Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Big Mountain Team made its second stop on the Junior Freesking Tour last weekend at Crystal Mountain in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.
SSCV’s coach Garrett Scahill’s team of ten athletes joined ninety other junior athletes from Squaw, Kirkwood, Alta, Sugar Bowl, Summit, Alyeska, Big Sky and Crystal at the Junior Freeskiing Nationals. The qualifier, held at Elk Chutes, is a steep technical slope with cliffs and airs. With conditions changing from partly cloudy, to wind and blowing snow, the field was cut in half after Saturday’s qualifier, with seven SSCV athletes advancing to the finals on Sunday.
Under bluebird skies, day two of the event started with competitors making the 25-minute hike to the top of the Silver King, a massive venue with breathtaking views overlooking Mount Rainier National Park.
“Our athletes skied really technical lines both days,” said coach Scahill. “I’m proud of the lines they selected, the way they skied, and the solid results we continue to see.”
Mitch Gilman took fourth place in the 12-14 year old age group after putting down a fast, fluid run in the finals. Jack Nichols followed in eighth, Grifen Moler in 10th, Gabe Suszynski in 12th, Aidan Stege, 18th, and Erik Hilb finished 19th.
Christian Nichols skied a high speed, aggressive line on day two moving him into 11th place overall for 15-17 year old boys.
The team heads to Grand Targhee for the Junior Freeskiing Open, March 18-20.