Photos courtesy A. Jimmerson/TheNorthFacePPOS.com. Click to view full screen and captions.
Julia Krass and Scott Nelson took home the top honors at the last stop of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS) at Heavenly Mountain. Krass, a member of the United States Olympic slopestyle team and native of Hanover, NH, scored a 94.00 on her second run, which consisted of a lipside on the down rail, a right cork 720 tail grab, then a left cork 720 off the next air, followed by a left blind 270 off the canon rail and a front switch on the down box. Jackie Kling, of Philadelphia, PA, took second while Angel Fire, NM’s Nadia Gonzales came home with a third place finish.
On the men’s side, Darien, CT-native Scott Nelson took home top honors, thanks to a run that consisted of switch 270-on and pretzel on the down rail, followed by a right double underflip 900 reverse mute and a switch left 900 mute grab. On the bottom rail section Nelson began with a blind 810 out of the canon rail and switch right 270-on into the second down section of the quad kink, earning Nelson a score of 92.00.
In second place was Incline Village, NV’s Carson LeHouillier, and third place went to Jonah Williams of Ogden, UT.
Press Release, Heavenly Mountain Resort, California, March 15, 2014:
The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series presented by Nissan (PPOS) 2014 season concluded Saturday, March 15 with slopestyle finals in the Ante Up Park at Heavenly Mountain Resort. The roster included both well-established and up-and-coming athletes. Competitors approached the course with renewed vigor after very special guest appearances by Olympic Gold Medalists Maddie Bowman and David Wise the prior day. In the end, Scott Nelson of Darien, CT and Olympian Julia Krass of Hanover, NH earned the top spots on their respective podiums. Top athletes were awarded prize money from a $17,500 purse and AFP Gold Level points.
The women kicked off the day on the fast and sunny course overlooking the azure waters of spectacular Lake Tahoe. Julia Krass’s post-Olympic confidence was evident as she posted the top two scores of the day-91.33 on her first run and 94.00 on the second. Her second run included a lipside on the down rail, a right cork 720 tail grab off the first jump followed by a left cork 720 off the next air. She then moved onto a super progressive left blind 270 off the canon rail and a front swap on the down box.
“This was a super fun event. The weather was perfect,” said Julia Krass, “All the ladies were really laying down some solid runs as well.”
Coming off a win at the Stratton Mountain Resort PPOS stop, Jackie Kling, from the Philadelphia, PA area, managed second place. Kling’s best run started with a left 720 onto the down rail. Her first air was a solid left rodeo 540 with a Japan grab followed by a switch 180. She linked creative tricks together on the bottom two features earning a score of 86.33.
In third place, Nadia Gonzales of Angel Fire, NM started with a right 720 on the down rail, a switch left 540 on her first air followed by a left 360 critical and precise technique on the bottom rail section. Gonzales’ score was 80.00. Also notable, Taylor Lundquist, who came in fourth place, absolutely crushed a front 450 off the canon rail near the bottom of the course, which really impressed the judges.
“Today was a great event at Heavenly Mountain Resort,” commented Head PPOS Judge Mike Laroche. “Judging was a difficult task with such high level performances executed by so many of the athletes. The smallest details were analyzed to separate the competition. The course also required athletes to diversify their rail tricks in order to make it on the podium.”
In the men’s competition, Scott Nelson started his best run with switch left tails 270 and pretzel to forward on the down rail. Nelson then launched into a right double underflip 900 rev-mute and a switch left 900 mute grab. His bottom rail section started with a blind 810 out of the canon rail and switch right tails 270 into the second down of the quad kink. The judges applauded Nelson’s dynamic run with a 92.00.
“I was really happy with my run today,” exclaimed Nelson. “It has been a great season for me so far and I am looking forward to a few competitions still remaining.”
There was a tight race for the remaining podium spots with four skiers, Carson LeHouillier, Jonah Williams, Tim Ryan and Kolby Ward, all earning scores within less than a two point range. LeHouillier of Incline Village, NV took men’s second place by starting his run with a left 900 double seatbelt Japan grab on his first air followed by a switch right 900 mute grab. He then continued to a left blind 630 truck out and a left 450 disaster on the drop rail. LeHouillier’s score was 89.33.
Rounding out the podium in third place, Jonah William’s, from Ogden, UT, hit a switch lipside blind 270 on the down rail. His first air featured a right 720 stalefish and a switch left misty 10-mute grab on his second. On the bottom rail section, William’s managed a switch right 720 continuing to a 450 out. Then, he maneuvered a switch lipside into the second down of the quad kink with a gap to switch. The judges were also extremely pleased to see Tim Ryan’s switch tails 270 continuing 270.
This event marks the fourth and final stop of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series presented by Nissan. Founded in 2010, PPOS is a freeskiing tour featuring slopestyle, halfpipe, big air and rail jam skiing competitions. As one of the only open-format event series, amateurs have the opportunity to compete alongside top pros.
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