The Subaru Freeride Series kicked off the first of four stops with great conditions in Crested Butte this weekend. The resort has seen almost two feet of new snow in the last two weeks, setting the stage for an amazing display of talent by local and visiting athletes as they attempted to earn their spots on the 2015 Freeride World Tour.
Saturday’s finals took place in the Hourglass zone of lower Third Bowl, and skier’s scores were combined with their previous day’s scores, for a final tally. The venue featured a number of technical lines and features for athletes to choose from and the women kicked things off for the second day. All put forth an impressive effort, giving the judges a tough job and bringing the final point totals for the top three finishers within a point of each other. In the end it was local skier Sydney Dickinson who came out on top after skiing a fluid run which matched her score from the previous day, and gave her a total of 138.00. She was followed closely by Pip Hunt of Jackson, WY who linked up a few nice features for a score of 137.33 and Kaitlyn Hughes, out of Utah, who ripped a fast and clean line from top to bottom for a final score of 137.00.
L to R: Hunt, Dickinson and Hughes on the podium. Photo: subarufreerideseries.com
The men’s ski division was the last category of the day so many of the lines were a little chopped up, but that didn’t stop the field of skiers from getting after them, and finding a few fresh ones. Perhaps the most impressive line of the day was skied by Crested Butte local, Tom Runcie, who made his way down the skier’s left side of the venue with swift and smooth turns that led him off a huge air at the bottom. He earned the top score for the day (89.00) which combined with his previous run for a 166.33 that landed him in second place.
Runcie en route to the white room and a second place finish. Photo: subarufreerideseries.com
George Rodney, out of Salt Lake City, also showed up with his huckin’ pants on and sent a massive air in his line that would not only earn him third place with a score of 165.00, but also the highly coveted Backcountry.com Sickbird award (and belt buckle).
And for the top spot on the podium, Montana boy Kyle Taylor built on his second place finish the day before, with an aggressive line that included multiple airs, fluid turns and great style. His efforts earned him a 167.67, a $1,500 check and bragging rights at one of North America’s permier, big mountain venues.
L to R: Runcie, Taylor and Rodney on the podium. Photo: subarufreerideseries.com
The next stop on the Subaru Freeride Series begins later this week, Feb 19-23, at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, CA.