Mark Carter and Shannan Yates win the North Face Masters of Snowboarding, Stop #1 at Snowbird, Utah.
By | January 26th, 2010
Snowbird, Utah, January 26, 2010- After two days of being grounded due to weather and unsafe snow conditions, The North Face Masters was finally given the green light yesterday on Snowbird’s famed Silver Fox venue. With nearly seven feet of snow in seven days, competitors had to put themselves on hold, while they were treated to several epic days of riding the greatest snow on earth. As the athletes boarded the tram yesterday morning, the nervous anticipation permeated through the crowd of eager riders.
The women were slated to start things off, but low visibility threatened to shut things down yet again. Fortunately, the fog began to lift and the middle and bottom portion of the venue revealed its powdery goodness. By eleven o’clock the riders were on the course laying down smooth lines through untracked fields of fresh. With an abundance of soft landings to be bombed, the women showed their fearlessness as they hucked themselves off every terrain feature in sight.
Squaw Valley’s Iris Lazzareschi slayed a technical line down the east side of the venue just as the clouds parted, if only for a brief moment. “The windlips up high were great and the course was fun,” said Iris after her run. Other standouts included Snowbird local Kaitlin Elliot and first timer Cindi Roller. However, it was former Master’s champ, Shannan Yates’ flawless performance that earned her the coveted Katana Sword and the highest position on the podium.
With the conclusion of the women’s competition, the men prepared for their assault on the course. Due to the delays brought on by weather, this event would be one run and done style, so every turn meant the difference between in and out of the rankings. Heavy hitters Rob Kingwill and Travis Rice promised to bring the best to the table, and the crowds weren’t disappointed. Some world-class billy-goating high up on the venue marked Kingwill’s run, and his solid stomp of a 30-footer at the bottom of the course drew applause from all in attendance. Always the showman, Rice started out his run with a big slash for the cameras up top and several big airs over peppery take-offs throughout the venue. After his run, Travis simply said, “Damn fine course, damn fine snow.”
As the comp continued, the international riders from New Zealand, France, Japan, Russia, and Canada made their countries proud as they carved and dropped their way through the course. Another fine performance came from 21-year-old Alta resident Ryan Hudson, as he tore up the Fox and went huge at the bottom. His run earned him The North Face Young Award.
By the time the dust settled and the judges conversed, Mark Carter of Jackson Hole was crowned the winner of the men’s division. His fluid, aggressive run was deemed “textbook” by TNF Masters announcer and snowboard legend Nick Perata. “I just wanted to do something that nobody else had done,” Carter said of his run.
The North Face Masters continues in two weeks at Crystal Mountain Washington, a new stop for the tour now in its third year.
Full stats, photos, videos and more from Stop # 1 in Snowbird are online at: www.thenorthfacemasters.com
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