Freeskiing Open wraps up at Buttermilk
The Aspen Snowmass Freeskiing Open concluded Saturday with men’s and women’s halfpipe and big air competitions. The events were held at Buttermilk Ski Area and on the same courses used during the Winter X Games less than a month ago.
The event was an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) gold level event and included some of the top developing talent from across the globe.
Winter Park’s Birk Irving, 17, won the men’s halfpipe competition with a score of 93.40 over Nicholas Goepper (89.80) and Hunter Hess (85.20), taking home the $3,500 first-place prize. Irving is considered one of the top up-and-comers in freestyle skiing, having previously earned multiple Revolution Tour podiums and a USSA Junior National Championship title in halfpipe.
California’s Abigale Hansen, who competes for the Mammoth Mountain Freeski Team, won the women’s halfpipe competition, including the $2,500 first-place prize, with a score of 84.00. Svea Irving was second and Jeanne Crane-Mauzy third.
Mac Forehand, representing Stratton Mountain School, won the men’s big air competition ($2,000 prize) by a narrow margin over Japan’s Yuuki Satou, while New Hampshire’s Grace Henderson won the $1,000 first-place paycheck in the women’s big air competition.
The men’s and women’s slopestyle competition took place Friday at Buttermilk. Breckenridge’s Ethan Swadburg won his second gold in five tries in the men’s competition, which included an event-best $5,000 paycheck, while Canada’s Elena Gaskell won the women’s slopestyle competition ($2,500).
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The X Games medals are meant to be special. They are awarded to athletes who achieve a feat that stands apart in his or her sport, an accomplishment that likely took years to reach. Colorado artist Lisa Issenberg understands the responsibility that comes with making such a prize.