Clif Dimon, Susan Mol defend home hill
Local riders defended their home hill at the North Face Masters of Snowboarding on Friday and Saturday, February 13-14, with Clif Dimon and Susan Mol taking the men’s and women’s titles and three local men and two local women finishing in the money spots.
Eighty-three snowboarders lined up on the Headwall Friday for a shot to qualify for the finals. Crested Butte Mountain Resort agreed to shut the venue down the day before the event, so riders were treated to fresh snow and soft conditions.
With line choice a significant part of the scoring, riders were relegated to the Angle Chute as their optimal route, turning Angle Chute into Angle Quarry as more and more rocks were exposed as the day proceeded.
Local rider and first time competitor Mary Boddington charged her way onto the big mountain snowboarding scene. Boddington posted the top score on the first day on Headwall to enter the finals day with the attention of both fans and judges.
Brandon Reid, also of Crested Butte, kicked off the men’s field as the first competitor and set a score too hot to touch, leaving him in the top spot at the end of the day.
In the end 11 women and 28 men advanced to the finals day, to be held in the Staircase area, with day one scores erased and everyone starting back at zero.
Dimon had a plan heading into the final day of the competition on Saturday.
Bomb down through Body Bag before sizing up a double drop off of Hamburger Rock.
That soon changed though, once he completed his course inspection.
“I went up in the morning thinking I was going to double it but the landing looked good,” says Dimon.
As a result, Dimon decided to follow his first plan but tweak it with a front flip off of the top of Hamburger Rock.
Remarkably, his effort was not nearly enough as he found himself with the second best score after the first round behind Matt Annetts out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
So, Dimon cleaned it up for his second run of the day, the Super Final.
“I decided to just go really fast and stick the front flip,” says Dimon.
This time, his effort paid off as Dimon edged out the win with a score just .34 points higher than Annetts to win his second Ninja sword in as many years and a check for $3,500.
Mol opted to adjust her style for the finals to appease the judges and it paid off. Mol admits she is more of a “billy-goat” style of rider, picking her way through the toughest line possible. But the judges factor in fluidity and air as well and Mol decided it was time to make a change with bigger, cleaner airs.
“I wanted to try and go a little bigger and stick the landings,” says Mol. “It all worked out exactly as planned, I was psyched.”
Mol won her second Ninja sword and a check for $3,500 as well.
On her first run of the finals day, Boddington sliced in, out and over Slot Rocks to post a high enough score on her first of two runs to finish in second place overall, earning her a silver plate and $2,000.
“I had my first run completely mapped out and just charged it,” says Boddington.
In addition, Boddington won the North Face Young Gun award, given to the top rider of the weekend, male and female, 25 years old and younger.
Other notable results came from Gareth Van Dyk and Kyle Anderson. Van Dyk barely made the cut for the super final qualifying as the 15th rider out of 15 to make it through, while Anderson was in 12th place after his first run.
Both stepped it up in their last run of the competition with fluid runs through the steeper portions of Body Bag to push their way into the top five with Van Dyk taking fourth place and $750 and Anderson coming in fifth place for a $250 pay day.
“I just headed back to where I’d gone before but to the right where it’s a little steeper,” says Van Dyk. “I was able to link it up and it all worked out.”
With a fifth-place finish at the first stop of the North Face Masters tour at Snowbird and a first-place finish here, Dimon is now in second place in the overall points series. Mol moved her way into first place overall with a third-place finish in Snowbird and a first-place finish here.
The final stop of the tour is at Kirkwood, California March 5-8.