Whitefish, MT, Jan. 9, 2002--Young freestyle skiers and snowboarders will defy gravity this weekend as Big Mountain Resort hosts two days of Northern Division freestyle competition on Jan. 12th and 13th. Upright and inverted aerials are slated for Saturday at Big Mountain's Jump Hill while the Slopestyle competition in the terrain park will take place on Sunday.
"There's no doubt that guys will be flying high and hanging it out to dry, doing both old school and new school tricks," said Mark Poertner, Big Mountain's freestyle coach. Poertner was hired this fall and is former head coach of Winter Park Freestyle in Colorado with 13 years of coaching experience and 10 years of competitive ski experience, including 6 years on the United States Freestyle Ski Team.
"I feel really confident about the upright jumps," continued Poertner, "And hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate with a little cooler weather so we can get the needed snow depth for inverts." Big Mountain's jump hill needs at least two feet of depth for the inverted aerials to happen. Excellent spectator viewing can be found right above the Chalet Building and guests are welcome to walk to the viewing area.
Competitors in Saturday's event must have a USSA competitor's license. Cost for J4 and J5 age group is $15; all other age groups are $25.
Sunday's slopestyle competition in the Goat Haunt Terrain Park is open to both skiers and snowboarders and will be a two-run format judged on style and difficulty of tricks. No USSA license is required and the entry fee is $10.
"Slopestyle events place bigger demands on competitors than the typical big air competition," said Poertner. "The athlete has to carry fluidity from one feature to the next and needs to be a proficient skier and also a good jumper. Some people are incredible in the air and can't ski that well--we've been insisting that the free ride team really work on their skiing skills. This promotes consistency and greater execution of tricks."
Registration for all events will take place at the Guest Services and Information Center between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM both days. Practice runs begin at 9:30 AM. Saturday's aerial competitions begin at 11 AM, while Sunday's terrain park event begins at 11:30 AM. There is no charge to watch the competitions and spectators are encouraged to attend.
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