Local Puckett qualifies third in skiercross
ASPEN Old Snowmass skiercrosser Casey Puckett was third in Fridays Winter X Games qualifying run, finishing behind Canadas Davey Barr and Californias Errol Kerr. The top 24 skiers out of a field of 30 qualified for Saturdays quarterfinals. Puckett won last years skiercross finale at Buttermilk in dramatic fashion, holding off former U.S. Ski Team mate Jake Fiala of Frisco. It was Pucketts second gold at the Winter X Games. Fiala had the 13th-fastest time Friday.Former U.S. Ski Team downhill star Daron Rahlves of Truckee, Calif., also advanced, with the fifth-fastest time. South Lake Tahoe, Calif., native Shaun Palmer, at 39, the oldest athlete at Winter X Games 12, failed to advance, finishing 28th. Fridays skiercross qualifying results(Top 24 advance to quarterfinals) 1. Errol Kerr, Truckee, Calif.2. Davey Barr, Whistler, Canada3. Casey Puckett, Old Snowmass4. Lars Lewen, Stockholm, Sweden5. Daron Rahlves, Truckee, Calif.6. Juha Haukkala, Helsinki, Finland7. Brian Bennett, Whistler, Canada8. Andreas Steffen, Gstaad, Switzerland9. Tomas Kraus, Decin, Czech Republic10. Ted Piccard, Les Saisies, France11. Stanley Hayer, Kimberley, British Columbia12. Luca Cattaneo, Temu, Italy 13. Jake Fiala, Frisco14. Michael Schmid, Frutigen, Switzerland15. Robin Lenel, Alpe DHuez, France16. Tommy Eliasson, Boden, Sweden17. Chris Del Bosco, Vail18. Audun Groenvold, Hamar City, Norway 19. Cody Smith, Spokane, Wash.20. Kenji Kono, Nozawa Onsen, Japan21. Andreas Matt, Flirsch, Austria22. Enak Gavaggio, Bourg St. Maurice, France23. Olivier Fabre, Alpe DHuez, France24. Patrick Koller, Soell, Austria25. Eric Andersson, Nora, Sweden26. Alois Mani, Spiez, Switzerland27. Massimiliano Iezza, Courmayeur, Italy28. Shaun Palmer, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.29. Travis Svensrud, Bozeman, Mont. 30. Karl Heinz Molling, Kronplatz, Italy
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.