With yesterday's big mountain competition in the rear view mirror (watch the video here), the 2012 Cold Rush competition moved on to the slopestyle portion of the event. But this is no normal slopestyle event, mind you, but a slopestyle event on steroids. Forget groomed park runs, but take a big mountain zone that has burly features built into it. These hits were not for the faint of heart either, as the somewhat shrunken field took to it under a sunny sky in Silverton.
Sean Pettit just having himself a massive switch 540. p: Shay Williams
The course's start gate was situated high up on a ridge, where competitors could either hit the railroad tie rail feature or a smaller jump off to the right. If they stayed left, they hit the cornice gap jump and the most likely would hit the hip jump down lower. If they went right they'd find themselves on a step up, before coming down into the massive booter below, aptly named the castle jump. But many competitors combined the cornice gap jump to the massive booter, combining the best of both lines. The course was the brainchild of Pep Fujas and I must say it looked magnificent. The hard work definitely showed and the event went off because of it.
Collin Collins gets that tail off the castle jump. p: Erik Seo / Red Bull Content Pool
The day featured the aforementioned shrunken field because a few competitors were banged up from yesterday's big mountain comp, namely Richard Permin, Tobias Tritscher, Callum Pettit and Kye Petersen. But with 19 highly amped athletes, the contest got underway, each athlete receiving two runs this afternoon.
Reach! Pep Fujas finds fresh tracks with this backflip. p: Shay Williams
Dash Longe and Pep Fujas get the guinea award as they stomped clean runs (one on the hip, one on the castle kicker) as the first two to drop. The biggest air of the day award goes to Sean Pettit who threw a switch 540 that was so big, it seemed he'd never land. Wiley Miller opted out of the cornice kicker to throw a stylish nose butter 720 that got the crowd going, and young Leo Ahrens was the only competitor to attempt double flips today. Collin Collins and Andy Mahre both landed rodeo variations on the course while Dane Tudor probably dropped the most technical run with his 720 to switch 540 on the castle jump combo. Fabio Studer was seen putting down switch 540s like it was his job, as well.
Even the skiers more known for their hard line-charging prowess got down today. Dave Treadway threw the rarely seen front flip japan air, Rachael Burks stomped the hell out of a massive backflip in the flat light, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa was putting down tricks all over the place—as he was the only guy to hit four features this afternoon—Logan Pehota was seen hucking 720s while Jackie Paaso 360'd off the minig cart and threw a front flip off the castle jump.
Andy Mahre on the mining cart rail. p: Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool
But with all jump-based competitions, there was carnage to be had on the mountain today. Lexi Dupont and Michelle Parker couldn't quite keep their feet under them, Michelle falling victim to the cornice jump on her 360s and Lexi crashed on a backflip on the hip. Anna Segal under-rotated her flatspin a bit off the hip, too. The aforementioned Leo Ahrens wowed the crowd with his doubles, but then wowed them even more when he didn't stomp them. Collin Collins couldn't piece a whole run together, and Logan Pehota was having some issues with the step up.
Chinese downhill anyone? A free-for-all free run to end the day. p: Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool
The only real casualties of the day were Josh Bibby and Jackie Paaso. Josh lost a ski after executing a picture perfect 720, partially tweaking his knee and hip. Jackie came down earlier than the other athletes, clutching her arm/collarbone. Hopefully neither injury is too serious and both heal up fast.
The day was capped off with a free run for all the athletes. Once they were all bumped back to the top, everyone dropped in all at once for a Chinese downhill-style free run. Not a bad way to end the day.
Rachael Burks getting straight up rowdy with this backflip in the flat light. p: Shay Williams
With two great days under our collective belts here in Silverton, I've got a bit of bad news about cliff day. Last year's banger closeout to Cold Rush (the cliff day) has been cancelled due to the sketchy snow conditions that have been plaguing the entire country. While definitely a huge bummer, the number one concern of everyone is safety. So this basically wraps up the skiing portion of Cold Rush. What's left is tomorrow's video and athlete judging sessions. This is where all the athletes watch video from the past two days and vote on each other, crowning two of their own as the male and female champion. At this point anyone could take the crown, so only time will tell on who will be crowned the 2012 Cold Rush Champion.
So stay tuned for tomorrow's announcement of the winner, as well as more photos and videos that are being released by Red Bull Media House. For more information and to vote for your favorite 2012 Cold Rush athlete, visit redbullusa.com/coldrush.
Josh Bibby executing the finest style of the day. p: Shay Williams
Don't forget to tune in to the one-hour TV show airing on NBC on Saturday, March 24th at 1:00 pm EST to catch all of the action as part of the Red Bull Signature Series programming.
Locked and loaded for day 2 of Cold Rush. p: Ian Fohrman / Red Bull Content Pool