Words by Ian Reynolds
Photos by Ian Reynolds, Richard Mersereau & Mount Snow
With the turmoil of the Dew Tour calmed and Mount Snow prepping for a long spring season, the Vermont resort played host to 142 skiers and spectators alike for the Mount Snow Freeski Open this past weekend. As we all know with open comps, anyone can enter and as such there was a stacked field of up-and-coming riders in all divisions from the men’s pro and am to the women’s field.
The course was, as could be expected, next to flawless. Saturday was slopestyle and began at 9am with the qualifiers for all fields, pro and am, men’s and women’s. I arrived a little after 9 and got on course and must say that I was blown away by the caliber of riding. It was difficult to differentiate between pro and am and for the first time almost impossible to pick out the girls in the group. The women were holding it down.
The course consisted of seven features running the full top to bottom length of Inferno. The riders started with a 25’ flat box or 24’ double up rail option. Moving down from there they rolled into a 32’ trap box or 32’ flat box. This shot riders into the first of the three jumps on course, at 40’. Riders then sent the 35’ rainbow, one of my favorite features on course. As a rider I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching hand drag 3’s over that feature.
Many were thrown down and the style bar has definitely been raised. Continuing from the rainbow, the bottom section of the course started with a 25’ down rail straight into the in-run for the final jumps. The first was a solid 50’ with great kick on the lip. This was followed by the final jump with was a two jump option of 45’ or 65’. By the end of the day I don’t think there was a single track on the 45’, which speaks to the level these kids are at these days.
Seasoned Mt. Snow judges sat atop the towers at each feature and hand selected the competitors for the finals. The format was simple, throw down on the only slightly modified Dew Tour course or to the locals, Inferno and impress the judges. There was no sanctioning body in charge of the event, which allowed athletes the chance to ski to impress without stressing the technicalities of judging. With that said, the field of competitors remained pretty relaxed throughout the entire event which added to the feel.
With the number taken down from 95 to about 20 pros, 10 am’s and 5 women the finals got underway and didn’t disappoint. After attending the Dew Tour this year at Mount Snow and seeing what the top dogs had to offer I can say I was sufficiently impressed. Competitors absolutely killed it, showing the crowd the gap is getting smaller between am's and pros.
The pipe comp at the Mount Snow Freeski Open got underway on Sunday with 47 competitors riding in all categories. The pipe was in pristine condition for the contest as it was cut by the hardworking park crew each day from Thursday, through Sat night. By comp time Sunday things had firmed up slightly from the beautiful day that was Saturday. This freeze allowed for more speed and less slop in the transitions and the men’s pro field stood out, going bigger and faster than the rest. The women’ field really impressed me yet again, while not flying quite as high, the women were stepping up the tricks and showing the progress they have made in the world of pipe skiing.
The weekend went off successfully and I think everyone involved from the competitive side to the staff side were pumped on the riding and the flow of the event. Thanks to Mount Snow and all the people involved in organizing the event and for showing the competitors and myself a great weekend.
1) Jackie Kling, Ambler, PA (Big Boulder Park)
2) Devin Logan, West Dover, VT (Mount Snow Acadamy)
3) Emma Whitman, Kamloops, BC, Canada (Line Skis, Smith Optics)
Men’s Amateur Slopestyle
1) Nick Goepper (UnderArmor, Scott)
2) Alex Gorham, Stowe, VT (Electric, UnderArmor, Dynastar)
3) Zach Heilierch, Thornton, Ontario, Canada
Men’s Pro Slopestyle
1) Chris Logan, Mammoth Lakes, CA (Rossignol, Electric, Skull Candy)
2) Tim McChesney, Salt Lake City, UT (DNA, Rossignol, Evo)
3) Parker White, Dorset, VT (Rossignol, Electric, Kooter Brown)
1) Devin Logan, West Dover, VT (Mount Snow Acadamy)
2) Abby Miles, Waterford, NY
3) Charity Mersereau, Frisco Colorado, (Salomon)
Men’s Amateur Superpipe
1) Matt Crawford, Toronto, Ontario, Canda
2) Nevin Metzger, Thornbury, Ontario, Canada (Rossignol, Anon, Red)
3) Colby Vavolotis, Rehoboth, MA
Men’s Pro Superpipe
1) Evan Schwartz, Weston, CT (Salomon, Scott, POC)
2) Matt Duhamel, Corte Madera, CA (Dynastar, Look, Lange)
3) Marshall LaCroix, Bondville, VT (Blizzard Skis, Electric, Spyder)