The Orage Masters returns in 2013 after a two-year hiatus

Comments by Henrik Lampert/

“The Orage Masters are back for 2013.” When I heard the news, the first thing that came to mind was Simon Dumont charging through the park at Mammoth Mountain in a lion costume. It was 2006, the fourth installment of Orage Masters, and representing team Salomon, Simon and his teammates dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz: Peter Olenick adorned as the mighty Tin Man, Sammy Carlson the Scarecrow, Kaya Turski, Dorothy.

These mental images come from the multitude of photos and videos that emerged on the web following the event. I speak for many when I say that I wasn’t on site in Mammoth to witness the action that day, but man did I ever wish that I was. And the same rings true for each and every edition of the event.

Orage Masters 8 comes to Sun Valley, ID on April 5-7, 2013

Hailed by Orage as “one part slopestyle, one part free for all and one part masquerade party,” and affectionately known as the “Anti-Comp,” the Masters returns this season after a two-year break, invading Sun Valley, ID between April 5-7. New this year, the teams will no longer represent ski manufacturers, but instead film crews, like Line Traveling Circus, Level 1, Stept Productions and Inspired Media—to name a few.

We caught up with Orage marketing director, Mike Nick, to ask a few questions about the return of the Masters.

Some years ago, Orage Masters was among the most anticipated annual events of the season. Why the hiatus? What spurred the return? The hiatus was simply based on [Orage] realizing the event kicked ass year after year, but we don’t like to sit back and simply ride the wave. It’s not our style. We like to change things up so we don’t get stale. So we took a few years off. This isn’t the first time we’ve taken a break, the first Masters was held 10 years ago in 2003. We’ve hosted seven so far, which means over the years we’ve taken three seasons off. Damn, I’m good at math. Which leads to a couple related points: We’re bringing it back because the event kicks ass, its super fun, athletes love it, fans love it and we’d been hearing some chatter about, “Where’s the Masters? What happened to the Masters?” So we figured there’s no better time than now to bring it back. All we needed was a host resort, and with all that Sun Valley’s been doing lately, we rang ‘em up and off we went.

Orage Masters is synonymous with shenanigans. How do you intend to keep that fun-filled spirit alive in 2013?  For starters, the event’s going down at Sun Valley, the original freestyle party ski town. The event brings out the party in everyone, but we’re aiming for more side events for the athletes that could possibly include world renowned party activities such as bowling and broom hockey. We’re also aiming to bring back the Orage CLIP contest, which is a video component to the event that will give fans a cool way to experience and be a part of the event. And one of the best parts about working with Sun Valley is their Spring Ski Special that offers accommodations with lift tickets for 79 bones per night. In other words, it’s crazy affordable for fans to get front row seats to the craziest scene in town.

Winners of Orage Masters 7, the K2 “Original Rockers.” Photo courtesy Orage.

Film crews pitted against each other—it’s a new format. What do you expect we’ll see as a result?  We’ve done the factory team format for years and figured with a new host resort, let’s go with a new team format to match. Film crews have huge fan bases as a result of their individual styles and the content they create, not for their comp results. We figured it would be a cool way to shine a different spotlight on them for a change. With so many crews and each one having a unique style, we’re expecting a ton of variety.

Before I sign off, I want to extend big thanks to our partners, Freeskier Magazine, GoPro, Retallack, Johnny G’s Subshack and, of course, Sun Valley Resort.

*Stay tuned for updates on teams, an event schedule and more.