Words & photos: John Vandervalk

Welcome to Breckenridge, Colorado for day one of the first stop on this year's Winter Dew Tour.

Today the Superpipe Open Qualifier went down with 48 young and hungry skiers vying for one of the nine spots in tomorrow's prelims against the 16 pre-qualified athletes, many of whom were in attendance today to cheer on their friends while scoping out their potential competition.

It was a difficult day to be a pipe skier this afternoon as although sunny skies were in the forecast, Mother Nature decided to bless the powderhounds but plague the competitors with a snowstorm, which caused many a speed issues, some bottoming out, and not as much amplitude as we're accustomed to seeing from a talent pool as deep as this one.

In addition to the less than desirable weather, Breck's pipe has 18-foot walls, where as the pipe the competitors have been training on for the past few weeks at Copper is a 22-footer, which forced a lot of the boys to change up their runs today. Translation: only a few doubles.

Challenges aside though, today's qualifiers was a fierce competition to say the least, as all the skiers knew they would have to give it their all in order to make the cut for tomorrow and retain points for the next two Dew Tour stops.

David Wise

Topping the field, to the shock of no one, was David Wise, who shrugged off the elements and went bigger than anyone, throwing down a rock solid (and grabbed) 12 amongst other trickery.

Matt Duhamel

Nipping at his heels was second place qualifier Matt Duhamel, who was in possession of a fairly firm grasp on the top spot until Wise dropped in near the end of the day.

JP Solberg

Also strutting their stuff this afternoon and moving on to tomorrow were the always consistent JP Solberg, Walter Wood, Christian Allen, Thomas Krief, Banks Gilberti, Dan 'The Man' Marion, and the impressively smooth Noah Bowman.

Noah Bowman

One of the finest and most unique highlights of the day belonged to Nils Lauper though, who just missed the cut-off but mixed things up by throwing a screamin seamen 9 (yes, you read that right), much to the delight of the crowd.

With much more pleasant weather being forecasted for the rest of the weekend (in particular on Saturday in time for the Superpipe Finals), today was just the tip of the iceberg of what's sure to go down this weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Results

1) David Wise - 87.00

2) Matt Duhamel - 84.75

3) Walter Wood - 83.75

4) JP Solberg - 81.25

5) Noah Bowman - 76.50

6) Christian Allen - 76.25

7) Thomas Krief - 70.25

8) Dan Marion - 69.50

9) Banks Gilberti - 68.25

cut-off

10) Gus Kenworthy - 67.75

11) Nils Lauper - 65.75

12) Andre Simonpietri - 65.25

13) Joss Christensen - 64.75

14) Brett Weiss - 61.50

15) Evan Walls - 60.00

16) Luke Kary - 59.25

17) Kiyoshi Terada - 59.00

18) John Leonard - 55.75

19) Scott Hibbert - 55.50

20) Mitch Gilman - 55.25

21) James Machon - 54.50

22) Kolby Ward - 53.00

23) Rob Heule - 52.75

24) James Campbell - 52.50

25) Colby Albino - 51.75

26) Kris Atkinson - 50.50

27) Jack Sullan - 50.25

28) Bobby Brown - 49.25

29) John Strenio - 46.75

30) Beau-James Wells - 46.50

31) Geoff Straight - 42.50

32) Karl Fostvedt - 40.00

33) Brian Kish - 35.00

34) Hans Wiener - 33.50

35) Miyuki Hatanaka - 27.50

36) Parker Thomson III - 27.50

37) Raphael Beazley - 26.75

38) Erik Hughes - 26.25

39) Marshall LaCroix - 25.00

40) Jon Marks - 23.25

41) Shuri Terada - 22.00

42) Kyle Smaine - 21.25

43) Brent Abrams - 20.00

44) Benoit Valentin - 17.75

45) Jeremie Veilleux - 13.75

46) Isao Sonehara - 13.00

47) David Oliver - 9.00

48) Evan Schwartz - 1.25

Stay tuned to NS as we'll be bringing you daily coverage from the first stop of the Winter Dew Tour, which continues tomorrow with the Superpipe Prelims and Slopestyle Open Qualifiers.


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