Three years after being kicked out by campus security for grinding down a handrail on skis, a Thompson Rivers University student finally got his revenge — by organizing an entire event just to do it again.
Justin Tarasoff, a third year tourism management student at TRU, said he first came up with the idea to organize a rail jam when he saw the infamous handrail during a campus tour in 2020.
“I was with a group of friends, and I was looking at this handrail, and I was like, ‘Wow, how sweet would that be to ski on?’ I'm a skier,” he said.
“We ended up doing that when it snowed, we came here and we were like, ‘Let's ride it’ — maybe lasted 15, 20 minutes and then security kicked us out.”
Last February, Tarasoff said him and his friends went to their professor, Billy Collins, who told the thrill seekers to facilitate, organize and host a proper event.
The event, hosted on Friday night, saw skiers and snowboarders use the handrail as an urban obstacle, balancing all the way down the beam while some performed tricks to a crowd of more than 100 onlookers.
Tarasoff said snow had to be trucked onto campus to avoid any hazardous falls off the rail. Paramedics were also on site nearby.
“I wouldn't say I'm nervous. I was honestly a lot more nervous a month ago when we didn't have any snow and I was like, ‘How are we going to get snow on campus?’” Tarasoff said.
“We made probably 20 trips with a hydraulic trailer and we trucked in snow.”’
Tarasoff said the feat was accomplished with the help of the City of Kamloops, Sandman Centre, the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre and Cooper rentals.
He said all the athletes had to be handpicked to partake in the event due to the danger the handrail presents to those brave enough to jump on.
“It was me and we got to coach up at Sun Peaks Freestyle that actually helped me pick these guys," Tarasoff said. "So they're all vetted and they're all absolute shredders."
Prior to the event, one of the athletes, snowboarder Nate Brown, said he was excited to hit the rail, calling it the best thought-out urban rail jam he’s ever seen.
“It's kind of cool to be able to hit this not have to worry about getting kicked out, have a proper lip, have people, have lights, cameras — it's gonna be really fun,” he said.
"Seeing it now, it's not as as scary as it looked before there was any snow. So. I don't think it'll be too much of an issue."