Flying man of Steele | AspenTimes.com

Flying man of Steele

Aspen Times Staff

Local freeskier Steele Spence, left, stands on the podium with Jon Olssen and TJ Schiller at AT&T Park in San Francisco after finishing third at the second ICER AIR competition on Saturday, Nov. 4. (Courtesy Connie Spence)

Whether in a baseball stadium, or off the jumps back home, local freeskier Steele Spence always goes big.

Spence soared to third place at the second annual ICER AIR competition in San Francisco on Nov. 4, which was moved to AT&T Park after being held on the famed Fillmore Street Hill last fall.

In front of nearly 25,000 fans, snowboarders and skiers launched off a 100-foot high man-made jump covered with more than 200 tons of snow. Canadian freeskiing star TJ Schiller won first place in the men’s skier division and pocketed $10,000 and the keys to a new Toyota FJ Cruiser. Sweden’s Jon Olssen, second, earned $5,000, while Spence pocketed $2,500.

Travis Rice of Jackson, Wyo., won the men’s snowboard division.

At first, skiers and snowboarders struggled to carry enough speed on the man-made snow to sail over the jump’s gap and onto the sloped landing area.The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the women’s snowboarding portion of the event was canceled because of the conditions after Bev Vuilleumiere fell just before hitting the jump and disappeared into the gap. Luckily, there was a net in the gap that prevented Vuilleumiere from falling 60 feet to the ground.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.