Aspen/Snowmass Open Superpipe Qualifiers Went off

Aspen/Snowmass Open Superpipe Qualifiers Went off

Blessed with yet another day of sunshine, the first official day of competition went down at the Aspen/Snowmass Open today. Halfpipe enthusiasts rejoice, as today was dedicated solely to the skiers of the stunt ditch.


The name of the game today was qualifiers. With upwards of almost 100 competitors that were broken into four separate heats, it made for a long day of non-stop pipe spills, thrills and chills. The top seven scores from each heat, as well as the next highest five scores from all combined competitors would make it into tomorrow’s semi-finals.

While the 22-ft walls may have deterred a bit of the amplitude from some competitors, it certainly did not stop them from hucking and throwing impressive tricks. Not used to a pipe of this magnitude or length, some competitors got nine or ten hits, a far cry from Simon Dumont’s five monster hits at X Games. But what lifted everyone’s spirits was the soothing voice of Luke Van Valin permeating the air for all to enjoy.


The established pipe names all performed: Lyndon Sheehan went huge, Taylor Seaton was creative, Walter “Furbinator” Woods spun like a top, Byron Wells skied flawlessly, and Matt Philippi skied like he was never hurt. Some new names cracked the top spots, including Deep-V wearing Banks Gilberti, Slopestyle killer LJ Strenio, 13-yr old Beau Wells, Mike Mertion and Andre Simonpietri. Rumor of Chuck Norris (or his twin) was floating around. He had apparently been seen coaching and giving kids advice on their pipe run.

The sun held out for most of the day, but the sky did milk over at the end of the day. Hopefully the inevitable weather will be mild and allow for a positive competition environment tomorrow. No one likes to throw right 900s in the snow.

Although today separated the men from the boys, tomorrow will surely separate the tan pimps from the men, so stay tuned for even more pipe action, with men’s and women’s semi-finals and finals coming at your face tomorrow.

Heat 1 Qualified:

1) David Wise
2) Andre Simonpietri
3) Luke Kary
4) Tyler Peterson
5) LJ Strenio
6) Lyndon Sheehan
7) Simon D’Artois

Heat 2 Qualified:

1) Byron Wells
2) Derek Spong
3) Clayton Vila
4) Gus Kenworthy
5) Evan Schwartz
6) Colby Albino
7) Sandy Boville

Heat 3 Qualified:

1) Mike Mertion
2) Matt Philippi
3) Nathan Wood
4) Dane Ulsifer
5) Mitchell Strasser
6) Billy Mann
7) Tyler Thistle

Heat 4 Qualified:

1) Walter Wood
2) Taylor Seaton
3) Beau Wells
4) Banks Gilberti
5) Zach Harbison
6) Patrick Baskins
7) Ryan Howsley

Last Chance Qualified:

1) Colin Campbell
2) Oscar Harlaut
3) Cam Schuster
4) Hans Wiener
5) Jon Anders Lindstad

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