This past weekend, Mount Snow played host to the third and final stop of the Paul Mitchell Opens Freeski Tour. Mother nature was reaping havoc on the east coast this week, torrential downpours and grey skies plagued the days prior to the competition, instilling doubt and fear that the course would resemble a bobsled track. Thankfully the day before the comp saw low temperatures, 6 inches of snow leading into 4 straight days of bluebird skies and temperatures in the mid 30’s. In other words, mother nature hit the reboot button and everything came out just fine. The course softened up, the Mount Snow park crew with the assistance of Scott Hibbert got in some quality cat time and threw down one of the best slopestyle courses the east has ever seen. Jumps were huge, rails were burly and the course allowed for riders to dig deep into their bag of tricks to pull out all the stops. There would be no excuses, nobody could blame the course. Things were shaping up to go off!
Competitors from all around the globe were in the house for the Mount Snow Open. Ski academies like Carabassett Valley Academy, Mount Snow Acadeny and Okemo Mountain School made the trek in with their students and Mount Snow locals like Chris and Devin Logan were in attendance to put a hurtin’ on this slope course.
Riders continually stepped up their game in the open jam format of the qualifier. Maybe everybody was jacked up on mass amount of Easter candy or were just feeling the sunshine and nice temperatures. Anyhoo, the crowd was entertained with the massive jumps on the course, switch 1080’s, double front flips, double backflips and my personal favorite the switch backflip. The highlight of the flip brigade had to be with Parker White, he rolled up to the last jump of the course (easily 50-60 feet with plenty of pop) and threw a double rocket air front flip that was so tweaked out the tips of his skis touched the back of his neck.
Let’s talk about the ladies. First up, they continue to up their game. The slopestyle course had no small jumps and the gals didn’t seem to have any problems with this. Keri Herman was stomping her patented cork 5 high mutes while Dania Assaly turned on the hot sauce with a gigantic 900 over the final and largest jump in the course. Big ups!
Keri Herman, greasing the rail portion of the course. (Photo: Henrik Lampert)
During the lunch break, the crowd gathered to marvel Henrik Lampert’s latest haircut concoction, the Tony Hawk. It’s essentially a mohawk made out of “TONY”. His goal is to get the Birdman himself to sign a picture of it. Thankfully, through a friend of a friend it looks like his dreams will become a reality.
After slamming down some hotdogs, chili and deep friend Twinkies the finalists were announced for the afternoon and everyone got to work on their 2 run finals. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t witness any doubles in the afternoon. Riders opted for smooth and technical runs which were sweeter than anything the Easter Bunny could deliver.
Sunday River’s very own Shay Flynn oozes style and tweaks the hell out of his grabs. Effortless style, plenty of spins. Look for enormous things from this young gentlemen.
Taylor Felton is a rodeo machine. Here he is strutting his stuff off of the final jump. He makes this look effortless with his smooth spins and spending plenty of time grabbing.
Other notable performances from the day include, Giray Dadali who was celebrating a big weekend with Under Armour adding him to their apparel team. Giray was slaying the rail portion of the course (not a big surprise) and was laying down his patented brand of tweaked grabs. His efforts earned him 3rd spot on the podium.
Photo: Henrik Lampert
Rounding out 2nd was local hero, Chris Logan. Chris hails from a legendary family of rippers, his brother Sean and sister Devin are known rippers. Chris had a cheering section for the event and was no stranger to the course layout. This was apparent in his switch tricks and clean style.
Our winner, Kolby Ward hails from the beautiful town of Telluride, CO and was stoked to claim top spot in a competition that truly was difficult to judge due to the enormous amount of talent. Kolby is flying back to Colorado heavier than when he arrived, the $2,000 in his pocket is sure to be causing a bit of a gangster lean.
Digi Dave interviews Kolby after his big win. (Photo: Henrik Lampert)
1. Kolby Ward
2. Chris Logan
3. Giray Dadali
4. Parker White
4. (Tie)Christopher Laker
6. AJ Burton
7. Nick Martini
8. Max Peters
9. Tyler Thistle
10. Joss Christensen
1. Keri Herman
2. Jen Hirsch
3. Dania Assaly
4. Veronica Kelly
5. Devin Logan
Personally, I’d like to thank everyone involved in the Opens Freeski Tour and give some love to the folks at Revolution for putting on an amazing series of events. We started it all off at the North American Open, headed to Big Bear and finished strong at Mount Snow. The open format, easy registration, free lunch and positive vibe is a breath of fresh air for the comp circuit. I feel proud and privileged to be part of such a great event series and can’t wait until next year.
Also, much love to the riders for coming out to each stop and throwing down. Without you guys this wouldn’t be possible and I applaud you for all the hard work you’re doing to progress the sport and push it to boundaries never before seen.
If you’re back east, be sure to head over to Mount Snow. They’re leaving the course up until they close for the season. It is (from what I’ve been told) the best park in the east right now. Also be sure to show some love to the park staff if you happen to spot them.
Let’s finish the story up strong with a solid piece of video. I give you, Henrik Lampert’s “Tony Hawk” haircut.