Summit County pro skiers, snowboarders ready for season after Switzerland camp
DILLON — On Wednesday evening in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, professional snowboarder and Frisco resident Jason Wolle said he took his final novel coronavirus test after a month of quarantine and travel for U.S. pro and rookie team skiers and snowboarders.
After entering a bubble in Park City, Utah, and testing negative multiple times, athletes flew to Austria for a 10-day quarantine in Innsbruck. Eventually, the crew of park and pipe athletes — including Wolle’s fellow Summit County-based skiers and snowboarders Chase Blackwell and Jaxin Hoerter — got back on snow at the Stomping Grounds Park up on the glacier in Saas-Fee, but not until after some avalanche and snow danger delayed things a bit.
Once out on the world-class superpipe on the glacier, Wolle has been working his way up to trying to land a frontside double-cork 1260 on snow. Wolle has been working on the difficult three-and-a-half rotation, two inversion trick on airbags, and he hopes it’ll be a key part to his run through the halfpipe if Copper Mountain Resort hosts a World Cup U.S. Grand Prix competition in December.
“The main thing about the trick is continuing your rotation,” said Wolle, a rookie team member. “It’s about not under rotating at all, because there’s the risk of hitting your face on the deck.”
Wolle said he’s been impressed by how Blackwell has worked his way up to landing a backside double-cork 1260.
“A lot about this trick seems like it’s all about the timing and snap you get off the lip,” Blackwell said. “So it’s about figuring out body positioning and timing and how hard you have to throw it. The challenge I’ve been facing on the trick so far is once you’re in the air, it feels pretty similar to doing a backside 1080, but you have to keep looking and come around and see the landing. It definitely seems like a little more consequence. I’ve been going bigger to have more time to get the rotation around.”
Blackwell, a pro team member, said it’s the next step for him after landing soaring backside 1080s at X Games Aspen and at the Laax Open last season.
“And I’ve already been doing a frontside 1260, and I’ve also started doing those frontside double-cork 1260s, which is a newer one for me. I landed my first one at Burton U.S. Open practice, then did one at Mount Hood, and then I’ve done a couple here.”
Hoerter said his biggest focus has been adding a rightside double-cork 1260 to his run through the pipe. The skier, in his first year on the pro team, added that he and his coaches are discussing a new optimal run through the pipe that he can achieve in the season’s first couple of competitions.
“Last year’s run, I’d been building that run for quite a few years now, but this year is new,” Hoerter said. “I’m dropping in on the opposite wall, moving things around. It’s a whole new situation I haven’t done yet, which is exciting and fresh, and my coaches are excited to see this new combination.”
Now 40 years old, the downhill racer from Utah is still speeding along with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Sure, his back sometimes aches but it’s not enough to deter him from chasing after the feeling of a perfect race.