MT. CRESTED BUTTE, CO March 27, 2004 -- Winter made its return to Crested Butte after a two week layoff for the finals of the 8th Annual U.S. Extreme Freesking Telemark Championships. The venue for the finals was held on the Headwall, an experts-only 40-degree face overlooking Paradise Bowl in Crested Butte Mountain's Extreme Limits terrain. Intermittent heavy snowfall caused low visibility for most of the day and dramatically colder temperatures than the first day of competition.
Click below for Day 1 and Final Results.
Defending champion Dylan Crossman didn't seem to mind. With his parents in town and watching with the crowd, Crossman put together two of the most exciting runs of the day, including a 40-foot air from the middle of the Headwall during his first run. He scored a 37.6 (out of a possible 50) for the highest scored run of the day to successfully defend his title from last year. "I felt pretty good. It's like East Coast conditions out there, which is where I grew up skiing (at Mad River Glen in New Hampshire), so I knew how to manage.
Crossman said he wasn't sure he was going to try a big air after his initial inspection earlier in the day until Durango, Colorado's, Chris Erickson (who finished eighth overall), launched one as the very first men's competitor.
"It's been fun today. It was a good venue for the finals, Crossman said after his second run. "But I just wanted to get it over with. I wanted to try something different for my second run. Crossman was slightly more conservative in his second effort, throwing a more reasonable air out of the rocks in Angle Gully before linking some quick turns in the moguls and airing off another rock to finish his run.
Finishing second was Nick DeVore, from Salt Lake, Utah, who launched the same air as Crossman and Erickson, but added a second launch off the lowest rock outcropping in his final run. This sent him flying beyond the soft landing section and into the bumps for a tumble, slightly lowering his score.
Crested Butte's own Mark Robbins had a tremendous final run by making the quickest run all day through the Angle Gully to vault himself into third place, while Rob Nachtwey, of Olympic Valley, California took the fourth spot.
Sarah Light had the benefit of a brief sunny sky for her first run. She took complete advantage by taking an aggressive line in the Angle Gully, with some air off the rocks at the bottom for an exciting run that helped her finish in first place.
"I feel great now that it's all done. It was definitely time for some safety skiing at the bottom, said Light after her second run, who currently lives in Fernie, B.C. "This is my second event in Crested Butte and the terrain is definitely great for competition.
Light was followed by Crested Butte's own Janae Deverell, who has competed in the Telemark and Alpine Freeskiing competitions this year. Julie Conard, Sandy, Utah, took third after taking two strong runs below the "Rabbit Ears section by launching off two different rock features. Hannah Hosch, Boulder, Colorado, rounded out the cash podium taking fourth place with a score of 72.6 points.
"It was steep an burly out here today, Deverell said. "I love the steeps and I didn't fall, so it was fun. Deverell took a line that had a few "No Fall Zones and required her to jump into Angle Gully at the beginning, which explains her desire to stay on her skis.
The junior division saw Michael Sproul, Durango, Colorado, sweep first place with a score of 74.8. The seventeen year-old took lessons at Crested Butte's Kid's World in the early 90's. "This may have been his inspiration, his mother said jokingly.
Both men and women receive the same amount in cash prizes at competitions held in Crested Butte. This year's telemark championship winners will take home $500 for first place, $400 for second, $250 for third and $100 for fourth place plus great prizes all the way to 22nd place in the men'ss division. The junior men received $100 and $75 for their first and second place finishes plus some additional prizes from our great group of sponsors.
The field was cut to the top 22 men and top 5 women for the Telemark Freeskiing Championships finals. 76 competitors tried to qualify during a much sunnier event on Friday on the Hawks Nest run in the North Face section of Crested Butte's Extreme Limits. For further information visit www.skicb.com and click on Extreme Scene, then Telemark Freeskiing Championships.