Competition season is now in full swing and the Alta Snowboard Team is out on the circuit getting recognition, having a good time traveling, meeting new friends, and of course snowboarding. Most recently over the President’s Day weekend, events for the Freeride World Qualifier Tour were held at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley North Lake Tahoe, California. The Alta Snowboard Team athletes were competing against an array of top-notch snowboarders from all over North America in an effort to obtain a position on the Freeride World Tour, where they would be competing internationally.
The Masters of Snowboarding has been a favorite event for big-mountain snowboarders for the past six seasons. The 2012-2013 season has been a bit different for the Masters as the event merged with the Freeride World Tour. In the past, venues for the Masters were at Crystal Mountain, WA, Kirkwood CA, Girdwood AK, Crested Butte CO, and our favorite Snowbird UT. This year Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley were chosen as the resorts to host a big-mountain style competition. These new locations are great, but conditions at these locations not so great.
On Feburary 14th, 2013 Alpine Meadows hosted the opening event for the Masters. This two star event had no prize money, but yet was an opportunity for those who were not qualified to advance to Squaw Valley the four star event the following day. The awards at Squaw Valley were much greater. The winner got 3,000 dollars in prize money and a spot on the international tour.
Utah was well represented in the line-up of competitors. Five female ladies in a field of eighteen were representing Utah and ten men of fifty-four. Many of the Utah competitors were proud to put the Alta Snowboard Team as one of their sponsors. The Alta Snowboard Team has been a concept for more than a decade, but in the last year we have organized ourselves into a team of super shredders. We are getting both national and international recognition.
This year at the Masters was different because you weren’t just cheering for your friends you ride with, but rather there was a whole group to support. The Utah crowd was pumped and cheering for those on the Alta Snowboard Team. It was pretty cool. Furthermore the AST was getting props from the announcers at the Masters.
We even got a few new members while out in California. Rose Struble rides at Brighton and the Bird and was entering her first Masters. She is now a proud AST member. We also added 20 year old Jordan Nelson to the team. Jordan may be a young buck, but he knows how to ride. Mike Meru was also stoked to join the team. He is a family man, but still makes time to get out in the mountains. He loves splitboarding. Making new friends and spreading the good vibe is what we are about here at the Alta Snowboard Team and the California sun helped us out with that mission.
So where is the AST headed next? Ahhh So glad you asked. Laura Dewey, Shannan Yates and John Rodosky will be competing at the fourth stop of the Swatch Freeride Tour at Kirkwood Ca. Contest starts February 27. There is also a group of AST members going to Taos, New Mexico for the qualifying event February 28 through March 2nd. That one is called 2013 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships. Good Luck to all the athletes. Both competetions will be skiers and snowboarders. One Love- it is going to be a fun weekend.