All words and Photos: Diane Harrington
February 14th, Valentine’s Day, was the opening event for the 2013 North Face Masters of Snowboarding competition. The Masters event has been a favorite for big mountain riders for the past 6 seasons. Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe California was the host for the first qualifying 2-star event of the season. Cupid visited Alpine dropping small red velvet bags of sweet treats all over the mountain. Not so sweet was the contest venue. The top was steep and icy, which led the athletes into mogul fields that knocked many riders off their feet. Finally some cool jumps at the bottom rounded out the course. Despite conditions, the amazing competitors put on a great show at the High Yellow venue. The showcased athleticism of the riders and the vibrant sunshine made up for the venue location’s shortcomings.
The Snowbird ladies were not timid at this event despite the extremely variable conditions. Lizzy Beerman was awarded a 3rd place finish in ladies division for her strong performance and high-flying 360 that made the crowd explode with cheers. Kaitlin Elliott found the little snow there was on the course, and slashed her way along the ridge dispersing puffs of snow left weeks ago by mother nature. She finished her line with a stompy indy grab which earned Miss Kaitlin a 6th place finish. Camila Brown rode through the coral reef snow finding a feature for a method and utilized the money booter sticking a cool grab to finish in 14th place.
The Snowbird men showed up to California ready to impress. Jonathan Penfield did a burly 360 over a rock landing just beyond the transverse track. His stomp won him 3rd place. Matt Carter, Jacob Lavine, and Jordan Nelson were in the top 20. The winner of the event was Harry Kearney who travelled down from Vancouver, BC.
Other highlights of the Masters event, was Snowbird’s own guest announcer Jeremy Tidwell. He delighted the crowd with his hysterical commentary. The evening wrapped up with awards and keynote speaker Ryan Hudson, another Little Cottonwood Canyon local and The North Face ambassador. Ryan’s presentation focused on learning from his life experiences and how he is working to help the future generation. Ryan’s story was heartwarming, intriguing, and motivating. Check it out ……..
The spectators loved the day of sunshine and watching the countries best big mountain riders attempt to stay on their feet while also showcasing their freestyle tricks. Fun was had by all! Despite a few broken boards, there were no reported injuries. No prize money was awarded at Alpine, but this event qualified riders for the 4 star contest at Squaw Valley the following day.