All words: Laura Austin
Photos: Huggy & Peter Morning
Let me start this off by saying that if you aren't in Mammoth right now you are blowing it. Well I guess Japan or some place like that could be cool, but at the moment Mammoth is where it is at... not only did the Paul Mitchell Progression Sessions slopestyle finals at the Grand Prix go down today but it was bluebird, there is tons of snow, and plenty of snowboarding to be had. Actually maybe you aren't blowing it, stay where you are.... That just means more open terrain for us to ride between contests.
Anyway you probably clicked on this post expecting to read about the competition, so I won't waste your time. The course was groomed to perfection featuring two rails, a jump onto a crazy dancefloor box.. which made for more knuckles than a woman's aerobics class, into a line of three jumps. The second of which was coined "The Crippler" by a fellow spectator. If you didn't scrub too much of your speed before hitting this jump it seemed pretty easy to overshoot, leading to 2 broken legs and a concussion in the woman's field.
For the females Jamie Anderson dominated, taking a clear lead by throwing a solid backside 3 into the mix. Second place qualifier, and freshly turned 14-year-old, Ty Walker, may have been able to give Jamie Anderson a run for her money. Unfortunately Walker had trouble landing a clean run in the finals. The woman's podium rounded out with Danielle Adams taking second and Jamie Madrid grabbing the third place spot.
As for the men's side of the competition, it was more of a nail biter after Chas Guldemond uncharacteristically fell in the middle of his first run of finals leaving that top spot up for grabs. Stratton Mountain School's Spencer Shaw was able to hold that first place position after his first run until Chas swooped in for the final run of the day claiming that top spot with a run that included a backside rodeo, cab 900, to a 1080 on the final hit. This knocked Shaw into second place, and the third spot on the podium went to Colorado's Brett Esser. Notable mentions, for me at least, went to Chris Tierney for his incredibly smooth style and Ryan Hryckiewicz with an impressive final run that included a ridiculous back 7 Japan on the final hit. Both riders came just shy of the podium.
The winners walked away with a prize purse of $7,500 and enough Paul Mitchell hair products to make Glen Plake jealous. Saturday the halfpipe finals go down, check back later for the recap from that event.
Mammoth Grand Prix Slopestyle 2011 Results
1. Chaz Guldemond, Reno, NV, 28.00
2. Spencer Shaw, Stratton Mountain, VT, 26.10
3. Brett Esser, Silverthorne, CO, 24.40
1. Jamie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 28.00
2. Danielle Adams, Evergreen, CO, 17.20
3. Jamie Madrid, Fontana, CA, 15.70