Words & photos by Rom Marcucci

Isn’t it nice to be a skier? I mean seriously, think about it. If we were a bunch of stockbrokers and hundreds of thousands of dollars were on the line, we’d be wearing suits, getting fat, and going bald. Our trophy wives wouldn’t love us and we’d probably be dropping arsenic into each other’s coffee.

We aren’t stockbrokers though, we’re skiers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line, and we slide around under the warm sun, eating complimentary tacos, drinking plentiful Mountain Dew, and enjoying a beautiful afternoon.

TJ Schiller pre drop in, pre pre working on his tan

Tanner Rainville enjoying the beautiful California scenery

There was this wonderful happy vibe amongst the competitors today. Rather than backstabbing the guy who took your chance at the money, they were high fiving, fist bumping, and laughing with each other. I even saw two Euros kiss each other on opposite cheeks repeatedly. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Oscar Scherlin and one damn cool Toyota

Mandatory disaster rail

The course seemed smaller than other venues this season, but if nothing else it let everyone mellow and let me use my fisheye to make things look bigger.

Wide lenses make everything look bigger

Things started off with a down rail/box option, into a cannon barrel/flat box, into a true table/jump, into a dfd rail/box, into a step down, into a bigger step down. Speed was slightly weird as people had to slam on the brakes into a mandatory disaster on the dfd in order to keep enough speed for the next jump. Everyone seemed to handle it like champs though.

Identify this skier in the comments below and win my respect

This time you win my admiration

PK Hunder and Bobby Brown are already prequalified. JF Houle is prequalified but will not compete due to an injury, leaving 10 spots open.

PK in training

The level of slopestyle talent was enormous, with less than 10 points separating 2nd and 16th places. Several big names failed to qualify, while many hungry young skiers made the cut. Matt Walker squeaked in, sitting 4th after the first round and dropping all the way to 10th by the end of the second. Russ Henshaw placed 9th, with the only double of the day, a 1080 off the bottom jump. Nick Martini followed at 8th, Sammy made the most of his second run after a fall in the first for 7th.

Right now Nick Martini is thinking about a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger. That’s how effective this banner is.

Jossi Wells proved his versatility with a 6th, while Charles Gagnier put down his signature rail trickery and crazy tweaks for 5th. Mike Riddle joined the pack at 4th, bringing his dirty flatspin from the pipe to the slope.

This was a really cool shot of Mike Riddle until someone walked in front of me. Now it is artsy and will get me street cred with hipsters.

Young Alexis Godbout used his top notch rail skills to 3rd. Dumont placed 2nd. His slope game is quite legit, with pretzels, big spins, and very solid grabs. Look for Simon to be one of the only threats at two golds tomorrow.

Alexis Jumped througth this ring around the sun on his way to 3rd.

Ultimately, the day was that of Newschoolers' favorite son, Tom Wallisch.

Wallisch’s unconventional 630 out

Little known fact: Auntie Annie’s has approached Tom about sponsorship

He brought the techest rail tricks, a gorgeous rodeo 9, and landings that were beyond stomped. With the only score above 90 today, Tom Wallisch has arrived.

Question: Who won the slopestyle qualifiers? Answer at Northstar: Tom Wallisch. Answer in the NS forums: Full Tilt!

Stay tuned to NS throughout the weekend for the most in-depth and entertaining coverage of the third and final stop of the Winter Dew Tour available online.

Newschoolers fanboys, eat your little hearts out: Martini, Wallisch, Walker, Casabon, and Harlaut


1) Tom Wallisch – 91.17

2) Simon Dumont – 88.83

3) Alexis Godbout – 88.50

4) Mike Riddle – 86.50

5) Charles Gagnier – 86.17

6) Jossi Wells – 85.67

7) Sammy Carlson – 85.50

8) Nick Martini – 85.33

9) Russ Henshaw – 85.17

10) Matt Walker – 83.00


11) Anders Backe – 82.00

12) Philip Casabon – 81.00

13) Gus Kenworthy – 80.50

14) Derek Sprong – 80.33

15) Oscar Scherlin – 79.17

16) Henrik Harlaut – 79.00

17) Sean Jordan – 77.50

18) TJ Schiller – 76.50

19) Banks Gilberti – 74.17

20) Matt Margetts – 73.33

21) Sean Logan – 73.33

22) Byron Wells – 72.67

23) AJ Kemppainen – 70.67

24) Karl Fostvedt – 68.83

25) Tanner Rainville – 64.83

26) Kentaro Tsuda – 61.67

27) Sean Decker – 60.50

28) Peter Olenick – 51.67

29) Colby West – 20.50

30) Pekka Hyysalo – 15.67