The North Face Masters at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows!

By: Angela Halo Wilson

What other event awards beers and swords?!

“I am so happy for Iris!” said Casey Lucas, the second place finisher, as she hears the final results. She repeated once or twice, “I’m SO happy for Iris.” Iris Lazzareschi and Casey Lucas both are currently traveling on the Freeride World Tour, (an international big-mountain snowboarding event) which has it’s next stop in the US, at Kirkwood, California. Lucas had ended up with two 4th place finishes, while Iris had struggled to put together a clean run in the past two events in Revelstoke, BC, and Chamonix, France, leaving her off the podium. She really had been working hard on this tour, and deserved a win, at her home mountain, surrounded by friends. “It’s like making lemonade out of lemons” Iris said about the variable conditions. The smile on her face was HUGE!  The comradery in these events is always quite evident. It seems less like a contest and more like a progression session in which all the fellow competitors are really pushing and supporting each other. The judges, however, did have to rank these competitors, and boy, did they have their work cut out for them with the variable terrain.

Iris Lazz making lemonade out of lemons!

Iris Lazzareschi. As you can see, the conditions were less than ideal!

Tahoe has not been blessed by the snow gods in quite a few weeks, and the venues suffered because of it. With the adverse conditions, athletes were unable to step up to technical lines. The lack of snow left an icy slope, with lots of chunder, and even icy moguls to boot. Most of the female athletes participating in the 4* event at Squaw chose to ride the same area, with the exception of Maria DeBari who ripped down a nice chute that no other ladies stepped to in the lookers left section of the KT-22 venue. Iris had found a cliff at the top that no one seemed to notice, and stomped it. This made her run stand apart from the rest of the pack and her fast and fluid turns down the rest of the venue solidified her high score. Casey Lucas, second place finisher, stepped to the same rock, and scrubbed out, but still maintaining fast and fluid turns throughout the rest of her run. You can tell this lady has fun when she rides, this time, making the icy snow look like powder! She threw in a few ollies and airs at the bottom that upped her score and landed her in second place. Marissa Krawczak rounded out the top three with a notably awesome straight line from the top section, and maintaining her fast speed throughout the run. “I thought everyone was going to do that!” said Marissa about her straight line drop in. Nope, no one else did, and that is surely what landed her on the podium!

Marissa, getting interviewed after her run!

The “Ice Face Masters” nick name of the event became the joke of the day this year, as opposed to it’s true name and meaning. This is a contest that usually takes place in awesome conditions that allows that athletes to showcase their talent. Unfortunately Mother Nature was not feeling particularly generous and held out on giving us any fresh snow. This is also the first year of the merger of The North Face Masters of Snowboarding and the FWT, which eliminated the two additional US stops for the event, and named the event as a Freeride World Tour Qualifier 4* at Squaw, and 2* at Alpine Meadows. This will allow the top 1-2 FWQ ranked females from the Americas to join the Freeride World Tour event next year. Marissa Krawczak, who placed third at the Squaw event last Friday has a very good chance as she placed directly behind Lazzareschi, and Lucas who are already on the tour. There are also quite a few other riders out there who will be trying to take that spot. Rosemarie Daiek, is such a charger and had a beautiful bottom section of the course, doing a small, but fast double rock drop, securing the 4th place spot. Mary Boddington tied with Rose for 4th place, and had won 1st place the previous day at the Alpine Meadows 2* event which puts her in the lead for FWQ points. Anything could happen throughout the rest of the season to determine who will take the coveted spot on the FWT. The next FWQ event is the Salomon Freeride Extreme Championships, in Taos, NM February 27- March 2, the same time a FWT event will be taking place in Kirkwood, CA. I will be competing and covering the event in Taos, so stay tuned for coverage!

Maria DeBari at the finish line, after pioneering a chute that no other ladies attempted!

The North Face Masters 4* event at Squaw Valley CA
Final Results for Friday, February 15, 2013
1. Iris Lazzareschi   85.00
2. Casey Lucas       75.67
3. Marissa Krawczak 71.00
4. Rosemarie Daiek   68.33
5. Mary Boddington   68.33
6. Lizzy Beerman     67.33
7. Maria DeBari       66.33
8. Claudia LaFlamme 63.67
9. Anna Weber       62.00
10. Tiffany Noel       59.67
11. Camila Brown     59.33
12. Kaitlin Elliot       57.33
13. Michelle Shea     53.33
14. Brithany Thomson50.00
15. Tess Carney     45.33
16. Rose Struble     41.00

The North Face Masters 2* at Alpine Meadows
1. Mary Boddington   86.00
2. Claudia Laflamme 83.00
3. Lizzy Beerman     68.33
4. Marissa Krawczak 61.00
5. Tiffany Noel       58.00
6. Kaitlin Elliot       55.00
7. Brithany Thomson 52.33
8. Rosemarie Daiek   51.67
9. Sarris McComb   48.00
10. Tess Carney     45.33
11. Anna Weber     44.33
12. Michelle Shea   43.33
13. Sarah Denner     42.00
14. Camila Brown     41.67
15. Darby Ask       40.33
16. Rose Struble     36.33
17. Emily Weer       30.33
18. Sarah Jann       16.00

Unknown rider at the Alpine Meadows FWQ 2* event.

Beautiful view of Lake Tahoe from Alpine Meadows

Posted by on 02/17


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