Van Horn, Smith win Grand Traverse; Gouweloos, Wong win Big Air contest
Carbondale’s Sean Van Horn and Gunnison’s Cam Smith teamed up to win Saturday’s Grand Traverse ski mountaineering race.
In its 21st year, the Grand Traverse was raced as a “reverse” this year because of avalanche conditions. Instead of its usual finish in Aspen, the race both started and finished in Crested Butte.
Van Horn and Smith finished the out-and-back course in 6 hours, 32 minutes, beating the second-place team of Billy Laird and Eric Sullivan, both of Crested Butte, by more than 26 minutes. Logan Greydanus and Nick Jordan, of Denver, were third, about 34 minutes behind the race winners.
The last time the race was held as a reverse was in 2016, when John Gaston and Max Taam finished in 6:30:18.5 for the first of two straight titles. They also won the 2017 race, which did finish in Aspen, in a course record 6:37:38.6.
Gaston and Taam, both of Aspen, did not compete this year.
Taking the 2018 women’s title was the Crested Butte duo of Hannah Smith and Molly Susla in 8:06:52.2. The co-ed title went to the Breckenridge team of Brad LaRochelle and Nikki LaRochelle in 7:14:56.
For complete results, click here.
Gouweloos, Wong win KickAspen Big Air titles on Saturday
Canadian snowboarder Craig Gouweloos won the KickAspen Big Air Invitational on Saturday, while Summit County’s Josh Wong took the title for the skiers.
In a best-of-three run format, Gouweloos’ backside double 1080 stalefish was enough to hold off runner-up finisher Sy Moran and third-place finisher Robert Pettit, of Basalt.
Wong won the contest with his switch 1260 mute. Brian Kiss was second and Emerson Lawton third.
The athletes split a $5,000 purse.
The 17th KickAspen Big Air contest was originally scheduled for Friday, but was pushed to Saturday because of weather.
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Aspen Mountain opened for the season on Wednesday, a day earlier than originally planned. Top-to-bottom snowmaking, a solid recent storm and well-behaved guests made for a great experience despite all of the extra precautions.