After two weeks of heated competition in the Second Annual Ski Town Throwdown Presented by Liftopia, the top 32 ski areas have found their rightful place on the Ski Town Throwdown bracket.
The event kicked off with a huge upset--specifically, Mount Baldy, the Backscratcher Division's 16-seed, knocked out number-one seed Crystal Mountain, Washington, described by one commenter as the "best mountain in the West," in a last-minute push. Loyal Baldy fans even created a clothing line just for the occasion. (Buy your limited edition "I Voted for Mt. Baldy" T-shirts here.) The next two weeks wiped every Oregon mountain off the bracket and saw some serious California loyalty, with five Golden State areas making it to the second round.
Out East, crowd favorites Sugarloaf and Killington predictably came out on top, although well-loved Jay Peak couldn't overcome Whiteface's Olympic past and lake views. Sunday River supporters had a laugh about the snowboarding opportunities at Mad River Glen during their match-up, but still lost to the most challenging hill in the East. Bohemia is now the lone Midwest competitor in the Throwdown, and Michigan skiers are hoping the number-one seed's gritty vibe will sweep them into the Sweet 16.
Locals from Bozeman and Rossland/Nelson, the two finalists in last year's inaugural STT, came out in full force to keep Whitewater, Red Mountain, Big Sky, and Bridger Bowl in the running. Perhaps they're hoping for a repeat of last year's finals, which pitted the two towns against each other. Vancouver Island's Mount Washington from the Great White North division used the island advantage, to overtake their formidable opponent, the two-seed Kicking Horse. They will be competing against Eaglecrest in the second round, who showed true overtaking Whistler in a surprising upset. Meanwhile, favorites Grand Targhee, Telluride, and Steamboat were all taken out in the Daffy division--but with such stiff competition coming from the heart of American skiing, anything could happen.
We're looking forward to the Colorado-on-Colorado matchup of Aspen and Crested Butte, and all four of the great White North matchups should prove to be tight races--especially the meeting of the two underdogs: Eaglecrest and Mount Washington. If the first round has taught us anything, it's to expect nothing. The smallest towns and mountains are among the most fiercely supported.