Crested Butte Freeride World Qualifier Results

Crested Butte Freeride World Qualifier Results


Crested Butte Freeride World Qualifier Results


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All Photos: MSI Skier: Ashley Bembenek sending the triple pillow stack above Big Hourglass Chute.

The first stop of the Subaru Freeride Series in Crested Butte, CO finished up yesterday with amazing lines being carved down the Big Hourglass Chute area in fantastic powder conditions. For only the 5th time in the events 23 year history this permanently closed area was used for the finals of the event. The Big Hourglass area has slopes that vary from 40-60 degrees and is littered with trees and cliffs. Competitors fell like they are skiing off the edge of the world when they drop in for their runs. With a visual only inspection it was key  for athletes to pick a line they could easily find to avoid getting lost and losing points for stopping. Top quality runs were displayed by both male and female skiers and snowboarders in front of a rowdy crowd of Crested Butte locals and fellow riders who failed to make the cut.

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Tom Runcie sending and stomping his final air.

Male skiers were the last to drop and saw some large changes to the leader board by the time the final skier, Randy Evans, crossed the finish line. Randy along with his younger brother Matt who had been sitting in 1st and 3rd respectively both had issues in their runs that caused them to fall and lose their podium positions. With two of the top three male skiers crashing the door was open for Montana’s Kyle Taylor, a very good friend of both Randy and Matt Evans, to take the victory. Taylor was able to put together a strong run working the from top lookers right features to the center of an area known as the Bermuda Triangle. He took the Triangle right off the nose and stuck a 25+ foot airplane turn onto a pile of pillows that collapsed and avalanched down the slope beside him as he rode out to victory. Screen shot 2014-02-16 at 5.11.43 PM

Crested Butte locals Tom Runcie and Rob Dickinson also took advantage of mistakes by the leaders to move from 8th and 9th place after day one to 2nd and 4th when all the dust settled. Runcie had the highest scoring run of the day and finished just 1.5 points out of first. His creative and fluid line was a site to behold and he stomped his final landing perfectly. Dickinson also had a fantastic run that got the hometown crowd roaring in excitement. Another skier that got the crowd on their feet was the young George Rodney. Rodney finished in 3rd place with a run that included the largest air of the day, a 70+ foot send that earned him the coveted Tobias B. Lee Sickbird Buckle. The Buckle is awarded to the athlete who shows exceptional ability, agility and line choice. It is often more sought after than the victory itself.


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Female Snowboarders were the first to drop into the venue, with the top three riders of the day having impressive runs that earned correspondingly high scores.  Crested Butte rider Mary Boddington made moves to the top of the podium after finishing 3rd on day one. Boddington flashed the main gut of Big Hourglass and took a sizable air out of the bottom cleanly to her feet to earn the top score of the day. In second place was Krikwood rider Casey Lucas who also stuck a good sized cliff feature and sprayed fresh powder high into the air with her high speed turns. Lucas has been qualified for the FWT in the past and is eager to regain he spot on the big stage with her long time sweetheart FWT rider Josh Diaek. Iris Lazzarechi moved up to 3rd place with a strong run overtook day one leader Tess Carney who took 4th.

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The Snowboard Men category was also dominated by some very creative and impressive runs. Canadian Jonathan Penfield was able to hold onto his lead from day 1 and take the gold medal. His creative feature linking and smooth landing of his final cliff drop was enough to hold off the charge of Kirkwood rider Abe Greenspan who also maintained his rank in 2nd place. Greenspan was also awarded a Sickbird Buckle for his enormous and bold cliff drop near the bottom of the venue. This could be the first time the award was officially given to a snowboarder. The highest score of the day went to Vincent Remmel who roared up the ranks to 3rd place.

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The Womens Skier category was also heavily loaded with Crested Butte locals and alumni. Current resident Sydney Dickinson skied a very fast and fluid run down the center of Big Hourglass that boosted her onto the top of the podium. Former Crested Butte local and current Jackson, WY ripper Pip Hunt slipped to 2nd place with a strong run that contained a few small errors . Former Crested Butte skier Kaytlin Hughes moved up to 3rd place with the highest scoring run of the day. Hughes skied an extremely fast and clean line in the Hourglass and was pumped to get onto the podium in her former hometown.

As always, local knowledge came into play this year in CB. The visual only inspection of the venues added to the advantage the locals had over other athletes, many of whom had never skied any of the venues in the past. The quality of snow and the quality of the athletes really allowed this years event to shine and added another glorious chapter the the history of Freeriding in Crested Butte. All of the athletes are leaving town eager to return again next year. Stay tuned to for more info on upcoming events and live feeds.

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