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Local riders shine on steeps

Defend home hill with authority

By Will Dujardin, westelkproject.com

What a weekend at the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) Regional event at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

Twenty-six Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team (CBMST) members registered for the event with a handful of strong local skiers and riders as well. Ninety-three athletes descended on the famed Headwall and Sock-it-to-me Ridge venues, trying to build their line score and impress the judges with fast, technical skiing and riding.

On Saturday, February 4 the action started off on Headwall with the majority of skiers and snowboarders taking on the Angle Gully.

For a lot of local athletes in the U12 division, this was their first rodeo and they did not disappoint. Local boy Tor Hudson was able to take an early lead with a strong run between Box Rock and Angle Gully. CBMST’s Aiya Schwartz hit some features and skied the Powder 8 gully to slot herself in second place, with her teammates Mia Haverkampf and Meadow Vaughn not far behind in fifth and sixth, respectively.

The 12-14 contingents of male and female skiers and snowboarders were throwing down lines that were competitive with their older counterparts. Dagan Schwartz, the CBMST’s lone snowboarder in competition, put a line down the Angle Gully that would compete with the adults who are coming to town this weekend for the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) series.

Brooks Hudson led the local charge in the 12-14 boys ski division with an awesome combo of Pankey’s Pocket, Box Rock and Hollywood to take first on the day.

CBMST athletes Kye Matlock, Seve Petersen, Marko Alling, Carson Hildebrandt, and Holden Bradford all had similar lines down Angle Gully with strong airs out the bottom to finish in second, third, fourth, sixth and eighth place, respectively. Cooper Wight made the finals as well in 11th place, while local independent athletes Charlie Cox and Jacob Bernholtz also threw down strong lines to finish in sixth and 17th, respectively.

On the female side of things, Avery Bernholtz had a super fluid line down Angle for third place, matched by her friendly Taos rivals Charlie Ulrich in second and Pippin Katalevsky in first. Ella Haverkampf powered her way into fifth place and Emma Jean Lovett qualified for finals in her first competition, in eighth place.

Not to be outdone by their younger counterparts, the 15-18 ski men had their work cut out for them. Turner Petersen led the charge with a powerful double out of Angle Gully that put him in first place on the day.

His CBMST teammate, Jon Clay Patterson was right behind him in second. Following his strong third place at Telluride a couple of weeks ago, Dylan Alagna slotted himself into sixth place with the popular big exit out of Angle Gully—with telemark bindings, no less.

The venue moved to Sock-it-to-me Ridge for finals and the athletes did not disappoint. With the majority of athletes choosing between Little Hourglass and Cesspool, the local familiarity with the terrain continued to shine as the cumulative score from both days would determine the final rankings. The U12 athletes held it down with Aiya Schwartz holding on to second place for the event and Mia Haverkampf and Meadow Vaughn maintaining in fifth and sixth places, respectively.

On the boys side of things, CBMST members Navin Federico and Nikolas Beukelman moved up to ninth and sixth places, respectively, while local independent Tor Hudson held on to first place, despite a strong attempt by regional competition from Winter Park, Breckenridge, Aspen, and Taos to dislodge him.

The 12-14 divisions kept up their strong skiing and had the chance to take on Little Hourglass if they chose to do so. Dagan Schwartz played it smart and greased Cesspool to take the win after his second- and third-place snowboard competition had some control issues.

Avery Bernholtz made some moves and made Little Hourglass look like a groomer to move up from third place to first place, edging out Pippin Katalevsky.

Ella Haverkampf skied Cesspool very fluidly to hold on to fifth place while Emma Jean Lovett slipped to ninth amid the strong regional competition.

Eager to throw down in Little Hourglass, the 12-14 boys took the momentum from Headwall and slayed in the finals.

Brooks Hudson held on to first place, greasing Little Hourglass and edging out Kye Matlock by .34 overall. The Crested Butte boys dominated the top 10 with Seve Petersen in third, Marko Alling fourth, Carson Hildebrandt in sixth, Charlie Cox in seventh, and Holden Bradford in eighth. Cooper Wight finished up in 12th and Jacob Bernholtz in 18th.

When the 15-18 year old ski men stepped up to the plate, the crowd knew action was going to go down as most of the spectators shifted towards viewing little Hourglass. There were no crashes in the finals for this division, as local athlete Owen Berv moved up a spot to 12th.

The CBMST athletes used their knowledge of Little Hourglass to post some strong scores; Dylan Alagna had third-best score in the finals to move up to fourth place. Jon Clay Patterson went absolutely huge off of the Smokestack in Little Hourglass and managed to get held up by a snow snake in the run-out so he maintained second and was unable to catch his teammate, Turner Petersen. Turner’s run extrapolated on the popular double through the choke in Little Hourglass with a higher first take off.

Team Summit’s Adam Strassburger deserves some recognition with the highest score of the day to put him in fifth place and Steamboat’s Bryan Gilbertson had the second best score to move up to third place.

When you run 25 athletes in an event of 93 and 17 athletes get top 10 results, you’re going to be stoked. A big shout-out goes to the Crested Butte Mountain Resort  events crew and Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol for running an outstanding event. The CBMST is next heading to Taos, N.M. this week for a Regional and National event combo.

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