SNOWBIRD SKI AND SUMMER RESORT, UTAH (April 13, 2013)- Cold, wind and snow did not prevent several hundred screaming fans from gathering at the base of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort’s North Baldy for the final stop of the Subaru Freeride Series. Forty-six skiers advanced to the finals round out of 62 athletes from the first day of competition on Silver Fox. At the end of the day, 18-year-old Ian Borgeson out of Dillon, CO and Sasha Dingle from Bozeman, MT were crowned event champions.
“The level of athleticism we have witnessed the past three days at Snowbird has been truly incredible,” said Subaru Freeride Series Head Judge Eric Schmitz. “The finals’ conditions were particularly challenging but the skiers made it look easy with an impressive amount of skill.”
Borgeson started his winning run with a left-side 360 into the Fields of Glory and continued on to a huge air up and over the Tree Island. Then, he took a creative approach to the Blonde Rocks section of the venue with a looker’s left-to-right-side line and air, finding a smooth transition. He successfully aired off Burkes Bush and then took a looker’s left-side line into the amphitheater gapping over a bunch exposure with a smooth left-side 360 to win the event. Borgeson had a high score of 92.33 on the first day of competition combined with an 88.00 for a total combined score of 180.33.
In addition to his top podium finish, Borgeson received the coveted Sick Bird award presented by Backcountry.com. The Sick Bird is highly revered by the big mountain freeride community and is granted to skiers who challenge not only themselves but also the sport through their athletic performance. Several skiers for nominated for the 2013 Snowbird Sick Bird but Borgeson’s consistently progressive performance far outshone his competition.
In second place for the men, Conor Pelton from Olympic Valley, CA, started his run into the Fields of Glory with a smooth left-side 360 mute grab and then aggressively skied off an air on the looker’s left side of the Blonde Rocks. He continued on to the Flying Squirrel Air where he spun in the opposite direction stomping the landing of a right-side 360. He finished off his run with a huge double cliff drop in the dead center of the amphitheater. Pelton scored 87.33 on day one and 84.33 on day two for a final score of 171.67.
Hailing all the way from Montreux, SUI, Gregory Tuscher rounded out the podium in third place and a total score of 186.00. Tuscher dropped into the Fields of Glory with a smooth left-side 360, then took an across-the-fall line approach to the Tree Island where he stomped the landing on a huge back flip. Tuscher then skied down to the Blonde Rocks where he continued his freestyle display with an enormous left-side 360 up and over the rocky terrain. He finished up his run in the middle of the amphitheater with a smooth triple drop.
There was no shortage of dynamism in the women’s category as well. Sasha Dingle smoothly skied down the Fields of Glory showing great technique. Dingle then continued through the Blonde Rocks with a creative line setting herself up for the Flying Squirrel Air. She then traversed over to the far looker’s right side of the amphitheater with a nice 10-15 foot exit air showing confidence in her riding top to bottom. She earned a score of 84.33 on the finals day. Dingle also earned an impressive 91.00 on day one by becoming the second woman in Snowbird competition history to hit the very large smoke stack double which was pioneered for women by Angel Collinson. Dingle’s total score came in at 175.33.
Taking second place for the women, Francesca Pavillard-Cain out of Crested Butte, CO skied a fast fluid approaching the looker’s left side of the Blonde Rocks snaking through the vegetation hitting a mandatory exit air. She rapidly approached the amphitheater and successfully stomped a high consequence air straight to her feet. Pavillard-Cain had a total combined score of 165.67.
Hadley Hammer from Wilson, WY barely missed the second top spot with a combined score of 165.33. Hammer linked high-speed giant slalom type turns throughout the venue tackling a chute along side the Blonde Rocks into the Flying Squirrel and capping off her third place finish with an aggressive straight line through the center of the amphitheater.