This event went down two weekends ago in Winter Park, CO.
Word and Photos: Diane Harrington
Finals Day at the Weekend Warrior in Winter Park Colorado was delightful. Athletes were permitted to ski some amazing terrain, spectators danced to stay warm, and the winners got cash and beer prizes (age appropriate).
- March 24, 2013 was finals day in the Mary Jane Chutes. Additional terrain was added from Saturday’s qualifying venue. The newly opened terrain had much fresher snow than the day before and is hardly ever touched by the public. With names like Hole in Wall, The Chute of Despair, and Better Not you get the idea that there might be some consequential skiing and riding taking place. Better Not is a chute that does not commonly see a lot of traffic. Most action is from ski patrol blasting and skiing the chute, but maybe poachers know more about it. During Mica’s qualifying snowboard run some poachers skied through the venue. I must say they did it quite well and it added to the spectacle of the event.
The day was cold, the sun was in and out, but the music kept people moving and grooving. A handful of patrollers were on scene to watch the show, ready for any mishaps, and they too were shaking and bobbin to the tunes.
Snowboarding female Kaitlin Elliott was the first of the competition to ride the Better Not Chute. She rode nicely through the exposure and sent it off the mandatory air. Kaitlin finished second to Marissa Krawczak who went through Hole in the Wall and did a couple of stylish jumps.
The lady skiers made the venue look easy. The girls made great turns, did some cool airs, and got super exposed. Desiree Touchette came from 4th on Saturday to claim the win on Sunday. She skied a nice face buttering across stiff snow. She made it look good and linked up some fast fun jumps. Kelly Mackenzie from Alta did the Better Not Chute. There was barely room to get her skis straight from the chute to the air out, but she managed to pull it off and finished third. Ciera Glenn was second Kelsey Boleski fourth and Rachel Croft fifth. Nice job ladies.
The men snowboarders had some pretty cool lines also. Dustin Eldridge sent the Chute of Despair. He may have crashed, but found no despair in the cool award he got for his efforts. Matt Carter did a 360 off the cliff coming out of the Better Not Chute. Chance Lenay pleased the crowd with a backflip. Alta Snowboard Team Captain Mica Brownlie finished 4th and another Little Cottonwood Canyon rider Justin Latimer finished 5th overall. Way to go Utah riders. However, the Colorado boys took the podium. Morris Hogan found the most exposure in the Better Not and got first. Eric Angus did a super floaty 360 to earn second and Dave Watson was third for his fluid strong turns. All three men on the podium are from the Snowmass/Aspen area.
Andrew Rumph qualified first and maintained his position to win the Men’s skier division. Brandon Craddock skiing out of Olympic Valley, CA received second. Varyk Rumph ended up third.
Special thanks to Nick and Cat for organizing and Winter Park for hosting the event. The ski patrol were super friendly and their hard work really made the event great by opening additional terrain on finals day. This was the last of four 2013 Freeride Qualifying events for the snowboarders division in the USA. Skiers ya’ll are pumped because you still got Crested Butte, CO and Snowbird, UT.