Team Blog: Subaru Freeride Series at Telluride

Randa Shahin

Photo: Jay Dash

The weather for the 2nd stop of the Subaru Freeride Series at Telluride, CO turned out to be some of the best anyone could ask for.  A storm had just cleared out and there was a solid two feet of fresh snow in areas of the resort that had been closed.  However, due to the heavy amount of snow with the increasing warming weather, a higher than normal avalanche danger was expected.  Ski patrol spent most of Wednesday bombing the hillside and getting the course open for an inspection for athletes. 

Day one’s course was fairly open with one band of rocks that could allow for technical lines. Usually the strategy to get through day one is to stay on your feet.  Eight out of thirteen women stayed on their feet but they were only taking 5 to the main event; so not only did you have to stay on your feet but you also needed to score well with your line choice and fluidity. Zoe Vernon from Mt. Baker, WA was the first to lead the group by dropping in first, and she also had the winning run. The judges were impressed by the speed she had and scored her well. Zoe is a first time competitor at these events and was really pleased with her results.  Lynn Neil a strong rider out of Utah took second; Rose Struble (Utah), third; Bronwyn Cormack (British Columbia), and Jacqui Shaffer (Washington) all made the cut for the main event.  I had just missed the cut and after speaking with the judges about my line it turns out I made some poor choices in my line and lost a lot of speed because of it.  However, the judges are really great about explain their scoring which is the majority of the battle.  I’m glad to have learned from them and hope to pick a better line at the next event.

Day two’s venue looked really fun and had good snow on it. Athletes were only allowed a visual inspection from the bottom so essentially all the athletes were going into the event blind.  The female snowboarders did an excellent job showcasing their talents. Amber Nelson took the lead with a really technical line. She had the largest drop out of the women with an amazing landing that made it look easy. Laura Dewey had a solid run down the main chute of the course and Camila Brown’s run was loaded with solid drops. The women taking the top three positions all snowboard out of Utah. Audrey Hebert (Canada) , Lynn Neil, and Brithany Thompson (Tahoe) also made the cut for the final day. 

Day three is the final day. Scores from today are added to the previous day’s scores for a cumulative total. This is why it is important to perform well on the second day as it is on the third day. The conditions on the course looked less than desirable. The riders had to come down a run that had been bombed for avalanches, so they were left with the hard layer below the fresh snow with lots of avalanche debris at the bottom of the run.  The winners for the day were really the ones that stayed on their feet.  Amber Nelson had a solid run but unfortunately was penalized heavily by the judges for a small mistake at the end of her run.  Lynn Neil had a solid run giving her the highest scored run that day but with the cumulative total from the day before she took second place. Camila Brown had a solid run that day and with her solid run from the day before she earned the top spot for the event with Laura Dewey in third place. 

I am looking forward to the next event. The camaraderie that exists between the female athletes is one that can’t be found in slopestyle events.  The women that compete at these events are truly talented athletes, and who the top riders at an event will be is hard to predict. Stay tuned for the Big Sky event. 

Rose Struble, Rebecca Stevenson, Audrey Hebert, Brithany Thompson, Randa Shahin.

Erika and I.

Day 1 Course.

Day 2 Course.

Posted by Gabby Rainville on 03/18/15

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