What a weekend, so much to write with so little energy. Firstly, I’d like to introduce our new rider Nick Goinos, a.k.a. ‘Mick Jager’, a.k.a. ‘THE Cuban Missle Crisis’. Nick was introduced to us through a mutual friend a few years back and we’ve been trying to schedule some riding time since. Finally this weekend we put it together, starting with a 9pm-3am night session at Crotched on Friday. It was super fun, they had gotten 12″ of snow during the day and wind was minimal on the lower mountain. We met up with Adam and his cousin Christian around 10:00pm and took a few laps down the park. Lucas and I were really impressed with the terrain park they have, some pretty serious hits towards the end of the big section. We all had a great time but theres limited terrain at Crotched and we needed to get up North.
Saturday | 2:00am – we left Crotched and the journey began, another 2 hours up to Lyndonville, VT to Nick’s cabin in the woods. The cabin is located half a mile from the main road and wasn’t plowed. Our hike in at 4:30am was pretty difficult but it kept the blood flowing — the cabin is off the power grid and is heated by a wood stove so that added to the adventure. ‘Mick’ had told us he had a sled at the house but that it had broken down the last trip up there, after getting the fire started and putting our packs down we went straight into the garage and took a peek. First pull this thing started up and it was on. After we got wood together and had a little nap we took the machine for a few runs around the field and initiated the festivities. We started in on the Jagermeister, Brandy and Bud Light and stopped operating the sled all together – not riding on the 36 acre field of deep blower powder what-so-ever, no over the head powder whilst screaming at the top of my lungs going 75 mph, nada, zero. After a sweet gas powered bonfire and some deer blood we passed out — waking bright and early at 6:00am to another 3″ of new snow on the field. We packed up the gear and lapped it back to the car with the sled, onto Bolton. Below is the sunrise in Lyndonville at Nick’s pad.Nick’s first rodeo at Bolton and it was a blast, a little bit dust on crust but they were reporting an 18″ storm total since Friday morning. The whole weekend is still a blur, we already have the next trip in the makings so stay tuned.
Side Note | Andy called today – he’s back in Jackson, WY from his 13 day adventure living in a snow cave out beyond the gates at Grand Targhee. They received over 30″ of snow in one 24 hour period, but he’s making a big trip report and I’ll let him chronicle the expedition.
Alpine-live.com team rider Colin Campbell left the area just after New Years for Colorado. A Sugarloaf native, Colin has been riding Breck everyday and it definately shows in his video below. Colin mentioned that he wanted to get his doubles locked in early, competition is always heated out in CO and this year is no exception. Breckenridge has gotten over 25′ of snow this season and it’s still pounding, Colin is also a big surfer and he’s got a trip planned for SD after the season is over. Keep ’em comin’ Colin.
A little of that sunset stuff by itself. All this warm weather is making me think of summer.
February 5, 2011 | Stop 1 of the Ski The East Freeride tour is Mad River Glen, VT, setting the season off with a bang. This place breeds excellence, skiers like world class Lars Chickering Ayers grew up here, Lars won the 2010 Freeskiing World Championships at Snowbird, Utah, last March and continues to move his way up the ranks on the Tour. Mad River Glen is a gem, every ounce of the mountain demands commitment, living up to the motto “ski it if you can”. This years competition brought over 100 contestants, with many more entries than they had predicted the event started an hour early to make sure everyone got a chance to run.
Conditions were good – most of the terrain around the mountain was skiing excellently, with help from the 40 some-odd inches ULLR had delivered to Northern Vermont in the last 7 days. The course was bumped up and patchy in places but for the most part it was holding snow very well. The course also claimed it’s victims – not any serious injuries that we are aware of but there were certainly some gruesome spills on the bottom section.
It’s an outstanding venue, one for it’s hollywood bottom section but also because it’s so gosh darn long. The bottom most challenging it holds the largest cliff band on course and competitors are usually pretty gassed at this point. A lot of the terrain up above on the single chair liftline is steep and exposed but most of it has safety lines or patches that don’t require mandatory drops. This section has it’s safety exit out the skier’s left but down the center it’s got endless opportunities. Looking at it from the side or the bottom just doesn’t do it justice. It’s seriously intimidating sitting on the lift looking down, most people picked their way through the cliff band, a few competitors went big, essentially a 25′ to 30′ huck and you gotta be able to send it deep to get past the 3 stages of rock and ice. The lowest cliff band had plenty of opportunities as well, it looked like the landing was starting to wash out but some sent it big, even a few old school moves.
From our side stand outs included Luke Catlin, this guy came in 6th overall – He played it safe up top and didn’t go huge but sent the last cliff big. Luke meticulously picked his way through the cliff band like he had skied it a thousand times before, clean, controlled and stylish. This is him.
Ryan Hughes, this guy went big at the bottom but washed out in the bumpy section between cliffs, an unfortunate fall but he stylishly threw a 180 off the bottom drop. Here is Ryan.
Chris Stearns, Chris had one of the cleaner hucks through the bottom section and he certainly deserves an honorable mention. Here’s a shot of Chris and also his POV footage from the day.
POV | Chris Stearns
Collin Boyd, a competitor who finished 38 but he threw down pretty hard, we also think he stood out because we saw him in the woods after the competition picking his way through some super technical cliff lines. Here is a shot of Colin and a quick clip of him in the woods after the competition.
Alpine-Live.com | Post-Competition Hucking with Collin Boyd
Lastly, Brad Coffey – he finished one spot above Collin but his line choice towards the bottom section was super technical and he stuck it.
Our video edit from the day
Here are the top 5 finishers:
1. Carson Barbour | 103.85
2. Colby Vavolotis | 103.85
3. Andy Weis | 102.4
4. Jeremy Walker | 102
5. Brent Harrewyn | 98.1
Photography by Andy Madea – All Rights Reserved 2011
UPDATED 2-5-11 | 10:00pm I’ve skied so many days this past week they’re almost all blurred together. Friday was special though, two other bros and I sought out some secret lines we have had our eye on for a while now, just waiting for the right day. We got one hell of a workout…skins breaking, icing, falling off, frozen bindings but also long untracked gullys and steep powder lines. Once again (for the 3rd time this season?) I heard “This is the best East Coast skiing I’ve ever experienced”. Bolton Valley ladies and gentleman.
We also had a pretty awesome time today up at Mad River Glen, the Ski The East Freeride Tour was going on and everyone was throwing down huge, stoked to be up there shooting and enjoying ourselves for once, instead of skating around like maniacs trying to pounce on every ounce of powder we can. That update will be up around Wednesday as it will be available to the STE fellas first.
2-4-11 | 8:00pm — Well today was unreal. I’m gonna reserve this space for a post later on — prolly tomorrow morning. I’ll leave some photos just for a place keeper.
Alpine-Live.com photographer Andy Madea and Ryan Dunfee from SASS Global Travel crushing it.