Henrik Harlaut and Michelle Parker win the Aspen/Snowmass Open Slopestyle

Henrik Harlaut and Michelle Parker win the Aspen/Snowmass Open Slopestyle

This SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY, the Aspen/Snowmass Open concluded, closing the books on a successful open competition. Today the men and women were put through the rigors of semi-finals as well as finals, as we crowned two new champions. On the men’s side, Swedish slayer Henrik Harlaut could not be stopped on his way to the top, and on the women’s side, Tahoe native Michelle Parker took the slopestyle course and ate it for lunch. As Luke Van Valin aptly put, “today, ain’t nobody that good.” [as Harlaut and Parker].

During the morning practice, the sun was shining, yet again proving the haters wrong over at the Weather Channel. But just before the women’s semi-finals were about to start, our weather karma ran out and the flat light and the wind were a nuisance for the remainder of the day. But nonetheless, the competition, on both genders, were kicked up a notch and the action in the finals was absolutely mind-bottling.

Paying homage to the old adage “ladies first,” the women’s finals got underway first this afternoon. All the women stepped it up, dropping more 360s, 540s and 720s than you could shake a stick at. Aspenite Whitney Wickes blasted through the course, kicking up the 720 factor to take home 3rd place. Kristi Leskinen, styled her 360s and 720s on the way to her 2nd place finish. But in the end it was Michelle Parker, whipping the canon box, bumping a giant 720 and ending with a pimp 540, who took home the top spot and that sweet moolah. Parker, who was an alternate for the X Games slopestyle, blew away the judges and spectators and probably made a few new potential suitors in her conquest today.

And then there were the men. The finals were action packed; newcomers like McRae Williams and Chris Laker rubbed shoulders with established park slayers like Tom Wallisch, LJ Strenio and Joe “Cheeseburger” Schuster. Breckenridge teen heartthrob and Tiger Beat pin-up Bobby Brown took third place with a multitude of tricks, including a rodeo of the snow box, a switch rodeo off the cannon box, a pimpy cork 900 and a switch “wobble corked” 1080 on the “money booter.” In 2nd it was Alex Schlopy, who was slaying all day, who put down a switch 1260 on the final jump that was so clean and perfect that people in the crowd literally started weeping. But in the end, it could only be Henrik Harlaut, who was clean, stylish and technical. A switch cork 540 off the snow box, 810 off the cannon, to a switch 900, right 540 and switch 1440 jump combination that invaded the judges mind with such force that Harlaut had to be on top.

Other notables today include: LJ Strenio stomping a switch double flip 1080, Alexis Godbout going ludicrously large on his final switch 900, Keri Herman’s cork 360 that made most men feel less manly, and Luke Van Valin’s valiant announcing effort despite having celebrated his birthday the night before.

And as another successful competition is in the books, we can only look forward to the next event, reminiscing on all the good times, sunshine and incredible riding that was provided here at the 2009 Aspen/Snowmass Open presented by Audi at Buttermilk Mountain.

Men’s Finals Results

1) Henrik Harlaut
2) Alex Schlopy
3) Bobby Brown
4) LJ Strenio
5) McRae Williams
6) Tom Wallisch
7) Chris Laker
8) Alexis Godbout
9) Joe Schuster
10) Vincent Gagnier

Women’s Finals Results

1) Michelle Parker
2) Kristi Leskinen
3) Whitney Wickes
4) Keri Herman
5) Siena Palmacci
6) Meg Olenick
7) Kristi Johns
8) Devin Logan
9) Jennifer Hirsch
10) Maddie Bowman

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