The Carinthia Open, formerly known as the Mount Snow Freeskiing Open, now in its fourth year, has become a staple on the East Coast competition scene. The event draws top level talent from both the pro and am divisions, and this year was no exception; athletes from the U.S., Canada and Japan came to the West Dover, Vermont resort looking to throw down and make a run at the $10,000 prize purse, not to mention an armful of schwag from event sponsors.
Saturday's event was a bit different from years past, as the two day competition was abbreviated to a single day slopestlye event; halfpipe was not included this year. New this year as well was the addition of snowboarding.
The event began under less than ideal conditions as the course, having received two steady days of warmer temperatures and sunshine, had stiffened up due to a cold front. Atop the hard snow, gray skies had cast the course in flat light. Weather aside, the competitors were still all smiles and eager to drop in on the course, extended from the Revolution Tour's course, which had taken place the previous day, to include two new pairs of rail features.
The course started with three pairs of rail features, riders would enter the course to either a rainbow rail or flat, down rail into the option of a flat or trap box, continuing with the cannon box. From there the rider would have a step up jump, into the option of a flat box or a flat, down rail and finish with two large jumps.
Qualifiers consisted of a two hour jam format that allowed the athletes as many runs as they could fit into the time period, which allowed them to hone their runs on a course that had some issues with the landings, a result of both the weather and the number of skiers on course. However the Mount Snow park staff continued to do an amazing job on keeping the course in top shape, even bringing out a groomer to fix the landing on the bottom hit. From that jam, all eight of the women (four am, four pro), would advance to finals, joined by seventeen male ams, and seventeen male pros.
After an hour lunch provided by Mount Snow, where we're told South Lake Tahoe, CA's Noritoshi "Nori" Shimadate held the record of the day for eight hot dogs, it was time for the finalists to make their way back to the top of the start gate for a best of two runs competition. The start order began with men & women snowboarders, followed by female pro & am skiers and men pro & am skiers and repeat for the second run. It was at this time that the sun finally made it's appearance for the day, going from gray to bluebird in minutes.
Starting with snowboarders, it was only a short wait before the ladies made their go at the course, starting with ams Nikki Blackall, Jillian Gordon, Maggie Stout whom would all podium, Blackall taking 1st, Gordon, 2nd and Stout 3rd. Following the ams, the Pro women dropped in and sent it despite the hardpack. Coming out on top of the podium was Dara Howell in first, who's run included a right 3, cork 7 and rodeo 5. Following her would be Jackie Kling with a blind 2, 360 truckdriver, frontflip and finished, with a little difficulty, on the last rodeo. Emmanelle Blanchet would take 3rd.
Moving on to the men's divisions, the top ams who would climb the podium included Cole Derrik in 1st, Ben Smith in 2nd, and Evan McEachran in third. For men's pros, it was Chris Laker in 1st with a blind switchup on the up, down rail, 270 on the flat box, blind 270 on the cannon, right cork 900 on the step up, switch on, 270 out of the flat box, switch dub 9 into a dub 10.
The 2nd place finish went to Jamieson Irvine with backside swap to 270 out of the flat, down. He included a switch nose over 270 on, 270 out, a cork 6 out of the cannon, right cork 7 tail, 270 disaster on the flat, down into a left cork 900 to switch dub 10.
Jack Strain took third with switch on, pretzel switchup on the rainbow, blind switchup disaster over the top of the trapbox, 270 on, 450 out of the cannon. Heading out of the step-up, Strain threw a rodeo 7 mute, 270 disaster on the flat, down rail into a cork 9 blunt to switch dub 10 japan. Lyman Currier landed the day's Best Trick award for a Dub 1260.
For full results, click here.