One of the greatest ski competitions known to Man or Woman, The Pain McShlonkey Classic was held yesterday at Squaw. A torrent of tiny skis pinged their way down the frozen faces of KT-22 during the early morning Chinese Downhill race for the coveted Golden Saucer, while the afternoon bore witness to the much anticipated Small Mountain Competition.
Despite the bone chattering ice crust of the early morning, when it came time for the second event of the day the temperatures had not risen and no new snow had fallen resulting in dramatically improved conditions for the Small Mountain Competition.
Geissler wisely chose to run late in the pack. Firm conditions just moments earlier had forced several competitors to downclimb the more treacherous zones of the small mountain venue (note the anchored ropes on the right hand side of the image). Excellent use of the clock Slambo!
Several other experienced competitors also managed to find good landings on the venue.
Not so fast, Kyle is smarter than that, he didn’t actually send it 40 ft to his head. Instead O’neal exhibited excellent small mountaineering skills by rapelling down the largest feature on the venue.
O’neal had been momentarily disqualified from the competition when he ducked the ropes to go out of bounds, then, after minutes of suspense O’neal reappeared on top of the cliff prepared to make his descent. He was quickly reinstated to competitive status by head judge Sherry McConkey.
With this display of rule bending creativity Kyle O’neal clenched the Small Mountain victory.
Always ahead of its time, the style category has long been an important judging criteria for the Pain McShlonkey Small Mountain event. Skiers pulled off a variety of tricks and costumes with equally graceful execution.
Other highlights included Dr. Robb Gaffney’s peppering the entire Small Mountain venue with launch tubes and lighting a number of fireworks that provided a ceremonial beginning to the Small Mountain event and an added spectacle for the Dr.’s run. Greg Lindsey (2nd place) shredded the venue on the 88 cm skis, stomping several airs and throwing in a few 3′s impressing the judges with his balance and aggressive small mountain form. Coming off a win at this years Red Bull Cold Rush,Rachael Burks won the Women’s Small Mountain managing to incorporate several unexpected features on the venue by climbing over a number of small trees during her run.
Top Banzai athletes dominated the Chinese Downhill portion of the event. Daron Rahlves took home the Golden Saucer on the men’s side. Having been hampered by a broken snowblade in last year’s event, Rahlves was determined to win it this time. Shelly Robertson, 2012 overall Banzai champion, also took home the Gold on the women’s side. Amie Ingerbretson walked away with second place in both the Chinese Downhill and Women’s Small Mountain.
The Pain McShlonkey Classic was packed with hilarity, high spirits, and some of the fiercest snowlerblading competition in the sport today! Shane would have been proud.
There was even a gnome sighting.
A barrage of media was on scene to capture the action. These are just a few photos from the event. Keep an eye out for more to come from the 2012 Pain McShlonkey Classic!