at Freeskier, our best wishes go out to Chris, his family, and his friends. Although you didn't get to make it to Keystone this time around, we hope to see you there in the future.