5) Aggressiveness/Attack: Aggressiveness is
rewarded, and this is another area where air may contribute to
the score, but the skiers must be in control. Skiers are timed.
6) Time Limits: skiers must cross the finish
line within the time limit and with both their skis. All skiers
must complete two runs to finish.
Skiers placed according to their combined scores
on all three runs. There is some controversy about whether this
method is best, or if it is better to choose the winner based
solely on the last run. The latter method might make it easier
for spectators to pick the clear winner. The former method probably
chooses the best and most consistent all around skier.
Before I get to the winners I want to mention
some skiers who caught my eye on Sunday for special qualities
of their runs. Sarah Clemenson of Logan, Utah, was the first
woman in either of this season's Brighton comps (there was a
WTA comp there in January) to take a very difficult line on the
lower mountain, a diagonal chute about one ski width wide through
the middle of a cliff. You could jump off the cliff at several
points, or ski down a narrow curving tongue of snow and out onto
the apron. Sarah skied the tongue. A number of skiers took that
line after her.
Mike Moore. Photos by John Lee
Andy Hunter Photo by John Lee.....
A guy from Mammoth CA, (whose name I couldnt
find) took a unique line skiers left on the lower mountain,
and lept off an enormous cliff called Killer near
the bottom. He also exhibited a tight, low, in-the-fall-line
The skier with the highest score on Sunday,
Andy Hunter, skied with one pole because he has a partially paralyzed
right hand. To ski with one pole you really have to be balanced
on your skis. You cannot depend on using your poles to recover.
Andys skiing was fast and consistent, and he took big air
despite his injury.
And from my notes on one of the forerunners:
Long pause getting out of Elevator shaft. Must have been
inspired by the music: danced down the hill with some on-snow
I took notes on all the skiers as they skied
in the finals. Since there has been some discussion of why the
winners scored high, Ill include my notes on their runs.
In the Mens division:
5th) Dan Gilchrist: Tough line, skied
a very rocky area at the top; a stylish skier, great turns, jumped
back into view over the little lip (mid mountain), little air,
one fall at bottom.
4th) Scott Bradley: Big air, really
nice beautiful tele-heli, hardly looked tired at the end.
3rd) BJ Brewer: Ripped through the rocks
at the top, tight quick turns and makes it look easy!
2nd) Mike Roddey: Difficult line, strong,
good jumps including off Sarah Clemensons line through
cliffs (see description above), a couple falls.
1st) Stuart Kellermeyer: Notably aggressive
and fast, but could also be in control (on a little spine before
he jumped) A couple of falls quickly recovered.
What I like to look for while watching the
competitors is that the skier stays in the fall line, body facing
downhill, quiet upper body, hands usually down and in front.
I like to see the skier making fluid, linked turns, whether they
are long or short, fast or slow. A competitor who does these
things can make a tough, steep line and difficult snow look easy.
Just thinking about it makes me want to go out and ski.
The women: There were 3 who received scores
for all three runs, so Ill just mention them:
3rd Kelly Bishop: Good, workmanly run.
One small air, one fall.
2nd Molly Doumas: Jump turns in narrow
top chute, 2 falls, smooth, strong skiing.
1st Leslie Ross: A clean, difficult
run. No falls. Excellent, small turns. She looked tired at the
end from giving it her all.
The awards ceremony after the competition
was quite an event in itself. Dozens of fit looking skiers filled
what seemed to be a biker bar at the mouth of Big Cottonwood
Canyon. They wandered about eating and drinking and talking to
their friends amid a scattering of bikers in leather. Besides
the awards for the winners there were lots of smaller prizes
for the other skiers, and some really small items like ski leashes
were thrown in too.
It was nice to see some sponsorship for the
competitors. Leslie Ross is sponsored by Tua, Cliff Bar, Patagonia,
Garmont, Smith and Life Link. Molly Doumas is sponsored by Alta,
Isis, and Boeri. Mike Roddey is sponsored by Voile and Scott
Bradley is sponsored by Nordica and Leedom. There were many other
sponsored skiers too. It does seem like its an advantage
to be a beautiful tele babe though, doesnt it? Can I say
that? As a buyer of tele and other ski equipment, Id love
to see these companies use the tele free skiers they sponsor
in their ad campaigns.
Jeff Wright did a terrific job, as always,
of announcing during the competition. He helped the audience
keep the skiers in view, which was not easy, and his comments
about the terrain and what the competitors were doing helped
us appreciate their skiing. Jeff works very hard at these events,
out front as well as behind the scene and he deserves a lot of
credit for their success.
The judges were Lori Stahler, former USTSA
team member and Wasatch Telemark Womens Day organizer;
Ray Jesses, USTSA VP, former bump competitor and long time teleier;
Tres Waangsgaurd, former bump competitor; Russ Warner, long-time
Wasatch Telemark volunteer and judge of all our free skiing and
bump events; and Dawn Cardinale, Snowbird local, competitor in
IFSA free skiing events on pins and competitor in many USTSA
events. Brian Maffly covered the event very nicely for the Salt Lake Tribune (see Mon.
March 19) . Its great to see coverage telemark and tele
free skiing in the mainstream press.
May your turns be long!
Linda Peer, the author of this article,
an SLC based ripper herself, can be reached at email@example.com
Telemarktips.com would like to thank the Wasatch Telemark Association
and Dan Malstrom of Brighton, once again, for helping us cover
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