Word and Photos: MSI
Three Forks on the Headwaters at Moonlight Basin Ski Resort, MT set the stage for the steep and speedy finals day for the Subaru Freeride Series. The morning started under a classic blue and big Montana sky, but large clouds rolled in throughout the day altering visibility. Spring like temperatures created firm and chalky snow conditions on the giant 1,500 vertical-foot-face. Forty-four skiers advanced from first day of competition out of a field of eighty-two skiers all vying for 4-star Freeride World Qualifier points and a total of $10,000 in prize money. At the end of the event, Patty Baskins and Hadley Hammer took the top spots of their respective podiums at the first Subaru Freeride Series stop of the 2013 season.
“The skiers really gave this mountain the respect it deserves,” remarked Head Event Judge Eric Schmitz. “The athletes skied really smart on a venue which can have serious consequences. They managed their speeds in all the right ways and places.”
|Hammer, Dingle and DeVore on the Moonlight Basin podium.|
Coming in first overall for the women was Hadley Hammer out of Jackson Hole, WY. Hadley was the last woman to ski today and still managed to choose an original line featuring an air at the top, clean fast turns to the looker’s left side of the venue and a big air near the bottom. She skied flawlessly without hesitation throughout both days of competition earning a total combined score of 150.00.
Local Montana skier Sasha Dingle skied a super aggressive line linking several features and a significant straight-line which positioned her on the second podium spot. She had a total combined score of 139.67. Rounding out the ladies’ podium, Katrina DeVore from Aspen, CO took third overall by executing technically strong, fast and fluid runs. DeVore’s total score was 132.00.
|Baskins, Boucher and Evans take the men’s Subaru Freeride Series Stop #1 podium.|
The men’s field was stacked with talent. An extremely narrow margin of 0.33 points separated the first and second place overall finishers. Skiing out of Vail, CO, Patty Baskins did it all. Baskins demonstrated he is a highly skilled big mountain rider and masterful freeskier. He effortlessly linked several features while introducing style elements like an off-axis 360 to his run today and a giant mute grab yesterday. Baskins’ creative style earned him the top score of 154.00.
Following Baskins closely in second place, Christian Boucher-fondly known as “Little C”- demonstrated strong intelligence with his line choice and skied a completely solid run. Boucher was awarded with a score of 153.67. In third place, Randy Evans out of Bridger Bowl, MT topped off a sweet and smooth run with a giant crowd-pleasing back flip at the bottom.
|Sick Bird award presented by Backcountry.com recipient Connor Pelton.|
In addition to podium awards, several riders were nominated for the coveted Sick Bird presented byBackcountry.com. The Sick Bird award is highly revered by the big mountain freeride community and is granted riders who challenge not only themselves but also the sport through their athletic performance. The 2013 Moonlight Basin Sick Bird was awarded to Conner Pelton. Pelton was smooth and quick through a super exposed “billy goat” section, which lead to a big air through a straight-line. He finished his run with a styley cork-360.