Taos, NM—Ski and Snowboard Club Vail’s big mountain team made an unexpected trip to Taos, New Mexico Friday, March 30, after two event cancellations in Colorado. The Junior Events Tour of the Americas (JETA) competition was scheduled for Winter Park Resort March 23-25 followed by the Junior Freeskiing Tour in Crested Butte March 30-April 1. Due to poor snow conditions, both events were cancelled. Since Taos Ski Valley has seen significantly more snow this season, the ski area agreed to step in and host the JETA competition as a national event supported by the International Freeskiers Association (IFSA).
Eleven SSCV big mountain athletes hiked 45 minutes to reach the start of the venue, and the crown jewel of Taos Ski Valley — Kachina Peak. Standing tall above the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, Kachina Peak offers some of the biggest and best lines Taos has to offer.
SSCV’s Kevin Nichols, Zeke Pierce, and Gabe Suszynski dominated the boys 12-14 age division taking second, third, and fourth, respectively. Pierce McCrerey, skiing out of Arapahoe Basin, took first.
Nichols led SSCV with his second place finish and 64.77 total points. Pierce made the podium in third with the top scoring line of the day at finals and a 64.20 total score. Suszynski came from a seventh place qualifying run to finish comfortably in fourth with a score of 59.33. Max Pierce finished 20th for the 12-14 year-old boys.
“We’re seeing some great depth on our team,” said Garrett Scahill, SSCV’s big mountain coach. “Our younger athletes are skiing really well. They will be well prepared to transition into the older division.”
For the girls 15-18 division, Anna Suszynski was in second after the qualifier, but with an equipment problem during finals, she dropped to seventh. Christian Nichols skied to a 13th place finish in the older boys division while Mathieu L’Esperance took 17th.
SSCV’s Big Mountain Team heads to Snowbird April 4-7 for the Junior Freeskiing Tour Championships, which is their final competition of the 2012 season.