Hilden skier Emma Stevens jumps truck at Stanfields parking lot in Truro

Published on March 27, 2017

TRURO, N.S. – While most Nova Scotians were gearing up to clear away snow, a reticulated front-end loader was bringing in snow to the parking lot at Stanfield’s Limited in Truro.

Buckets and buckets of snow – to make a ski jump ramp two metres high with a run in about 80 metres long plus a landing and a run out.

People peered down from the windows of the textile plant whose wall of glass and brick served as a backdrop for the ski jump photo shoot.

Hilden freestyle skier Emma Stevens helped friends build a ramp in the parking lot at Stanfield’s on Monday so she could jump over her Nissan truck.
Jonathan Riley

Friends and family of Hilden freestyle skier Emma Stevens stood round or helped with the set up, shivering and stamping their feet in the falling snow and failing light Monday after supper.

Stevens parked her Nissan Frontier between the ramp and the landing and helped a half dozen volunteers from the Wentworth Freestyle League groom the ramps with rakes.

Emma finished second overall, after tie breaker, in the 2017 NorAm cup, she was third overall in 2016 in the Nor-Am series of slopestyle jump competitions and second overall in the 2016 Canadian Open Tour. She is the first Nova Scotian slopestyle skier, male or female, to make the national team.

She competed this February at the World Cup held in Quebec City and finished 26th.

Truro Nissan gave Emma the 2017 Frontier with her name on it last December.

The plan for the photos shoot was for Emma to jump over the truck, cross her skis and grab them for a photo taken by Jeff Babineau.

Truro Nissan general manager Erik Muckle says they have done photos with various Nissan vehicles  and various athletes in Victoria Park, on the ice at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, and on the hill at Ski Wentworth.

“For this, we wanted this building, it’s just beautiful isn’t it?” said Muckle. “I called up Jon Stanfield and he thought it was a great idea.”

Emma’s focus was on the snow and the driver, her brother Nick, who would be towing her in.

First run was just for speed – no jump - the plan was for Emma to skid to a stop on the ramp. Nick hit about 42 kmh on the speedometer. Not fast enough.

Next Mackenzie Young took a run at the ramp. 50 clicks looked better but he dropped the towrope too soon.

The other challenge for Nick was keeping the tow truck out of Babineau’s photograph. Stopping didn’t work as the tow truck skidded forward into the shot every time. Plan B: use a longer towrope and have the truck drive through the shot before Emma hits the ramp.

Young was the first to use the longer rope and the first to actually hit the jump with Nick driving closer to 60 – Young got backseat (that is the pitch of the jump knocked him backwards off balance). He struggled to get his skis back under him, landed a bit wobbly and well past the actual landing ramp on flat snow.

He skidded off the run out and into the steps at the side of the Stanfield’s building.

“It’s kicky, the transition is so fast,” said Young.

Next Brodie Reid tried the jump with Nick going a little slower but also got pitched backward – so hard that he couldn’t recover and landed on his shoulder – luckily though he hit the landing ramp which cushioned the fall.

Another try going just 50. Young landed a smooth easy jump over the truck. 50 it is.

And then it was Emma’s turn.

She too struggled with the kick but managed what looked to all observers like a decent styling grab at the peak of her jump.

“That’s no good, we have to do it again,” said Emma.

She did another decent jump.

“I’m not tweaking it enough, I can feel in the air that it doesn’t look right.”

She does another great jump.

“Yeah we need to do another.”

Until on the sixth try, it’s all high fives and big smiles.

“That’s better that’s feels right,” she says.

Babineau too is happy with his photo and so is Muckle from Truro Nissan.

He says they’ll release that photo in a couple days with video and behind the scenes footage being shared in the meanwhile on Facebook and Instagram.

“It’s unique,” says Emma. “This was fun. I don’t think anyone’s ever done anything like this here and I don’t think anyone will be doing it again too soon.”