Don't underestimate Final Four Contender Eaglecrest, Jimmy, or Cinderella and her pumpkin sleigh ride. PHOTO: Sarah Cannard

Don’t underestimate Final Four Contender Eaglecrest, Jimmy, or Cinderella and her pumpkin sleigh ride. PHOTO: Sarah Cannard

Eaglecrest, AK (10) vs Mount Bohemia, MI (1)

And then there were four. As we take a moment to reflect on the last few weeks of competition, I have to admit, much like the ending of The Sixth Sense, I did not see this one coming. Mount Bohemia versus Eaglecrest, two small areas that socked the big boys right in the kisser and stole our hearts along the way. Unfortunately one of these acts must come to a close, and it’s up to voters to decide who gets the curtains.

Mount Bohemia was the least celebrated one-seed in the tournament, but my how the tables have turned. While the rest of top seeds are home charging their GoPro’s, the Upper Peninsula powder crushers are looking at history. No one-seed has ever won the Ski Town Throwdown, but after squeezing past East Coast favorite Mad River Glen, the mighty Michigan contingent is in position to do just that.

In their way stands Eaglecrest—the little mountain that could. We all knew that Eaglecrest was legit when they knocked off Kicking Horse and reigning champ Red Mountain, but when Alaska Governor Sean Parnell started hyping up Eaglecrest on Facebook s%#t got real. Suddenly the little Juneau resort was celeb status, using that momentum to outduel powder juggernaut Revelstoke. Now the hearty Alaskan crew has its eyes on the finals and a shot at Ski Town immortality. The dogs are cued up and Little Timmy has his pumpkin chariot ready to roll, and I have to tell you, Eaglecrest is one Cinderella sled I wouldn’t want to mess with.

Crested Butte, CO(15) vs Stevens Pass, WA(12)
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Not even Gnarstradamus could have predicted that after four rounds of brutal matchups we’d find 12-seed Stevens Pass and 15-seed Crested Butte on the brink of ski town history. But here we are, a month and a half later and 60 ski towns lighter, with the Cascades squaring off against the Rockies, a chance at a Ski Town Throwdown finals berth on the line. Hold onto your saddle Lucy, we’re in for a wild ride.

Stevens Pass put Kirkwood to bed last round, ending any hope of a Tahoe champion and reaffirming the Northwest’s dominance over anything Californian (yes, even you, 49ers). Seattle may not be the most excitable bunch, but they are down with the Stevens movement, using electronic devices we’ve never even heard of to cast votes and rally support. As if that weren’t enough, initial reports say Sasquatch has been walking door to door in the North Cascades urging people to vote in via satellite telephone. You just can’t teach that guys.

But I’ll bet a Teocalli Tamale margarita that the folks in Crested Butte aren’t about to roll over in this one. With over 5,000 votes in the last round alone, CB is top shelf material. Maybe it’s hometown pride, or maybe it’s altitude-induced delusion, but the small Colorado ski town refuses to lose, blowing away competition throughout the tournament. Look for Crested Butte to turn up the burners in this one and remind the Stevens select once and for all that if you can’t handle the heat, you best get out of the kitchen.