Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Snowboarding [Print without images]

Friday, February 3, 2012
Updated: February 4, 11:47 PM ET
Calm before the Supernatural storm

By Melissa Larsen
ESPN Action Sports

Day One Day Two Day Three

In the eye of the hurricane there is no wind. There is no noise, no screams, no chaos. There is only the knowledge that the world is spinning crazily around you, and that it will catch up and blow you off your feet soon enough, but in the moment there is only a surreal calm.

At Baldface Lodge, nestled in the mountains outside of Nelson, Travis Rice makes a welcome speech. He thanks Terje Haakonsen for showing him how to dream of making your own contest your own way, and make that dream happen. Glasses are raised in a toast.

Eric Jackson checks to see if his latest Instagram photo has enough likes to push it to the "popular" feed, while DCP [David Carrier-Porcheron] bounces his baby boy on his knee and Jake Blauvelt and the two Marks -- Landvik and McMorris -- discuss which method of determining rider order is less biased: ping pong or ax throwing.

In the morning 18 pro snowboarders -- 16 legends and two legends in the making -- will board three snowcats, and all but one will see the Red Bull Supernatural course in person for the first time. They will pick their lines and mentally plot their courses through the Chutes and Ladders maze of backcountry obstacles.

But for now there is only a surreal calm, and the smiles that come from the anticipation of not having any idea what's going to happen this weekend, when the Supernatural storm hits.