The fifth annual Dumont Cup is underway here at Sunday River Ski Resort in Bethel, Maine. An open competition, and the East Coast’s only Platinum rated AFP event, Simon Dumont’s signature contest draws many of skiing’s biggest names along with upwards of one-hundred aspiring pros—all of them vying for a piece of the $20,000 purse and valuable AFP points.
The course layout this year is similar to years past, although the jumps are slightly larger—thanks in part to some hefty snowstorms and a massive snowmaking effort by the resort. This same time one year ago, we were experiencing temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and the snowmelt made it difficult for event organizers to keep the course running smoothly. Today, Sunday River is sitting on a 40-inch base.
“Just last week we received 15 inches of new snow,” said Darcy Morse, Director of Communications for Sunday River. “In terms of snowmaking, we’ve made snow now for 72 days total this season. While this is on par with what we typically do for snowmaking, I should add that we invested one million dollars into energy efficient snowguns for this season and have been able to make a ton more snow as a result.”
“There is so much snow here, it’s insane,” said Dumont upon laying eyes on the course for the first time earlier this week.
Construction on the course began Wednesday of last week. Morgan Rudd, Terrain Park Manager for Sunday River, along with his team have put in 17-hour days ever since, working to get the course in tip-top shape. “I’m pretty happy with the result,” said Rudd. “We have the biggest jumps that Sunday River has ever seen.” From top to bottom, the jumps are 55, 65 and 75 feet in length. “The marketing department is certainly happy,” he joked.
Dumont has been working hand-in-hand with Rudd over the past 72 hours, ensuring the course is up to his standards. “Simon has been giving us input on the jumps,” said Rudd. “He’ll tell us ‘add pop here, a little more height there, bring it back here, push it forward there…’ he’s been out here for the past two days testing and helping us dial it in.”
2013 Dumont Cup practice: Speaking with Goepper, Kenworthy, Schlopy and West
The 2011 and 2012 Dumont Cup winners—Nick Goepper and Gus Kenworthy—are both on hand this week, in addition to a handful of A-listers. Notables include PK Hunder, Joss Christensen, Jossi Wells, Alex Schlopy, Colby West, Kolby Ward, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, Vincent and Charles Gagnier, LJ Strenio and many more.
Competition kicks off on Friday with two qualifying rounds—both jam style format. Each round lasts for two-and-a-half hours. Twenty skiers will advance from each heat to Saturday’s semifinal round, and of those 40, 20 will advance through the semifinals to the final round. The 20 skiers who earned a spot in the final will throw down against 20 pre-qualified pros. Given the level of talent on hand during today’s practice session, it’s fair to say we’re in for a heck of a show this weekend.
Stay tuned as we’ll be bringing you coverage over the next few days. A live stream of the semifinals and finals will be available at freeskier.com/live beginning Saturday morning.
*Fantasy Freeride players will be paying close attention this weekend, with high hopes that their teams will perform well, earning big points. For all things Fantasy related, visit fantasyfreeride.com.