Moonlight Basin Freeride World Tour Qualifier Venue: The Headwaters
On March 14-18 Moonlight Basin will host the Freeride World Qualifier here in Big Sky, Montana. A 4- star Subaru Freeride Series event. Athletes from all around North America will come to test their skills and compete for a coveted spot on the Freeride World Tour. Although the exact boundaries will not be disclosed until after inspection by Mountain Sports International, the Headwaters terrain is slated to be the venue for this season’s event.
Tune in here for the most up to date snow conditions, videos, and venue details.
Last Updated 3/18/13
Images and info courtesy of MSI. More event photos and video coming soon!
The results are in, and it was a close one. Coming in first overall for the women was Hadley Hammer out of Jackson Hole, WY. Hadley was the last woman to ski today and still managed to choose an original line featuring an air at the top, clean fast turns to the looker’s left side of the venue and a big air near the bottom. She skied flawlessly without hesitation throughout both days of competition earning a total combined score of 150.00.
Local Montana skier and Moonlight Basin wildcard Sasha Dingle skied a super aggressive line linking several features and a significant straight-line which positioned her on the second podium spot. She had a total combined score of 139.67. Rounding out the ladies’ podium, Katrina DeVore from Aspen, CO took third overall by executing technically strong, fast and fluid runs. DeVore’s total score was 132.00.
The men’s field was stacked with talent. An extremely narrow margin of 0.33 points separated the first and second place overall finishers. Skiing out of Vail, CO, Patty Baskins did it all. Baskins demonstrated he is a highly skilled big mountain rider and masterful freeskier. He effortlessly linked several features while introducing style elements like an off-axis 360 to his run today and a giant mute grab yesterday. Baskins’ creative style earned him the top score of 154.00.
Following Baskins closely in second place, Christian Boucher-fondly known as “Little C”- demonstrated strong intelligence with his line choice and skied a completely solid run. Boucher was awarded with a score of 153.67. In third place, Randy Evans out of Bridger Bowl, MT topped off a sweet and smooth run with a giant crowd-pleasing back flip at the bottom.
In addition to podium awards, several riders were nominated for the coveted Sick Bird presented by Backcountry.com. The Sick Bird award is highly revered by the big mountain freeride community and is granted riders who challenge not only themselves but also the sport through their athletic performance. The 2013 Moonlight Basin Sick Bird was awarded to Conner Pelton. Pelton was smooth and quick through a super exposed “billy goat” section, which lead to a big air through a straight-line. He finished his run with a styley cork-360.
The judges are still working on the results, and rightfully so. Rumor has it that it’s going to be a close one. In the meantime here are a few images curtousy of Patrick Larson of today’s action to tide you over.
The judges had their hands full with Day 1 qualifiers. The field of competitors put their heart and soul into their runs. Firm conditions did not deter many athletes from putting it on the line and rising to the challenge. Here is a quick recap of the day’s highlights. Click HERE for more images and results from FWQ.
Temps have been hovering in the upper 30′s with calm winds and overcast skies. Snow conditions have been reported as variable, with mostly buffed, chalky, carveable snow and areas of softer creamy snow and firm wind affected sastrugi. Zones I and II of the Headwaters are closed to the public until after the event. Headwaters Bowl to Firehole, and Obsidian are still open and skiing well. MSI has accessed conditions and determined the venue boundaries for day 1(see below). Ski patrol has been working hard to make improvements to the Headwaters hike in preparation for our guests. Expanded trails, switchbacks, rope lines, and additional signage have been added.
Trace of new snow in the past 24 hours, 12-24 degrees at the Headwaters lift, and WNW winds 15-45 mph. The forecast is calling for a 50% chance of snow Tuesday with a high of 24 degrees. Ski Patrol will be closing the Headwaters and Dead Goat hiking areas to the public starting Wed, March 13. MSI is scheduled to come that day to inspect and determine the boundaries for the venue. Zone Zero(Headwaters Bowl, Alder Gulch, and Cold Springs) and Obsidian will remain open. Ski Patrol has asked that skiers and riders be respectful of these boundaries and let the venue heal for our competitors. Tune in for more condition updates Tuesday afternoon.
Snowing and socked in most of the day. Weather stations reported +4″ today and 5-8″ in the past 72 hours. High of 26 degrees in the Headwaters, NW winds 5-10 mph, and a 61″ mid mountain base. Although the visibility was low, spirits were high, and conditions didn’t seem to slow many of the local FWQ hopefuls down.