In late December, a variety of the best rail skiers in the East converged on Mount Snow, Vermont, for an early season competition that impressed even the most veteran spectators. Hosted just outside the brand new, multi-million dollar Carinthia Lodge and held in celebration of Carinthia Parks’ 10th Anniversary, the event—coined the Carinthia Classic—offered a $20,000 purse and an opportunity for young athletes to shine in front of a hometown crowd.
Battling rain and fog, the Carinthia Parks crew worked through the night the day before the event to get the course competition-ready. The final setup included three, kinked rails for the athletes to ride and the comp was held in a jam-style format—read: groups of athletes have 20-minute heats in which they must hike back up to the top of the course in order to drop in as many times as possible during the allotted time frame.
Amongst the athletes in attendance were some notable faces in the crowd, including Caroline Claire, who represented the United States in slopestyle events at the PyeongChang Olympics, Mac Forehand, a member of the US Ski Team and Faction Skis athlete who will be heading to his first X Games this winter and Émile Bergeron, who has made a name for himself jibbing around the streets of his hometown, Quebec, and producing video segments online with the likes of Phil Casabon.
The competition ran all day and late into the evening with the crowd barely dwindling all day. Two preliminary heats held in the afternoon funneled top performing male and female skiers into the finals, which were held under an assortment of generator-powered lights long after nightfall. Immune to the biting temperatures and strong breeze, the athletes that converged on Mount Snow for the Carinthia Classic kept things loose and styled out tricks with fervor.
If the Carinthia Classic is to prove two things, it’s that park skiing is alive and well on the East Coast and the individual skill and style it takes to get recognized in this facet of skiing continues to grow with every passing season. For more highlights from the event, keep scrolling to see a complete gallery of the qualifying rounds and finals held at Mount Snow.
Carinthia Classic Highlight Reel
Photography by Sam Taggart, Online Editor