Professional Skiers: David Wise and Anais Caradeux win Aspen/Snowmass Open Superpipe

Comments by Shay Williams/

What was supposed to be a snowy/rainy/crappy day in Aspen, turned out to be a fairly lovely day… perfect for men’s and women’s pipe finals here at the Aspen/Snowmass Open presented by Audi. On the men’s side, it was David Wise, and on the women’s, it was Anais Caradeux.

All day, pipe action rained down upon suspecting fans, blowing minds with the level of pipe riding going down from the competitors. Semi-finals were the first order of business today, with women starting things off. Chopping the field down from 20 ladies to 10 went fairly quickly with some more conservative runs arranging the women into the finals. The men’s semis were next with a few heavy hitters like Walter Wood and Byron Wells failing to qualify, newcomers David Wise and Mike Mertion taking the top two spots respectively, with two-time ASO pipe champ Matt Philippi in third.

Onto the finals. As the sun moved overhead basking the pipe in all its glory, the 10-women finals took place. Ultimately it was Anais Caradeux, whose 540s and alley-oop 540s were too much for the rest of the field to handle, and she took the top spot. Relative newcomer Siena Palmacci used her alley oop flat variations and smooth style to snag 2nd. And rounding out the podium is Park City transplant Gina Gmeiner who was the only lady to land both her runs… and she deftly slid in into 3rd place.

Other highlights included Angeli Van Laanen dropping stylish, big 540s, Keltie Hansen going ballistic on her last hit 900, although unable to hang out to the landing and Stephanie Sirianni getting tech with air-to-fakies and switch hits.

After the women, came the men. With a few big names missing from the finals start list, the door was open for some newcomers to take the top spots. Slopestyle specialist LJ Strenio wowed the crowd and judges with both alley-oop flatspins and stylish pipe riding. Mike Mertion went crazy big, but couldn’t hold onto either of his last hits. Matt Philippi spun a lot… both ways… but couldn’t successfully take a third ASO title.

In the end it was David Wise, whose gigantic right and left 900s, 1260 and alley oop flatspin 360 and 900 that catapulted him into the top spot. Taylor Seaton, who narrowly qualified for finals, dropped first and took his creative run consisting of a switch 720, right 540, right and left 900s, and alley oop 540 to the bank for 2nd place. Evan Schwartz, with big consistent airs took 3rd. Evan, as Luke Van Valin pointed out, “hung his alley oop flat 360s to dry,”… and taking the last spot on the podium.

As this closes the final chapter on pipe here at the Aspen/Snowmas Open, we have slopestyle mayhem to look forward to for the next two days. The pipe riding was incredible and the slopestyle course is primed and ready for similar mind-boggling action. Stay tuned here at Freeskier.com for all the action.

Men’s Finals Results:

1) David Wise
2) Taylor Seaton
3) Evan Schwartz
4) Derek Spong
5) Matt Philippi
6) Nathan Wood
7) Patrick Baskins
8) LJ Strenio
9) Gus Kenworthy
10) Mike Mertion

Women’s Finals Results:

1) Anais Caradeux
2) Siena Palmacci
3) Gina Gmeiner
4) Angeli Van Laanen
5) Stephanie Sirianni
6) Maddie Bowman
7) Kendall Digham
8) Keltie Hansen
9) megan Gunning
10) Jenny Lee