A different kind of slopestyle contest

Grete Eliassen won best female and donated her winnings to the NeuroRecovery Network. Ross Downard

This weekend marked the fourth annual Trains slopestyle contest, a High Fives Foundation event, at Alpine Meadows, Calif. What makes Trains different from other slopestyle contests is its unique charitable spin: The winners of five different categories including top male, top female, best high five, best trick, and best trains team donated $3,000 to selected charitable organizations. Plus, what other slopestyle events include a chicken-wing-eating contest?

Among the 24 skiers and seven snowboarders who competed, Davis Souza, Austin Simonpietri, Sean Collin, Andy McDowell, and Peter Kukesh took top honors for best trains and best high five. Their runs were pre-planned and organized well to flow with the course set up, which had distinctive features and two huge jumps. They donated their winnings to the Shane McConkey Foundation and the Alpine Meadows Ski Foundation.

Parker White with his flawless style won the best male category and donated to Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports Foundation, and Grete Eliassen took first for the females and donated to the NeuroRecovery Network. Best trick went to snowboarder Brandon Reis for doing a back ten double cork.

"This event is about fun and community," said Roy Tuscany, co-founder and president of High Fives Foundation, the Tahoe-area non-profit that put on the event. "In the end it just gets a lot of great people together to get the awareness out about High Fives, which we accomplished today."

The event was great for spectators and incredibly fun to compete in. After a two hour-long individual session, we were paired into teams for the Best Trains portion of the contest, where all the teams dropped into the course six at a time. The riding and energy level were at all-time highs and everyone was happy to be a part of an event with such a good cause behind it.