52 Search Results for ""made in u.s.""
- From: TetonGravityResearch
(Washington, D.C.) - Warning that “winter is in trouble,” 75 Olympic medalists and other winter sports athletes – including White House “Champion of Change” awardee and pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones – are sending a letter to President Obama today urging the President to take action on climate and clean energy.
The representatives of the global snow sports community signing the letter include X Games champions and World Champion snowboarders, alpine/Nordic skiers and professional climbers, including:
• Olympic gold and silver medalist Julia Mancuso (Olympic Valley, CA)
• Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO)
• 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year Jeremy Jones (Truckee, CA)
• Olympic silver medalist, three-time World champion, seven-time X Games champion Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT)
• Two-time Olympian and six-time X Games gold medalist Nate Holland (Truckee, CA)
• Olympic gold & silver medalist, six-time X Games medalist, six-time World Cup champion Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT)
• 2010 Olympian, Nordic skier Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK)
• Five-time winner Powder Magazine’s Best Female Performer Ingrid Backstrom (Seattle, WA)
• Two-time World Freeskiing champion Chris Davenport (Aspen, CO)
• Two-time World Freeeskiing champion, Kit Deslauriers (Jackson, WY)
• 2013 World champion, X Games medalist Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO)
For a full list of signers, go to protectourwinters.org/athleteletter.
“Without a doubt, winter is in trouble,” the letter states. “… at risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries. Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.”
Jones is being honored on April 11 at a White House ceremony along with other “Champions of Change,” in recognition of “ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”
Jones is being recognized for his contribution to raising awareness about the impact of climate change on the winter sports industry by creating Protect Our Winters (POW), a foundation established in 2007 to unite and mobilize the global winter sports community against climate change.
“This nomination is an absolute honor for me and the work we're doing at POW. But it's now my responsibility to take this recognition and help secure a place in the climate discussions in Washington. The letter that's been enthusiastically signed by so many amazing athletes is a strong showing of solidarity from the leaders in snow sports on climate action, so together, we have to keep that momentum going,” Jones said.
The letter to the president references a December 2012 report published by Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council highlighting the economic impact of inconsistent winters on the U.S. snow sports community and tourism-dependent states. (See protectourwinters.org/climate_report/.)
The athletes’ letter calls on Obama to follow through on the promise he made in the State of the Union address to fight climate change. He can do so by using executive authority currently available to reduce carbon pollution emitted by America’s power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution worsening climate change, and by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would add millions of tons of new carbon pollution to the atmosphere.
“Mr. President, it’s time to force our transition to clean energy, and we need your leadership,” the letter states. “…on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised.”
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear President Obama,
During the recent State of the Union address, you urged Congress to “get together, pursue a bipartisan market-based solution to climate change...but if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will.“
As professional athletes, representing a community of 23 million winter sports enthusiasts, we’re witnessing climate change first-hand. Last year was the warmest year on record, and once again, we’re currently experiencing another winter season of inconsistent snow and questionable extremes. Without a doubt, winter is in trouble.
And with this lack of consistent snow, at risk are the economies of tourist-dependent states where winter tourism generates $12.2 billion in revenue annually, supports 212,000 jobs and $7 billion in salaries. Those are the jobs and businesses owned by our friends and families, generators of billions in federal and state income.
The good news is that because we know this warming is human-caused, we can do something about it and it can be done, now, from limiting carbon pollution from our nation's dirty power plants to rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
First, it is time to tackle pollution from the biggest emitters in the United States: power plants. We’re asking for you to issue standards under the Clean Air Act that cut carbon pollution from America’s aging power plant fleet - at least 25 percent by 2020, while boosting energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy sources. Power plants are our largest source of carbon pollution. Cleaning them up will create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs, meet the pollution targets set for the country, and restore U.S. international leadership.
Furthermore, we urge you to reject dirty fuels like tar sands. Specifically, reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can’t afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.
Mr. President, it’s time to force our transition to clean energy, these are the first big steps and we need your leadership.
Again, on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised.
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- 1 month ago
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News: Craig Kelly, Wayne Wong News: Craig Kelly, Wayne Wong And More To Join Ski And Snowboard Hall of Fame
- From: TetonGravityResearch
Wayne Wong showing off his signature "Wong Banger."
ISHPEMING, MI - Freestyle skiing pioneer Wayne Wong and world champion freestyle moguls skier Jeremy Bloom lead an outstanding class of six inductees elected to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Joining them will be Alpine World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark, world champion and snowboarding pioneer Craig Kelly, acclaimed international ski instructor and leader Horst Abraham and ski resort developer Hans Geier. U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Chairman Bernie Weichsel made the announcement.
Wayne Wong is regarded by many as a living legend. He was the leading and most popular skier of his day when hotdog or freestyle skiing was emerging on the scene. The inventor of the famous “Wong Banger” and a star of countless skiing movies, Wong packaged his fame into being a true ambassador for skiing and continues to this day to convey his passion and enjoyment for the benefit of ski sports across the country. Both SKI and Powder magazines have named him among the most influential skiers in the 20th century.
Jeremy Bloom was also a star of freestyle skiing who won two World Cup titles and a World Championship and was one of America’s most visible skiing stars in the mid-2000’s. In 2003 he won gold in the dual moguls event at the World Championships and a silver in the individual moguls. Two years later he won his third World Championship medal as well as earning the moguls and overall World Cup titles. His six straight wins in World Cup competition set a record that stood for seven years. Bloom was also a football star at the University of Colorado and played for two years for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kirsten Clark started racing at the age of seven, developing her skiing skills at Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain. During her 13 year career on the U.S. Ski Team she won 12 U.S. titles and reached the World Cup podium eight times. In 2003 she won a World Championship silver medal in the super G. From 1998 to 2002 she strung together five straight U.S. downhill titles. A three time Olympian, Clark was respected for her quiet leadership and the high standards she set preparing for competition. Lindsey Vonn said of her, “Clarkie was always someone I looked up to.”
Craig Kelly is the third snowboarding honoree to be elected to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. A winner of four world titles in the early days of the sport, Kelly was one of its most influential pioneers working with Jake Burton Carpenter to open countless ski areas to the sport in the 1980s. He also played a key role during the early years of Burton Snowboards. The holder of an honors degree in chemical engineering, he starred in numerous skiing and snowboarding films over 20 years. The first true professional snowboarder, he was awarded TransWorld Snowboarding’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. He died a year later in an avalanche while seeking to become the first fully certified Canadian Mountain Guide as a snowboarder.
Horst Abraham is an Austrian native who rewrote the script for American ski instruction that had a significant impact internationally. Through his work America’s ski instructors emerged as world leaders in their field. Starting with the Aspen Ski School and later the technical director for the Vail Ski School, he eventually became the education vice president for the Professional Ski Instructors of America. As the developer of what became known as the American Teaching Method in 1980, focusing on teaching skiing skills instead of skiing turns, he led the U.S. to become the world leader in snow sports education.
Hans Geier was a leading manager and developer of ski areas across the United States for nearly 30 years. From the time he completed Pennsylvania’s Ski Round Top in 1971 until his retirement in 1998, he had a large impact on the growth of the sport. Most notably he was the general manager of Steamboat Springs resort in Colorado from 1981 to 1990 when he led it through a $43 million expansion, growing annual skier visits from 360,000 to over a million and putting the resort’s finances in the black. In 1994 he was hired as president of Doppelmayr Corporation for North America, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. He also served on numerous ski association boards including the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and chairman of Colorado Ski Country. In 1988 the NSAA presented to him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
The induction of the Class of 2012 will take place at the Marriott Vail Resort in Vail, CO on April 13, 2013 as the concluding event for Skiing Heritage Week celebrating Vail’s 50th anniversary.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame provides highly respected perpetual national recognition to athletes competing in skiing and snowboarding and of the builders of these sports who have made the highest level of national and/or international achievement and contribution to American skiing and snowboarding. It is located in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing in America, where it also serves as the headquarters for the International Skiing History Association.
- Blog post
- 6 months ago
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- From: crestpictures
“The temperature was below zero, the winds were light and the snow was shin deep with nothing firm lurking underneath. I had dreamed of this day for years. We were alone without any wind and below us was going to be some of the best turns of our life. The snow stayed consistently soft for the entirety of the run, riding 4600 feet to the White River crossing before stopping. In total we hiked over ten miles, 5400 feet and 13 hours for a single run.” ~ Kyle Miller
Crest Pictures is pleased to announce the release of their latest production, FreeRider, a short film about splitboard mountaineer Kyle Miller. FreeRider is a documentary chronicling Miller's passion for his sport, his great love of the wilderness and mountain scenery, his ski bum lifestyle, his triumphs and disappointments, his pain and his joys, and his unyielding dedication towards fulfilling his riding dreams. Each season Miller sets a high bar for himself. In 2010, he successfully climbed and rode all 25 volcanoes in the Western United States. Last season he went for and completed Washington’s 10 highest peaks while the cameras rolled during the filming of FreeRider.
FreeRider had its world premiere on December 9, 2010 at the 7th International Free Ride Film Festival in St-Lary-Soulan, France. We were very proud to be one of the sixteen freeriding films to compete in this elite event. And, pretty stoked too! Kyle was on hand to introduce the film to a packed theater.
FreeRider had its U.S. premiere on Friday, Feb 3, 2011 at the Seattle Mountaineers in front of the hometown crowd.
For details about these and other upcoming screenings see FreeRider at: crestpictures.com/freerider
Produced and directed by Robert and Kathy Chrestensen
Filmed and edited by Robert Chrestensen
Music by permission from these Pacific NW groups:
“Moonlight” by Elk and Boar
“Born Lucky” by Handful of Luvin'
“Excuse This Honesty” by Again and Again
“Castles Made of Snow” by J Minus
“On My Way Home” by James Coates
Plus “Wait for Me” by international recording artist Moby
Backcountry footage by Jason Hummel, Jacob Hase and Kyle Miller
- 8 months ago
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News: Emilia Wint Wins Slopest News: Emilia Wint Wins Slopestyle At The North Face Freeski Open Of New Zealand
- From: media-75233
WANAKA, New Zealand – Young Emilia Wint, of Denver, linked a switch rodeo 540 into a monster 720 mute-grab on the final jump Aug. 31 to win the women’s slopestyle at the New Zealand Freeskiing Open in Snow Park. Wint, a Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix podium finisher last season, battled strong winds and cold temperatures to stomp a second run score of 84.8 for a huge 5.8 point margin of victory. The newest addition to the U.S. Freeskiing team, Wint represents the pacesetters of a new generation of women’s freesking.
"This is a great way for me to set my pace for the season, especially with the Argentina World Cup taking place next week," Emilia Wint said. "I’m pretty pleased with the seven in my run, the wind definitely made jumping a bit tricky, but I have been training hard and I felt comfortable in the air and with my landing. Hopefully I will be able to keep this up for next week’s World Cup and the start of the Olympic qualifying period."
U.S. Freeskiing teammate and Olympic hopeful Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) was the top American man in fifth.
Australia’s Russ Henshaw took first among men with Swede Jesper Tjader in second and France’s Jules Bonnaire in third. For the women, Canada’s Dara Howell was second and New Zealand’s Rose Battersby took third.
The New Zealand Freeskiing Open is an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) Gold event, the highest level below the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix.
Coming up next is the first FIS Slopestyle World Cup of the season at Ushaia, Argentina Sept. 6-7. It will also be the first qualifying event toward the sports addition in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
- Blog post
- 8 months ago
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News: Burton U.S. Open Moves T News: Burton U.S. Open Moves To Vail After 30 Years In Vermont, Adds Slopestyle Event
- From: TetonGravityResearch
Vail, Colorado – The Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships, at home in Vermont for the past thirty years, are moving to Vail, Colorado, in 2013. The change in location was announced monday by Burton Snowboards and Vail Resorts. After 27 years at Stratton Mountain, Vermont, and thirty years in the state, the event will be held February 25 – March 3, 2013, at the area of Vail Resort known as Golden Peak.
Along with a change in venue, the event is shifting focus. Attention has long been centered around the halfpipe at the U.S. Open, with other events like racing, rail jams and big airs shifting in and out of the lineup over the years. When the contest makes its debut in its new home next season, slopestyle, which is now an official part of the Olympic Winter Games lineup, will be stepping boldly up to claim an equal share of the spotlight.
The news that the U.S. Open will no longer be held in Vermont, the state that gave birth to both Burton snowboards and the contest itself, is roughly the equivalent of the organizers of the Rose Bowl telling football fans that the game is keeping its name, and all the people who put it on are the same – it's just no longer going to be played in Pasadena.
"I just want to thank Stratton Mountain in Vermont, where the U.S. Open took place for so long," said Jake Burton, in a statement announcing the move. "Stratton not only hosted the Open for 27 years, but also played a pivotal role in making resort riding a reality. Vail is an incredible mountain and has been my snowboarding home-away-from-home for over twenty years. I have no doubt that the U.S. Open at Vail will only grow in its legacy as the premier rider-driven event in the world."
The U.S. Open is almost as old as snowboarding itself. In its heyday, the event was less of a contest and more of an annual gathering of the tribes, and as such, it drew and created many of snowboarding's biggest names. Because so many of snowboarding's legends claim U.S. Open titles, including Craig Kelly, Terje Haakonsen, Todd Richards, Danny Kass, Kelly Clark, Shaun White, Kazu Kokubo, Torah Bright, and more, to win a halfpipe event there is to go down in the annals of the sport's history.
"I grew up nine miles from where the Open was held," said Clark, a 29-year-old native Vermonter, two-time Olympic medalist and nine-time Winter X medalist, who cut her teeth as a pre-teen at the U.S. Open. "I went as a kid to see Terje and all these big-name pros ride, and it was really inspiring to be able to experience that as a spectator. But I'm optimistic and excited about the future. It will take on a new identity in Vail and will look different than it ever has, but it still will remain one of the pinnacle events in snowboarding that embraces the core of the sport."
While the break in tradition is a clear heralding of the end of an era in snowboarding, what the contest potentially gains with the move is significant. With conditions ranging from fog to sub-zero temperatures to sleet and ice storms, weather has tormented competitors at Stratton for years. And while Vermont once was the epicenter of snowboard culture, and the U.S. Open the crown jewel of contests, the globalization of the sport and the addition of major events around the world have contributed to a packed competition calendar. Traveling to the Open's remote location has become less of a pilgrimage and more difficult for today's competitors and spectators to pull off.
Vail, meanwhile, is a two-hour drive from Denver and its international airport, and is located in an area of the Rocky Mountains that has a high concentration of snowboarders and skiers. The potential pool of spectators to draw from is huge, as is the effort that Vail is putting into keeping them entertained once they get there. Along with a festival area at the base of the venue, Vail is hosting a series of free outdoor concerts, among other things.
Burton representatives remain steadfastly tight-lipped about the company's reasons for leaving Stratton, other than to say that Burton is committed to "progression", and the move is in line with that philosophy.
Progression is a word snowboarders use like Hawaiians use the term "da kine". It can mean anything, and nothing, depending on the context. Looking at the run that the slopestyle event is to be held on, however, it appears that progression in this case refers to the course itself.
Future Olympic slopestyle gold super-contender Mark McMorris said: "It's on a perfect run. If you look back to the Honda Vail Sessions that used to be here, they were the biggest jump contests in snowboarding. It's where all the new tricks happened. [The first 1260s in a contest were landed there by David Benedek and Chas Guldemond in 2007.] This is the same idea. It's on the same face of the mountain where the Sessions were held, and will have huge jumps, and history will for sure be made."
Vail Resorts recently invested in an extensive upgrade of its snowmaking system, installing 27 automated snowmaking machines on Golden Peak. The investment has turned the area into a training center, attracting athletes like alpine ski racers Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller to the resort to run laps in the early season. This is significant, in that downhill racers need steep-graded runs – the same type of steep grade that slopestyle course designers need to be able to build the kind of big jumps with long, steep landings that the new generation of slopestyle competitors have been begging for for the past two years.
"I know it sucks that it's leaving Vermont because it's been there forever," McMorris said. "I made my first pro podium at the Open. I have great memories from it, for sure. But Vail is so nice, and it's going to be so great to make new memories here. In the end, it's still the U.S. Open, that's not changing – it's just going to be in a different place."
Photo via actionsportsfusion.com
- Blog post
- 10 months ago
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- From: media-75233
At a time when companies are moving their production to China, Taiwan, and Eastern Europe, RAMP has developed a new, more modern patent-pending manufacturing process. This new process produces a high-performance product offering complete flexibility in shape and ski design. Having total control over quality, R&D, and materials is a major development.
Since the 1960s, skis have been molded using very large presses that are incredibly expensive and result in a process that is not clean or efficient. They also require very expensive aluminum molds carved out with a cavity for every model and every size. These molds are typically at least $6,000 a piece. These presses compress the layers against a camber plate at 4 bars of pressure, forcing the layers into un-natural shapes resulting in a very small sweet spot and loss of material benefits. With the new process RAMP has invented, the huge, old presses are avoided by using a more modern vacuum-molding system like what is used to make a composite blade for a helicopter. With vacuum molding, the pressure is equal in every direction and about 25 percent as much—the layers aren’t forced into any shape between the contact points. The camber results from the thermal expansion characteristics of each layer. This provides a much greater sweet spot and maximum material benefit. As RAMP doesn’t need to use traditional molds, this process allows for ultimate creativity in shape. This allows for incredible innovation—to be able to test and make any shape at will—instead of being stuck with molds that quickly become outdated in this fast-moving design environment. In addition, RAMP is using U.S.-made machines and U.S.-made materials such as bases, resins, sublimation materials and composites in order to support the “Made in America” attitude that has become so critical to an economic recovery and a new era of U.S. manufacturing.
The way manufacturing migrated out of the U.S. is an interesting study. Companies took their exact same machines and processes and moved them as they were to places with cheap labor to make the same types of products at an inexpensive price. What RAMP is doing is spearheading an initiative to create a new, cleaner, more efficient process using materials that are better (e.g., a resin that uses pine by-products versus petro-chemicals, a much greener epoxy; an FSC Fully Certified Bamboo Core that is four times as hard as a normal poplar core, which provides an incredibly, solid precise feel. And yet, a core three times as expensive as what the other companies use but is so strong it eliminates the need for plastic sidewalls). By throwing out the old processes, RAMP is convinced U.S. companies can produce and thrive in America.
It is a fact that most of the best selling models of skis and snowboards in the U.S. are made in China by companies such as K2 and Burton, brands that used to produce in America but now pay people—who have never skied or even seen snow—$200/month. RAMP is not willing to accept this and is excited to use the new technological advances it developed to offset this cheap labor and lack of environmental responsibility. For this season, RAMP will produce all adult skis, the following season snowboards as well.
- Blog post
- 11 months ago
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News: Gus Kenworthy, Devin Log News: Gus Kenworthy, Devin Logan Take Overall AFP World Championship Titles
- From: media-75233
Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan with the AFP Sarah Burke Overall trophy. Photo by Shay Williams.
Whistler, Canada – U.S. Freeskiing athletes Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) and Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) were crowned the overall AFP World Champions following the season ending slopestyle and halfpipe competitions last weekend in Whistler. The overall trophies were named and presented in honor of the late Sarah Burke. It was Kenworthy's second straight winter atop the AFP standings which spans halfpipe, slopestyle and big air competitions across 35 events stretching from August to April each season.
"I knew that I wanted to take this award home again this year and I made it a goal of mine from the start of the season," Gus Kenworthy said. "It’s always satisfying to achieve your goals. It’s been a fun season full of competitions and I have been on the road a ton so I am looking forward to being home a bit and spending some time with my family and friends."
"This gets me excited for Sochi in 2014," Kenworthy said. "And it will be great to see what the next year and a half brings my way."
Devin Logan also said she is excited for the Olympics.
"Sometimes it’s tricky to compete in slopestyle and halfpipe, it can get pretty tiring, but I had an incredible season and this award really brings it home for me, " Logan said. It was my best season so far and I am looking forward to continuing my success next year."
"I am stoked that both of my disciplines are in the Olympics and I’m hopeful that I’ll have a shot to get in," she said. "It’s a really cool time to be in freeskiing and I am lucky to be here."
- Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, CO) was named the men's AFP overall champion for the second straight season with results that included first place finishes in slopestyle and big air at the World Skiing Invitational/AFP World Championships, Jon Olsson Invitational big air and Dumont Cup slopestyle.
- Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) won the women's AFP overall standings with two X Games silver medals in halfpipe and slopestyle.
The overall trophies were renamed in honor of the late Sarah Burke and presented at the AFP World Championships April 19-22 in Whistler.
- Torin Yater-Wallace (Basalt, CO) claimed the men's 2012 halfpipe AFP World Championship title with Canada’s Rosalind Groenewoud taking the women's.
- Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA) took home the 2012 men’s slopestyle AFP World Championship title. Women's winner was Canada’s Kaya Turski.
The AFP overall awards are based on the top four finishes for halfpipe and slopestyle and top two finishes in big air for the men. On the women’s side it is determined by their top three halfpipe and slopestyle finishes each season. The AFP season spans from August to April.
OFFICIAL MENS RESULTS
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: sethlightcap
A chiseled collection of some of the world’s top skiers descended on Squaw Valley for the 2nd Annual Pain McShlonkey Classic last weekend. The off-the-wall event, billed as “the greatest event in ski history,” was a celebration of the legendary antics of the late Shane McConkey, the pioneering freeskier who passed away three years ago in a ski-BASE accident in Italy. PMS participants and party people reveled in Shane’s legacy for a binge weekend featuring a snowlerblade Chinese downhill, a snowlerblade extreme comp and a pair of all-time parties.
The event kicked off with a benefit bash on Friday night at which dozens of Shane’s close friends and supporters showed their love for his legacy at a silent auction. The auction raised $30,000 for the Shane McConkey Foundation, which will in turn donate the money to the Make-A-Wish foundation and the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District for the purpose of putting TTUSD schools on a path toward sustainability and environmental responsibility.
There was no rest for the wicked Saturday morning, however. The action cranked to 11 bright and early with the KT-22 Chinese Downhill. Forty racers donned short-skis and McConkey inspired costumes for a high-speed tumble down the face of KT-22 in a race to claim the Golden Saucer trophy. Sketchy snow conditions from start to finish made for a true battle royale as competitors flailed their way around every gate, often taking each other out in the process.
The hilarious affair continued with the Extreme Small Mountain competition, which pitted man and woman against the mountain for one epic run on short-skis. Competitors went above and beyond in an effort to impress the judges with their creative radness. Some opted to huck cliffs into snow conditions they wouldn’t have considered on regular length skis, while others mixed in improbable technical maneuvers. No doubt the show of short-ski skill cemented the billing of “greatest ski comp ever.” The “Saucer Boy” would have been highly impressed.
“The PMS epitomizes what Shane was all about,” said Men’s Chinese Downhill winner Daron Rahlves. ”It’s a lot of fun for us to come out and live with the same spirit Shane did, get goofy and throw down with buddies for pride that’s on the line. Everybody is having fun for the love of the sport of skiing and not taking it too seriously. Shane instilled that in all of us.”
Rahlves summed up the vibe right, but he was a bit off the mark as far as not taking the PMS seriously. There were dead serious Squaw Valley shenanigans on display all weekend. Check out these pics and decide for yourself.
- Words and Photos by Seth Lightcap
The crunchy bumps of the Chinese downhill course took no prisoners. If you didn’t keep your edge game tight you were on your ass in an instant. Note the guy in the top right corner of the image with World Cup worthy form — perfectly balanced on one ski. That’s local sandbagger Rahlves, of course. Surprise, surprise, Rahlves came from behind to win the race and take home the coveted Golden Saucer trophy. “This is my new claim to fame,” exclaimed Rahlves after the race. “The saucer is gonna hang on my mantle next to all the Kitzbuhel trophies.” U.S. Olympic mogul star Shelly Robertson took the Chinese downhill title for the women.
Dozens of radical skiers came out to battle for bragging rights, laugh about Shane’s legacy and show their support for the work of Shane’s wife Sherry (bottom row, far left) and the Shane McConkey Foundation.
After a bit of marinating post-Chinese downhill, the Extreme Small Mountain Competition got underway in the Enchanted Forest off KT-22. Each contestant got one run down the steep and rocky bowl to impress the esteemed panel of judges, including Sherry McConkey. You can’t even imagine the competitive intensity swirling in the heads of these athletes as they waited for their turn to drop.
And this is what the Extreme Small Mountain comp was all about...getting rad on short skis! Bad-ass snowlerbladers dropped into the cliff bands of the Enchanted Forest and laid down lines they thought Shane would of done.
Big airs wooed the judges but there was no denying who set the high mark for micro-mountain technical radness. Kyle O’Neal casually fruitbooted over to an anchor he had stashed above the infamous ‘Ice Goddess’ cliff and proceeded to rappel down the 30 foot face to a low ledge. O’Neal then leapt from the ledge in perfect speedflying form, bounced off the landing and brought around two tucked somersaults before popping back up on his feet.
The extra-extreme day deserved a podium bro-hug for Extreme Small Mountain champion Kyle O’Neal, Greg Lindsey (2nd) and Kristian Geissler (3rd). 2012 Red Bull Cold Rush champ Rachel Burks added an even more prestigious win to her winter taking home the ESM title for the women.
You’re damn right there were man-eating former and current women’s extreme champs battling for Pain McShlonkey glory! Remember, this was one of the greatest ski contests ever known to man or womankind. If you think your pants are holding what it takes to win the Golden Saucer next year, don’t miss the PMS!
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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News: Kaylin Richardson, Randy News: Kaylin Richardson, Randy Evans Win Freeskiing World Tour Qualifier At Snowbird
- From: media-75233
Salt Lake City, Utah — Partly sunny skies, warm weather and a talented field of big mountain freeskiers made for an exciting Qualifier day at the North American Freeskiing Championships, stop number four of the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) at Snowbird, Utah.
Seventeen women and 63 men skied in the extremely variable hard-pack conditions of today’s Qualifier venue of “West Baldy” with hopes to making their way into tomorrow’s (Friday) main event, Day 1 on Snowbird’s “Silverfox.” Judges had the difficult job of choosing eight female and 20 male athletes that would advance to the 5-Star competition with the already FWT pre-qualified athletes.
Two-time Olympian and ten-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team, Kaylin Richardson, of Park City, Utah showed her flawless aggressive racing technique to win today’s Ladies Qualifier with a score of 32.4.
“Kaylin was pure skiing beauty, arcing perfect turns and charging her line,” Head Judge Eric Schmitz said.
Scoring a 29.1, Australian Natalie Segal confidently stomped her airs to take second place. Rounding out the top three ladies qualifiers was Hadley Hammer, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming with a score of 26.5.
For the men, the fight for the top qualifier position was a close battle. Taking top honors for the day was Randy Evans, of Crested Butte, Colorado, with his fluid skiing through the steep portions of the venue, capped off with an enormous backflip to score a 34.7.
In his debut on the Freeskiing World Tour, Reed Snyderman, of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, utilized the natural features and his mogul skiing background, which included a stylish backflip japan grab, earning himself second place in the qualifiers with a 34.2.
“Reed showed a ton of control and style in the air gaining huge points in the style category,” Judge Laura Ogden said.
In third place with a score of 30.00, was Mount Snow, Vermont’s and now local to Snowbird, Tyler Conrad who obviously was comfortable on his newly adopted terrain.
The top athletes that qualified today will join twelve female and twenty-one male pre-qualified competitors tomorrow on “Silverfox” for Day One of the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour at Snowbird. Following the Day One competition, the event and venue will shift gears to the highly anticipated Day Two Finals on Snowbird’s “North Baldy”.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: jeremybenson
The second stop of Daron Rahlves’ four-stop Banzai Tour ski and snowboard race went off at Alpine Meadows Feb. 23-24. With two more stops in the next two weeks scheduled at Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley USA, competition is ramping up.
“We had an insane course, great conditions, and athletes who put it all on the line,” Daron Rahlves said of the event at Alpine Meadows.
Last Friday, competitors and spectators alike enjoyed the sunny spring-like weather and the exciting new course layout. Some spectacular crashes along with neck-and-neck finishes kept the excitement level pinned at 11.
Former U.S. freestyle team member Shelly Robertson proved that you don’t have to be a racer to win.
“I’ve done a few of these and finished second every time,” Robertson said with a smile. “It’s nice to finally get the win.”
Others had a different story to tell. Last year’s overall men’s snowboard champion, Sylvain Duclos, took fifth at Alpine but was stoked nonetheless.
“Anything can happen,” Duclos said. “It’s such a long course. This is a fun event. I wish there were more like this.”
Originally scheduled for January, the race was postponed due to lack of snow. But recent precipitation and a rerouted course made the event possible.
Two weeks ago, Kirkwood Mountain Resort played host to the first Rahlves’ Banzai event of the season. The race went well despite the low-tide conditions.
“This year has been a challenge,” Rahlves said. “We’ve had to redo the whole thing. The Kirkwood event was probably better because of it. I think we found the course that I had dreamed of. We were forced to go there.”
Rahlves’ Banzai Tour was started by four-time Olympian turned big-mountain skiing phenomenon, Daron Rahlves. Last winter, Rahlves created the series based on the Silver Belt race that took place at Sugar Bowl in the 1940s, it’s like a skiercross event mixed with big mountain freeriding.
“Rahlves' Banzai is ski and snowboard racing in its purest form, with four at a time going head to head over natural terrain,” Rahlves said.
Anyone can enter. The fastest person wins.
In 2011 the series had three stops, Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, and Sugar Bowl. For 2012, the popular and successful series added Squaw Valley as a fourth tour stop. The intense head-to-head racing action will be featured on NBC in a show produced by Teton Gravity Research. The show will air March 27 as part of Red Bull’s Signature Series.
“I’m honored to have the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour as part of this amazing series and give the due respect to the athletes that compete,” Rahlves said.
Each event has a prize purse of $15,000 split between the men’s and women’s ski and snowboard divisions. An additional $10,000 is up for grabs in winner-take-all Super Final at Sugar Bowl, when Rahlves takes on the men’s ski winners from all four tour stops. That is, if anyone can beat him.
Qualifying takes place on Day 1 when racers attack the course alone in time-trial fashion. The fastest qualifiers move on to Day 2, when they race head-to-head, four at a time, down the course’s challenging natural terrain. The top two racers advance from each heat until the competition is whittled down to the top four, who race for Banzai glory and money.
Want to compete? Go online to www.rahlvesbanzai.com to register, watch videos, or check results. Want to watch? Come out to Squaw Valley or Sugar Bowl and catch the action for yourself, or watch it on NBC on March 27.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: brigidmander
So far, the hallmark of the 2011-’12 ski season is the avalanche. Releasing large and small, snow slides have been ripping all over the intermountain west due to one of the most sensitive snowpacks experts have ever seen in the region. While some of the human-triggered slides have had tragic results — there have been 11 U.S. avalanche fatalities since November — some have resulted in no injuries. With more avalanche footage on the Internet than ever before, the debate on what, exactly, is proper behavior in the backcountry has reached an all-time high.
A slide rips down Pucker Face on Jan. 2, 2012, just outside the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundary.
The Teton Range has been host to two of the most explosive avalanche incidents — one outside of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Pucker Face, and another on Taylor Mountain on Teton Pass. A heated debate followed each, both on and off the Internet.
For people to get so angry at each other for triggering activity in a known unstable environment, potentially endangering others who have also chosen to put themselves in the same environment, what they may really be upset about is the awesome power and unpredictability of snow. This reminder may be one of the most important lessons — and there are many — from these slides.
When the entire Pucker Face slid into notoriety on Jan. 2, many people wondered what anyone would be doing on Pucker at that time. It’s a level of risk not many would be willing to assume.
Travis McAlpine, the Jackson Hole snowboarder who cut the slope loose that day, maintains there was plenty of thought and deliberate action that morning.
“I had no real intention of skiing Pucker that day,” McAlpine said. “We went up to check it out, we stayed up there for a while. We dug a pit. I had been throwing rocks on it, like 200 pounds of rocks. [The skier] who dropped before us, ski cut it hard, and then skied it fast in about four turns. We didn’t want to leave it like that, just a set of sucker tracks for everyone to follow. So I decided to just do a cut, right up on the ridge, to see if I could get anything to go, and the whole thing went,” he said. “I had no idea it would go so huge. I’ve never moved that much snow in my life.”
“What you can’t see in the footage is that the first ski cut was still there intact, in the hangfire,” McAlpine said, pointing out that trigger points can vary on any given slope.
On Jan. 24 experienced backcountry skier and guide Greg Collins set off a massive, full-track avalanche on Mount Taylor that unleashed even more fury and judgment. The slide ran into Coal Creek, one of the biggest terrain traps on the pass. Despite being a terrain trap, the drainage is a popular exit for Taylor descents and for mellow runs off Mount Glory. No one was caught in the slide.
Lisa VanSciver, a Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski patroller and guide at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides weighed in on the two incidents.
“You can say those guys on Pucker were dumbasses, or the guy on Taylor was a jerk, but when people focus on that, they are missing the true point — that nature is so big, and so humbling. Snow isn’t really a science. There are just too many constantly changing factors,” Van Sciver said.
While Collins has apologized and said that the size of the slide was far larger than he was expecting, that hasn’t dimmed the controversy.
It may not have happened in the way Collins would have liked, but the dialogue the slide opened has heightened awareness of personal risk, the risk of other skiers, and terrain traps in the backcountry.
Revelstoke-based ski mountaineer Greg Hill, who made news last year by skiing 2 million vertical feet in the backcountry, notes that a similar dilemma is being encountered in Canada, on Rogers Pass. There, much of the skiing is accessed through terrain traps that dwarf Coal Creek.
“There are a few lines that I do not ski on Roger’s Pass now,” Hill said. “We could get away with it before, but now there may be people skiing out below. [Higher traffic] does change the way things should be approached, but regardless of the trigger, we should always travel through the mountains as if avalanches are going to tumble down at any given moment. So perhaps people have been getting a little too comfortable skiing through that terrain and this is a bit of a wake up call.”
Yet skiers will continue to head out, despite the potentially severe consequences, and expose themselves to all the variables associated.
VanSciver summed it up.
“Shit happens,” Van Sciver said. “As a skier, I can’t point fingers. I don’t know anyone who has never made a bad decision.”
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: sethlightcap
At this point most Lake Tahoe skiers would trade their pinky finger for a pow turn or two but that hasn’t stopped locals from getting their shred on where they can. Tahoe skiers with their face on a Northstar or Heavenly pass have had the best opportunity to get rad as these two Vail Resorts-owned ski areas have by far the best collection of man-made runs open.
Northstar upped the snowmaking ante even further on Dec. 31 when they debuted not only the first halfpipe in Tahoe this winter, but the first 22-foot Superpipe in Tahoe history that will remain open to the public. Squaw opened a 22-footer to the public last spring for a hot minute, before shutting it down to let Red Bull skier Simon Dumont chop it up into his ‘cubed’ pipe.
The 500-foot long Shaun White Signature Superpipe at Northstar is the product of 700 hours of design and build work by the terrain park wizards at Snow Park Technologies and Northstar. It was built in a new halfpipe location for Northstar on the Cat’s Face trail accessed by the Vista Express chair. The out-of-the-way run on the far east side of the resort is ideal for it’s honorary designer, Shaun White, to hold private training sessions. White is spearheading the project thanks to a landmark deal he signed with Vail Resorts last summer that made Northstar his home mountain and primary training ground.
Two-time U.S. Olympian Elena Hight blasts a mean method at Northstar. Photo By Seth Lightcap.
While White has yet to come to Tahoe to ride his namesake superpipe, many other top halfpipe riders have. Heavyweight snowboarders such as Danny Davis, Hannah Teter and Elena Hight all trained in the pipe in it’s opening weeks.
“It was a tough job as we haven’t had any snow, so all the snow is super processed, but they did a really good job making this thing perfect,” said Davis about Northstar’s Superpipe. “It’s a damn good pipe.”
Hight echoed Davis’ thoughts on the new 22 foot walls.
“This is one of the best pipes I’ve ridden all year,” said Hight after a three hour non-stop session at Northstar. “Even despite the lack of snow, SPT and Northstar really pulled it together and came out with a good pipe.”
Northstar is no doubt pleased with the terrain feature, too, but there is room for improvement according to Northstar’s Terrain Park Manager Mike Schpani.
“Right now the pipe is sitting at just over 500 feet long,” said Schpani. “When we get a little natural snow we hope to increase the length by about 30-40 feet.”
Visiting and local skiers looking to slingshot out of Shaun’s superpipe should know that the pipe is open at 11 a.m. every day with the exception of days it’s closed for private training. If you do make it out for a superpipe sesh at Northstar, don’t forget to bring your helmet and sharpen your edges. The man-made walls are plenty fun and definitely rippable, but the fake snow is hard and unforgiving on all but the hottest wind-less January day. That all might change third week of January though, Tahoe is finally forecasted to get some snow.
For more info on Northstar’s Superpipe and temporary terrain feature closures check out the Northstar Terrain Park Report.
Yet another towering method by Tahoe loc Elena Hight. Watch out for Hight competing in the women’s superpipe competition at Winter X 2012. Photo by Seth Lightcap.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: sethlightcap
When the news broke in 2010 that a heli-skiing operation was coming to Lake Tahoe it left more than a few local skiers scratching their heads. 'Where are they going to ski?' some questioned. Others wondered,'‘How can they guarantee pow in the sunny and windy Sierra?' Speculation ran rampant. At first glance, heli-skiing just didn’t seem feasible in Tahoe.
Well, turns out it is ... and then some! Pacific Crest Heli Guides, the first-ever heli-ski operation in Lake Tahoe, had a fabulous first season in 2011 filled with deep pow and fully booked fly days. The success came as no surprise to Pacific Crest’s owner, veteran Valdez heli-ski guide, former Alaska Backcountry Adventures owner and current Pacific Crest Snowcats owner Dave Rintala. Rintala had been planning the venture for years and dropped in only because he knew the pieces were finally in place to get the operation flying high.
Dec. 15 marked the opening day of Pacific Crest’s second season. TGR caught up with Rintala to get the lowdown on last season’s success and hear what’s in store for PCHG when the snow (and the heli) starts to fly.
TGR: Why did you believe heli skiing was a viable business in Tahoe?
Rintala: Tahoe was one of the only ski destinations in North America that didn't have a heli skiing operation. With the deep snowpack, killer terrain and market close by, I knew it was a natural fit.
TGR: Your fly-zone came as a surprise to many locals, in a good way. Where is it and why is it ideal?
Rintala: Our fly zone is 100,000 acres of all private land located on the Sierra Crest between Donner Summit and the Sierra Buttes. It’s pretty remote terrain that sees little to no backcountry skier traffic. Arranging the deals with the 30 or so landowners took me ten years and i’m constantly in talks with new land owners to expand the fly zone.
TGR: What is the terrain like and how much can you expect to ski in a day?
Rintala: Our terrain is really varied and would remind you of the best terrain at Squaw, Alpine or Kirkwood. We’ve got everything you’d expect to see on a heli ski day — long pow runs, couloirs, steep faces, trees. We can cater the terrain to any skill level. An average day is eight or nine runs. Each run averages about 1500 feet.
TGR: One of the cool things you advertised last year was the opportunity to ski likely first descents and name new runs. Any of that left for this season?
Rintala: Definitely. We only explored about half of the terrain last season. Lots of new runs to be named this winter.
Daron Rahlves and Pacific Crest Heli Guides owner Dave Rintala talk terrain options. … Lots of 'em. Photo by Court Leve.
TGR: How many fly days did you get in last season?
Rintala: Last year was awesome. We flew nearly thirty days — everyday we had blue skies and pow.
TGR: Who were your average clients?
Rintala: A lot of our clients are international, probably 40 percent European. Another 30 percent are from California and the remainder are from the rest of the U.S. We also took out quite a few more kids than we expected.
TGR: How old do you have to be to heli-ski with Pacific Crest?
Rintala: Twelve years old.
TGR: What makes booking a heli day with Pacific Crest different than many other operations?
Rintala: If you book a heli day with us and it’s bad weather, you have the option of going out with our snowcat operation instead. This is a huge bonus. It guarantees you'll be skiing if the snow is good. During the clear period last season we were also being cool and let clients postpone scheduled fly days until later in the season. There was great corn snow out there, but that's not what most people wanted.
TGR: What upgrades did you make for this season?
Rintala: We’ve put a lot of effort into making things more efficient. We put in a remote fueling station and changed our morning operations by having people meet us at the remote stop instead of our base. The goal is to be on snow an hour earlier than last season. We’re certified as an air taxi service now, too, which enables us to have a four-month season rather than a 50-day season, like in Alaska. This made more sense than trying to do a short season in the middle of the year.
TGR: What kind of experience does someone need to heli-ski?
Rintala: If a person likes skiing untracked pow they are going to have a great day with us even if they have no heli-skiing experience. By the time they get in the heli they will be prepared.
TGR: How much does a day of heli-skiing with Pacific Crest cost?
Rintala: $899 a day. I’m a ski bum too so we’re trying to keep the prices as low as possible to make the heli-ski experience as accessible as possible. Offering single day trips helps that a lot. It's much cheaper than betting on a week of skiing up north in Canada or Alaska.
TGR: Are you worried about the dry start to the season?
Rintala: We’ve had seasons were it’s been all man-made until Jan. 15, then it snows a foot-plus every day for a month. I’ve never seen a bad winter in Tahoe. We always have our periods that are epic and when it comes it will be that much sweeter.
For more info visit www.pacificcrestheliguides.com.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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- From: johnclarydavies
On Tuesday, Jeff Schwartz, the chair of environmental studies at Westminster College, published an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune titled, “Stop Ski Resort Expansions.”
“Talisker, the Canadian developer, is trying to circumvent the public process and evade the Forest Service’s long-established public comment process in favor of a deal struck in Washington D.C. with Utah members of Congress,” Schwartz wrote.
His editorial was the latest in a long list of public opposition to The Canyons’ and Solitude Mountain Resort’s proposed SkiLink, which through the purchase of 30 acres of public land, would allow the ski areas to build a gondola that would allow 1,000 skiers an hour to connect between the resorts. Since Talisker introduced their initiative to four of five of their congressional representatives in November, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, the U.S. Forest Service acting deputy chief of staff Greg Smith and Black Diamond CEO Peter Metcalf have all spoken out against the proposal.
Despite the local public outcry, Mike Goar, the Managing Director of SkiLink, remained optimistic about the project.
“I’ve been around these canyons long enough to understand the issues and certainly understand the emotional attachment that many people have,” said Goar, who worked at Solitude for 27 years. “We think this is a great opportunity to rebrand skiing in Utah, to give it greater recognition, and that is certainly a driving force behind it.”
While Goar recognized SkiLink as a business venture, he insisted on the positive impacts the interconnect would have on the community. Based on the studies commissioned by Talisker, they expect the gondola to generate $51 million in revenue, which will in turn create 500 new jobs, while each year eliminating 18,000 cars (or 1 million miles) from the road from skiers that would otherwise drive between the ski areas.
This data has come under fire from opponents of the proposal.
“If you go to Alta or to Snowbird to ski, it’s not like that afternoon you’re going to fire up to Park City,” said Schwartz. “Nobody does that. That’s not even rational. As you draw it on the board for a committee in D.C. for old guys in suits, that might work, but for those that actually do this stuff, it’s crazy.”
Goar said their statistic regarding traffic were the result of finding that 20 percent of destination skiers roam to other ski areas on any given day, but admitted the numbers were open to question.
“There’s always assumptions to be made [when doing studies like this] and they’re always debatable,” Goar said. “But what I say is while the numbers are debatable, what I don’t believe is up for debate is some number of cars would be taken off the road.”
In addition to questioning the data laid out by Talisker, many opponents are worried that by allowing the group to circumvent the U.S. Forest Service and purchase public lands, the bureaucrats would be allowing a dangerous precedent.
“These projects tend to be a toehold. As soon as you get one thing in there it’s that much easier to say, ‘oh, we’re going to run an alpine slide down here a few years later,’” said Schwartz. “I think other people are dismayed about where this is all going to lead and the kind of looming danger of a Euro-style Wasatch, where everything’s connected and there’s trams up every peak and tunnels in other places.”
Goar insisted this would be an isolated development.
“We have no vision of other developments,” Goar said. “I don’t think that it is possible to build any other infrastructure associated with ski resorts, nor is it possible to construct buildings, residential or commercial. So we say that and we have no interest in doing it.”
A closer look at the proposed site of the SkiLink gondola. Map via SkiLink.com
Opponents have also spoken up about the environmental impacts of the project. Goar said they have absolute certainty the gondola can be constructed without adverse impacts to the watershed but admitted erosion concerns, which he thought could be controlled, and the costs of tree removal and the visual impact of the lift towers.
Schwartz, a longtime backcountry skier, said he worried about compromising wilderness and open spaces. He said SkiLink would allow skiers to access terrain that was previously only accessible by walking in an already crowded Wasatch backcountry skiing scene.
As it stands, SkiLink is awaiting approval of congress and the president. If they sign off, the proposal will go back to the local bureaucrats for zoning, reviews, public comments, and an ultimate decision. Until then, the public debate will continue.
“Every year they do something to try to push on to public lands,” said Schwartz. “That’s why we get a say in this. In fact, we as citizens own these lands and get to use them and have a voice and a conversation about how they get developed.”
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 462
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- From: media-75233
U.S. Superstar from Bethel, Maine Inks Three Year Agreement
November 9, 2011
Norwalk, Connecticut — Inventive, fearless and unique, freeskier Simon Dumont sets records almost everywhere he goes. There is no other halfpipe skier in the world who pushes the sport forward as notably as Simon. And as of today, the 25-year-old superstar from Bethel, Maine, will combine his extraordinary talents with the unparalleled performance and innovation of HEAD Ski equipment. As the newest member of the HEAD team, Simon has entered into a three year agreement with HEAD and joins fellow superstars Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, Ted “Shred” Ligety, Aksel Lund Svindal, Didier Cuche, Maria Riesch, Anja Pärson and Lizz Görgl.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Simon to our Rebel team of ski athletes. Simon is widely regarded as one of the most creative and highly-respected freeskiers in the world, which fits perfectly with our leadership in performance and innovation,” said Johan Eliasch, CEO of the HEAD group.
“I am stoked to be on the HEAD team, and to ski with HEAD product,” said Simon Dumont. “After testing other brands, it was obvious that HEAD makes the best equipment, and every year it seems their athletes win more often than for any other brand in the world. I’m psyched to be part of this winning team.”
Simon’s Career Highlights
Born with amplitude, aptitude and attitude, the young daredevil made his debut at the Winter X Games at the age of 14, where he proved to veteran skiers that he was a force to be reckoned with.
During his first year, he won the Whistler Invitational Super Hit and placed 4th at the U.S. Open. Dumont dominated in the 2004 X Games, taking gold and instantaneously earned the title of the best pipe rider in the world, again repeating the win in 2005.
In 2007 Dumont reclaimed his title as king of the mountain when he took home 1st place wins in three of four competitions on the Honda Ski Tour, making him the overall winner.
2008 was another big year for Dumont, not only winning another silver medal in Superpipe at the Winter X Games, but also making world and ski history by setting the world record for height on a quarterpipe, soaring 35 feet and beating the previous record by an incredible two and a half feet.
Among his proudest achievements, Dumont was crowned 2009’s Freeskiing’s Overall World Champion, and took home first and second place wins at NBC’s Winter Dew Tour.
Dumont broke yet another world record in May of 2011, changing the ski world forever by successfully skiing the first ever cubed halfpipe.
Dumont dominates as a new-school skier, accumulating more victories and awards than any other halfpipe skier in the world. His sky rocket to fame has landed him on the silver screen in top ski movies and action sports films including “Forward,” “Ready Fire Aim,” “High Five,” “Push,” “Seven Sunny Days, “Revolver” and “Grand Bizarre” among others.
When he is not competing, filming for the ski production companies or working on his own events such as the Dumont Cup, Simon can be found working on his own glove line, Empire Attire, made “By the athletes, for the athletes” which sponsors some of the best skiers in the world.
Simon Dumont is undoubtedly both an impressive skier and individual. Dumont has eight X Games medals under his belt and now armed with HEAD Raptor Project boots and GP 84 skis, Dumont will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 826
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- From: brigidmander
October 24, 2011
— Brigid Mander
Fall is not the season to sit on the couch hungover, waiting for the snow. Fall is a time of preparation. It’s get-ready-for-go-time season, and there is only one place to be: Mountain Athlete in Jackson, Wyoming. Inside the warehouse turned gym, under the watchful eye of Freeskiing World Tour champion Crystal Wright, badass pros mingle with recreational athletes and everyone shares a common goal — to up their game.
Four days a week, with death metal cranking in the background, Wright strolls around her ski conditioning classes, observing and encouraging the athletes. Her meassage: “You think you are strong, but you are not strong. Not strong enough, and you need to train. Hard.” The death metal serves a dual purpose: to help motivate the struggling crew in front of her and to drown out the sounds of suffering.
Wright has won the FWT twice, made the podium plenty, and is just back from winning this season’s first FWT competition, the Red Bull Powder Disorder in Las Lenas, Argentina.
To have gained such a large following among Jackson athletes after just a couple of seasons working as a personal trainer is no small feat. The core Jackson athletes are some of the toughest and cockiest around. But professional competitors, ski movie stars, and even those who make the ski movies are jumping when she says jump, faces contorted with effort.
“Her course is the real deal,” Teton Gravity Research’s supervising producer Greg Epstein said. “I'm worked after every [class]; it has definitely improved my overall core fitness levels.”
Anyone who gives Wright 60 minutes of their life receives an all-over body ache accompanied by a wake-up call.
“So many people have the attitude that they don’t need to train, and they are strong enough, and then all these skiers come to class and try to keep up,” Wright said. “The big picture is injury prevention. For example, around 50 percent of ACL tears can be avoided by strength training — but it goes to a whole other level for us, in competing and skiing big lines. To be able to really land big airs strong, to ski out of lines looking strong, all day long, you have to train.”
It's something that Wright would like to see change across the board in the freeskiing world.
“We’re doing this dangerous sport, and so few train for it," Wright said. "So many athletes out there could ski so much better.”
Wright, who raced for the University of Montana and has trained with the U.S. Ski Team, doesn’t cut herself any slack either. With a full big mountain competition season coming up, she does her own intense gym workouts four days a week, along with biking, hiking and climbing. It’s paid off for her throughout her ski career, so chances are she’s looking at another successful season — all while creating a few more skiers that can keep up with her on the snow.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 3060
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- From: media-75233
An auto-tune intro, a BASE jumping segment, a little skiing, a little surfing, lots of comedy and shots of girls in bikinis — this is what happens when Teton Gravity Research skier Erik Roner and ex-TGR film editor Tate MacDowell meet up at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif.
This brilliant video was made off the cuff last weekend when Roner and MacDowell met up at the surf competition that drew a reported 1 million spectators. Roner was there to BASE jump out of a helicopter. MacDowell was there freelancing. The auto-tune intro was made using Songify, MacDowell said.
"I was actually there as a freelance editor for the live feed of the event," MacDowell said. "So I was working in a trailer at night. I met up with Roner because we're friends and he showed up with a GoPro sticking out of his pocket. He was like, 'Yeah, Hurley wants me to shoot a blog video while I'm here, but hopefully we can find some time to hangout.' So, I pulled the thing out of his pocket and we just started screwing around."
Watch Roner apply way too much sun screen, jump out of a heli and sign a girl's butt cheek. After, see Roner backflip "Nightmare" at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in TGR's Behind the Line Episode 4.
In other news, Kelly Slater won the U.S. Open of Surfing.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 2602
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- From: media-75233
Article from Skiingmag.com:
"In preparation for the inclusion of halfpipe at 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced it’s first-ever national freeskiing team today.
The nine invited athletes are: Simon Dumont, David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace, Tucker Perkins, Gus Kenworthy, Devin Logan, Jen Hudak, Jess Cumming, and Brita Sigourney. Mike Jankowski, who is currently the head freestyle coach, will coach the team.
The USSA made the decision of who to invite based on last year’s competition results, but U.S. Freeskiing Director, Jeremy Forster also noted that the athletes had a hand in making halfpipe skiing an Olympic sport. “They have played a key role in the formation of their sport and helped influence the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing through their skills as athletes," he said."
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 757
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- From: sbcskier
You’ve seen them in the movies, read about them in magazines and visited their websites. You’ve dreamed of visiting knowing that nothing is a bigger rite of passage than being able to start every chairlift conversation with, “When I was in…”
The following North American resorts are iconic in the world of skiing and have helped shape and mold modern skiing into what it is today. And whether you’ve been to them all, spent a season at each or a day at just one of them, there’s no better way to earn your stripes than to get out there and ski one of these legendary areas.
Marshal Talbot resides in the white room above the madness of Peak Chair. Carr photo
For the white man, Whistler began as a fishing lodge and logging camp early in the 1900s. By the mid-’60s it was a dirty-hippie ski town, and by the early ’80s buildings started popping up like mushrooms after a shitstorm.
These days Whistler is a skiing icon—everybody knows it, and all kinds of places are buying into the Whistler model, hoping to copy, and cash in, on what makes us so key. Sure there are places with better snow (Smithers) and a mellower vibe (the Kootenays), but the truth is, nowhere in North America comes close to delivering the all-around package of Whistler.
The numbers are impressive—an average snowfall of 10 metres (33 feet for you Yanks out there), 3,307 hectares of in-bounds terrain, 200-plus trails, 38 lifts, sick terrain parks, night pipe and, tucked at the bottom of the mountains, the best party town in Canada, hands down.
But numbers and statistics aren’t what make Whistler so epic. It’s the people who live here—whether it’s that comedian–ski instructor that taught you how to ride pow and laugh when you bail, or the gorgeous bartender with the big hair who was smashing glasses for fun and made that one lucky dude do a shot of Jack out of her bosom, or the time you rode the chair with a couple of pros on a day off from filming and just up to rip the trees. These are the stories you tell your buds back home along with how you stomped that 540 in the black park or got the third chair up Peak when there was a foot of fresh.
In Whistler it’s also the 90-plus restaurants and bars, the sick nightclubs, the cute girls or the scruffy dudes that all look the same, the improv snowball fights when it dumps, the free concerts at the Ski and Snowboard Festival, the massive underground film and art communities—you can’t find stuff like this anywhere else. Not within spitting distance of two huge ski hills covered in pow and the sickest, comparatively safest, backcountry terrain in North America. There are enough backcountry lines within an hour of Whistler to last a lifetime for even the most hardcore ski-touring dirtbag. I hear there’s lots of cross-country skiing here, too, but you can do that crap anywhere, so whatever.
If you like to ski, Whistler is the best. It’s as simple as that. And if you disagree—awesome. You’re absolutely right. Don’t come here. It sucks. (More snow for me.)
Another shitty day at Alta. Cliff Bennett. Markewitz photo
When it comes to claiming the title for best skiing in North America, few regions can measure up against the powerhouse of British Columbia. One of the few contenders worthy of consideration, however, is the Mormon stronghold of Utah and its epicentre of powder-twins of Alta-Snowbird. Tucked away in the avalanche alley known as Little Cottonwood Canyon, these two ski areas are so close to Salt Lake City that the metropolis can legitimately claim the status of biggest ski town in North America. While the legendary resorts aren’t officially affiliated and were only recently connected across a shared ridge, one name is rarely mentioned without the other—a double dose of the continent’s lightest, fluffiest, re-goddamn-diculous snow. The local governments are so proud of it, they even went as far as to trademark Mother Nature’s gift with the notoriously goofy slogan “Greatest Snow on Earth.” With annual average snowfall of 1,270 centimetres and a combined total of 4,700 acres of terrain, the situation makes for friendly neighbours. Unless, that is, you’re a snowboarder, then your lame, chute-shedding, side-slipping and poorly laid traverse tracks still aren’t welcome at Alta. This cold-hearted exclusion is a welcome proviso for bitter skiers hanging on to any notion of the old days—which is pretty much what and who you’ll find at Alta. Snowbird offers more than enough to make up for it; the same snow on the same aspects creates a big-mountain terrain park worthy of an IFSA World Tour venue and makes it a breeding ground for some of the highest profile pros in the business: Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Jamie Pierre are only two examples of Little Cottonwood’s influence. A trip to Alta-Snowbird means nothing less than guaranteed world-class powder skiing, even if part of it is a blast from the past.
Not all Eastern areas are icy. Hardy Avery delves deep. Waskusch photo
“How special is a town where the girls think the best way to spend Valentine’s Day is slashing three feet of fresh pow?” asks local Justine Wysong, after the epic spring storm of 2007. It’s pretty damn special.
More than a simple tourist town, Stowe is steeped in history. It’s this deep-rooted skiing tradition that keeps Stowe grounded, despite all the growth and changes that have taken place over the years.
Stowe symbolizes the quintessential Eastern destination. It’s best known for great terrain—from grip-tight steeps to casual cruisers—but also superior snowmaking and grooming.
And Stowe is a status symbol, the Eastern resort frequented by movie stars, international tourists and iconic athletes. The home mountain of Burton snowboards, Stowe has a progressive freestyle scene and a wealth of diehard freeriders. And it’s got international appeal—close proximity to Quebec makes it easy for French-Canadians to shoot over the border and revel in the Stowe stoke.
The first Winter Carnival, flush with ski jumping and ice skating, took place in 1921. It was over a decade before the downhill experience was had. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed Bruce Trail, Stowe’s first, in 1933. People hiked for their turns until a single chair was built in 1940.
“A big part of what defines this place is that, for locals, Stowe’s past is present,” says Stowe skier John Dostal. “The mountain’s original trail, the Bruce, is still in play. Even though the Starr, cut in the ’60s, was laid over it, people still ski bits of the original line and refer to its 1930s predecessor, S 53.”
Improvements, including a new intermountain lift connecting Spruce Peak and Mansfield, keep Stowe moving forward. Many Eastern resorts feature more cat-track than fall-line terrain. Not Stowe. With Mount Mansfield’s summit elevation of 4,395 feet (highest in Vermont), 485 skiable acres, and average snowfall of 330-plus inches, Stowe has everything from alpine exposure to low-angle glades. The legendary Front Four—Goat, National, Liftline and Starr—are classic black-diamond lines. OB lines like Hellbrook tumble down into Smugglers’ Notch, and after skating down the Mountain Road, cold ones await at the Matterhorn.
Kris Cormier gets his tips frosted. Mossop photo
It’s a standard-issue powder day at Lake Louise. Ten centimetres has blown around the back bowls, creating carveable, racy conditions. As the saying goes, “No place wears 10 centimetres like The Lake”—and it’s a good thing, ’cause that’s usually all it gets. We ski all afternoon with a rotating cast of friends and strangers. The hill isn’t overrun with experts competing for tracks, and therefore has a laid-back feel. The Crack o’ Noon Club can still get fresh tracks, and other skiers are more comrades than competition.
We ski hard, but at the top of Paradise chair we pause to chat and enjoy the view of Lake Louise itself across the valley and the surrounding glaciated peaks. The view is awe-inspiring, and thanks to the protection of Canada’s original national park, it’s the same view that greeted skiers 100 years ago.
Drawn by the dramatic landscape and lakeside chateau, those first skiers loaded their wooden skis onto locomotives and chugged their way to Lake Louise. The area was already a hotbed for mountaineering when a group of adventurous Banff skiers built the West’s first ski lodge in the Skoki Valley, in 1930. A daylodge on what is now Lake Louise Ski Resort was constructed six years later, and the first mechanized lift erected in 1954. Of course, I didn’t know any of this when I first skied here.
For me and most of the freeskiing world, Louise was born when RAP Films started pointing cameras at Kirk Jensen and Andrew Sheppard. With glacial peaks shining under blue skies as a backdrop, the Louise locals displayed an approach that was both aggressive and playful, with an inherent fluidity and unflappable style. Years later, their way of skiing is still the way to ski The Lake. The vertical cornices are spots for airplane turns. Tight chutes are hammered with precision short-radius turns, while tighter ones still are straight run. Fat skis have changed the way most people devour the open bowls, but when it comes to playing with the mountain’s features, those guys were so ahead of their time, most are still trying to catch up.
They also left a tradition of humility. The place seems to breed it. Perhaps it’s because no matter how great a skier you are, the mountains around Louise offer lines that are beyond you. It’s a landscape that is completely indomitable. These peaks make you feel alive, but they can also make you feel weak, incapable and mortal.
For our final run, we slide under the boundary rope. Because of national park restrictions, Louise is not likely to expand, but with the growing popularity of backcountry skiing and an open boundary policy, the area people ski is expanding. In mountains like these, there is always a new zone to check out just one ridge farther. So, after almost 100 years, the exploring continues.
Henrik Windstedt finds his own riches in Aspen. Fredrikkson photo
Aspen. Even the name strikes fear into your heart—fear that you’re missing some kind of party. Which you probably are. Beginning in January, Aspen is home to Gay Ski Week, the Winter X Games, U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Food & Wine Classic, The Meeting (fall film premieres), and the Aspen Cocktail Classic, among others. But the biggest party you’re probably missing is on the mountains, in the form of great skiing. Whether it’s a double dose of classic Colorado champagne powder, mogul-bashing on one of Aspen’s gorgeous blue-sky Rocky Mountain days, or spinning laps on North America’s premier high-speed cruiser, Ruthie’s Run (Euros can’t say enough about this piste), the skiing here says everything about how and why resortdom took hold of this old silver mining town in the Roaring Fork Valley in the first place. And why it has turned into a kind of celebrity ski camp both for Hollywood stars and generation X Games athletes.
Each of the resort’s four unconnected mountains has its own unique character. Snowmass is huge, diverse and unpopulated. Despite its name, flattish Buttermilk has shed its beginner’s rep and found raison d’être in the massive terrain park and cross-runs sculpted on it annually for the X Games. Highlands is just that, with super-steeps and rad backcountry bowls hovering between 3,000 and 4,000 metres, leaving you out of breath on two counts—altitude and the spectacular views to the twin peaks of Maroon Bells, famous from many a Sierra Club calendar. The main mountain of Ajax, footing the town, is surprisingly gnar—almost 70 per cent is expert terrain, and ferocious bump runs like Ridge of Bell are one of the places the ’70s freestyle revolution fomented before breaking continent-wide. Sucking up corduroy rollers at subsonic speed in any of Ajax’s several gulches (once home to the infamous 24 Hours of Aspen team race) on a crisp, blue-sky day is like pulling Gs in the space shuttle and enough to have you hallucinating. Don’t worry, though: all those bizarre-but-intricate shrines to the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia and Marilyn Monroe you see in the forest lining the runs on Ajax are real.
It proves one thing. Sure there’s a cheesy film extolling the area’s historic ski-bum virtues, and yes, there are Aspen trees beyond counting, with plenty of snow in between. But what really defines Aspen is that you can’t get away from the party—even when you’re skiing.
Aaron “Ragdoll” McGovern, in a rare moment on his feet. Markewitz photo
Squaw Valley, U.S.A.’s moniker is certainly no secret. There’s even an expert freeskier’s guidebook bearing the name. But while many associate “Squallywood” with an attitude, the term is more apropos on account of the mountain’s physical layout and its place steeped in steep-skiing history.
In 1960 the late Alex Cushing lured the Winter Olympics to the fledgling ski area and put Squaw on the map. But it was the ’80s and the burgeoning film industry that gave the area its rep. First, the Hollywood romp Hot Dog... The Movie, followed by a barrage of Squaw-heavy ski movies. Ski filmmaking was by no means born at Squaw, but it found a solid home there. And through the past three decades Squaw’s in-bounds terrain has consumed more airtime—literally and figuratively—in movies than any ski area in the world. Consequently, the list of skiers who have called Squaw home reads like a who’s who of freeskiing. Pick an era, and iconic names leap forward: Steve and Tamara McKinney, Scot Schmidt, Tom Day, Kevin Andrews, the DesLauriers brothers, John Tremann, Brad Holmes, Shane McConkey, Kent Kreitler, Jonny Moseley, Ingrid Backstrom, C.R. Johnson, Michelle Parker.... One generation fades, and a new batch of Squaw superstars emerges to fill the void.
The film stars are only part of the equation, however, because for every renowned pro at Squaw, there are another 20 lesser-known rippers who can slay the same dynamic lines. Catch a powder day at Squaw, and it seems everyone and his or her mother can stomp a 40-footer and point a sketchy rocky sliver at 90 km/h. It’s enough to leave seemingly expert visitors bewildered and humbled.
But what is it that makes a mountain plagued by Sierra Cement and extremely short pitches churn out such talent and stellar images? Well, one man’s curse is another man’s treasure. From top to bottom, Squaw is littered with cliffs, and that dense snow pastes to the rock, opening up ridiculously steep lines and faces that wouldn’t be possible in lighter, fluffier snowpacks. And with many of the premier lines ranging from only 50 to 150 metres, skiers can get themselves in and out of trouble quickly, making the mountain a veritable playground for straightlining, billygoating, dropping in above exposure, and hitting cliffs at speed. It’s ideal for bursts of fear and adrenaline, with a safe zone almost always seconds away.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Squallywood without the show, and no ski area is so chock full of in-your-face terrain. Nearly everything is visible from chairlifts, which makes picking lines easy, and tearing up the real marquee features pure entertainment for all in view. And with more than 11 metres of snow a year, delivered in quick, powerful storms that can dump two or three metres in a matter of days, when that brilliant California sunshine returns (expect bluebird 300 days a year), the show is on. And it is one worth catching.
JD Zicat spins his way to Le P’tit Caribou. Rioux photo
In the 1930s thousands boarded snow trains out of Montreal to mingle with the rich and famous in the Laurentian mountain town of Ste-Agathe and try out the latest sporting rage: skiing.
Here the Montreal Ski Club’s crazed members practised their spectacular invention, the “Briancon Stop” (ski as fast as possible, then throw yourself to the ground). A typical weekend would include a ride behind the “Aeroski” plane that dragged peopsicles strapped to barrel staves at 120 km/h across a frozen lake.
American millionaire adventurer Joe Ryan was among the crowd drawn to the rugged forests and lakes of the Laurentians in 1938. After trudging on skins 875 metres through heavy snow to the tallest peak in the massif, Ryan was smitten. A year and $250,000 later, he opened Eastern North America’s first ski resort on Mount Tremblant.
Algonquin Indian legend says disturbing the trembling mountain would cause its angered spirits to shake and roar. After 65 years of having their frozen tranquility shattered by snow moving, tree bashing, and all-night revelry, those ghosts are pissed off and bent on getting even.
Why else would Tremblant visitors out for a quiet weekend of fine French provincial food and fresh air find themselves skiing and partying like a 15-year-old on a Ritalin vacation? The Quebecois bon vivant spirit infuses the Tremblant lifestyle: laugh often, eat well, drink lots, and ski so fast that the winter winds can’t catch you.
Those ancient ghosts still lull skiers into the woods with the promise of modern “glade skiing” and then pummel them with the Tremblant experience of skiing souis bois or “under the wood.” Most modern resorts forbid scraping through brush and stumps while dodging trees—the same risk-management guys that have banned dancing on bars. Happily, at Tremblant, both traditions are alive and well.
Sadly, by the 1980s, the Grand Dame of the East had become derelict and bankrupt, until Intrawest intervened in 1991 to write Mount Tremblant’s modern history.
Fifteen years of massive rebuilding have produced an abundance of comfortable condos and fabulous hotels in the new Tremblant village. A few of the original white clapboard shacks were saved to form at the base of the new development, and somehow the French provincial charm of the region has survived despite the overwhelming Disney-on-steroids architecture.
Tremblant’s greatest renaissance has been on-piste. The original lovingly hand-cut runs are now groomed to velvet perfection. A new southern exposure aptly named Versant Soleil has welcome early sunlight that softens up the 80-per-cent-diamond terrain. Along with Tremblant’s original two faces, the resort now boasts 631 acres of skiable terrain.
Forty acres of terrain parks, an Olympic Superpipe, and a total of 94 runs offer a wide range of modern options. Astutely the new management has held onto many great Tremblant traditions, like allowing the steep Expo trail to turn into treacherous moguls. The chairlift overhead still offers the ultimate yard-sale viewing seat on the continent.
When skiers funnel down to the new open-air plaza at the end of the day, they unwittingly step into Tremblant’s “extreme” territory. Here any tourist would be a fool to try to keep up with the locals, who have trained for almost a century to master a Tremblant tradition of legendary danger: the après ski.
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