Hucksters cometh to S’mass | AspenTimes.com

Hucksters cometh to S’mass

Tim Mutrie
Aspens Kiffor Berg airs it out in the Hanging Valley Wall at Snowmass during a past Colorado Freeride Series competition. The first series event of the 2005 season is Saturday. Photo courtesy Aspen Skiing Co.
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The first installment of the 2005 Powerade Colorado Freeride Series hits Snowmass’ Hanging Valley Wall on Saturday.Now in its fourth season at Snowmass, the big-mountain freeriding event pits skiers and snowboarders against some of the most challenging terrain in the upper valley.

And whoever greases the sickest line (read: whoever skis/rides the most technically difficult route down with the most style, gusto and, of course, air) usually wins. The event features four divisions – men’s and women’s skiing and snowboarding – though men’s skiers typically make up the lion’s share of the field.Saturday’s competition runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Spectators are invited to come out and watch.”They’re gonna see these guys going off huge cliffs, they’re gonna see lines that they might only think about skiing and, basically, they’re just gonna be awed by the different athletes,” said event manager Justin Erickson.

Registration is limited to the first 100 competitors who sign up at the Snowmass Ticket Pavilion. Entry costs $45. The second series event is slated for the following Saturday, Feb. 19, and the third and final series competition is Friday, March 11. That final series event doubles as a qualifier for the one-day championship, scheduled for Saturday, March 12.While Saturday’s field will be without some of the top regular competitors, due to an IFSA (International Freeskiers Association) event the same day in Taos, N.M., surely some certifiable yahoos are bound to turn up(side down).The women’s defending champion, Jane Somerville of Snowmass Village, has signed up to compete, according to Erickson. Local skiers Frank Shine, Brian Anzini and Anders Gustafson will be throwing down, as well.

And even with Taos event, Erickson was confident the field would fill up. “We always sell out,” he said.Weather permitting, the second series event willbe held in the Burnside Cliffs area of Snowmass. “Then we’d like to go back to the Hanging Valley for the final series and qualifier day, and then back to Burnside for the championship,” Erickson said. “But it all depends on the weather.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is mutrie@aspentimes.com


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