A huge avalanche swept through a Mount Manaslu Base Camp at 6300m where Glen Plake, Remy Lecluse and Greg Costa were staying. Glen Plake called Trey Cook, editor of EpicTV (who has been covering the trip) to report: “I’m OK, a bit beat up; missing some teeth and a bruised eye but write in big capital letters, GLEN PLAKE IS ALIVE AND HE’S COMING HOME.” Remy and Greg, however, are still missing along with others. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all. Glen’s account of the incident to Trey follows below. “It was a major, major accident. There are up to 14 people missing. There were 25 tents at Camp 3 [6800m] and all of them were destroyed, 12 tents at Camp 2 [6300m] were banged up and moved around. Greg and I were in a tent together, Rémy was in another. It was 4:45a and I was in my sleeping bag with my headlamp on reading my devotional when we heard a roar. Greg looked at me and said, “That was a big gust of wind,” then a second later, “No, that was an avalanche.” Then it hit us. I was swept 300 meters over a serac and down the mountain and came to a stop still in my sleeping bag, still inside the tent, still with my headlamp on. We all went to sleep with avalanche transceivers on so I punched my way out of the tent and started searching. I searched for 10 minutes before I realized I was barefoot in the snow. Greg had been using my down suit for a pillow and I found my suit, I found everything that was in my tent – camera, sleeping bag, ski boots. It was like someone had thrown my gear in the back of a pickup – but there was no sign of Greg. Rémy and his tent are nowhere to be found. The Dynafit crew [Canadian skier Greg Hill's team] were sleeping at a high Camp 2 and were immediately on site to rescue people. Sergio, Stephane, Doji our Sherpa – all strong alpinists – have all come up to search. We’ve done three searches but when the fog rolled in we had to call it off. It was a massive serac fall, probably 600 to 700 meters across. It’s a war zone up here.” Greg Hill and his team are all ok. Mount Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world and is located in the Nepalese Himalayas. Glen Plake, Greg Hill and Eric Hjorleifson have been among the big mountain skiers and mountaineers attempting to summit and ski above 20,000 feet this summer. Glen, Remy and Greg Costa were hoping to reach the 26,759-foot summit of Manaslu Friday or Saturday to become the first to ski the world’s eighth highest peak without oxygen.
Thomas Greenall who lives in Chamonix, France – home to true bad ass big mountain skiers like Glen Plake and more – sent us a video of a “few turns” in the Aiguille Du Midi in Chamonix, France yesterday, Sept. 21, 2012. This peak is known for the highest vertical ascending cable car in the world, the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi. It rises from 1,035m to 3,842m or a whopping 8,421 feet. Here’s what Thomas had to say about his day:
Spread the word: Powderwhore Productions’ 8th annual ski movie, “Choose Your Adventure” is coming to the Pacific NW starting with a FREE 7pm screening in Spokane Valley on Fri., Oct. 5th hosted by Mountain Gear at 6021 E Mansfield. The film then heads to numerous WA, OR locations listed below. Check out the dates, killer trailer and plan ahead to see this fun ﬁlm which features an array of characters from salty backcountry veterans to some of the top skiers and snowboarders, including our friend Chris Davenport, Jake Sakson, Andrew McLean, Seth Wescott, Dylan Freed, Noah Howell, Matt Reardon, Drew Stoecklein, Forrest Coots, Ian Provo, Neil Provo, Chuck Mumford, Darrell Finlayson, Bob Athey, PY Leblanc, Jason Thompson, Todd Stuart and Hugo Harrison. The Powderwhore crew traveled to Cerro Castillo, Chile, La Grave, Norway, Mt. Foraker, Alaska, the Wasatch Mountains and more in search of people with real stories and ski objectives and captured their actions and motivation for heading into the mountains, creating more of an authentic experience. This movie is such a mixed bag of characters, exotic locations and action that they wanted to get that point across with the title. You really can’t guess what’s coming next in this ﬁlm, like the Choose Your Own Adventure book series we enjoyed growing up with –they go from exploring an abandoned mining town in the Arctic, dropping clifs with Hugo Harrison in British Columbia to plunging into the Antarctic Sea in speedos, blasting through deep powder and more. We hope to see you there.
-8pm Sat., Oct. 6th -Backcountry Essentials, 214 W. Holly St., Bellingham. Get Tickets Now for $10, $12 night of the show. Raffle to benefit Avalanche Safety Awareness Program
-7pm Mon., Oct. 8th -Dog River Coffee, 411 Oak Street, Hood River. $10. Raffle ticket with admission.
-8pm Tues. & Wed., Oct. 9 & 10th -The Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Buy Tickets Now for $12, $15 at the door – this is a fundraiser for NWAC. Beer compliments of Big Sky Brewery.
-7:30pm Thurs., Oct. 18th -Liberty Theatre, 315 NE 4th Ave., Camas $8.
-7pm (all ages) & 9pm (21+) Thurs., Oct. 11th -McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland. Get tickets now for $12, $15 at the door. Fundraiser for Snowrider.
Last August, we reported on a trip up Mt. Rainier with Scott Daggatt, one of the original Nike athletes from back in the Bill Bowerman (Nike co-founder)/Oregon Track and Field days. Well, tonight he’s being inducted into U. of Oregon’s 21st Athletics Hall of Fame class tonight. He’s joining an elite group that will include other members of three men’s cross country teams that captured NCAA championships in 1971, 1973 and ’74, 1994 football MVP Chad Cota (1991-94), quarter-back and Heisman Trophy finalist Joey Harrington (1998-2001), Nike co-founder Philip Knight (1955-59), men’s basketball All-American Hugh Latham (1921-24), and softball All-American Kim Manning Strahm (1989-92). In 1973, Scott became the 62nd US athlete to run a sub four minute mile and since that day less than 300 other Americans have joined him in the record books. You can watch them being introduced during half-time at the Ducks’ Pac-12 conference-opening home football game vs. Arizona Wildcats tomorrow, Sept. 22. Congratulations to Scott and all Hall of Fame Inductees! We look forward to our next trip up Mt. Rainier together (and we’ll lighten our load so we can keep up). In the meantime, below is the video from that trip.
Celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, Sept. 29th, by joining volunteers for the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. NPLD is a “fee-free day” so entrance fees are waived at national parks and other public lands on 9/29. NPLD brings together many thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands used for outdoor recreation, education and just plain enjoyment: national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes, reservoirs, as well as state, county and city parks. This is a fantastic opportunity to get out, bring the kids and help erase the “nature deficit” among the next generation. All volunteers will get the satisfaction that comes from preserving and protecting their favorite public places. Volunteers plant trees and native vegetation, build and refurbish trails, remove trash and invasive plants, repair bridges, restore historic structures, monitor endangered species and restore habitats. Learn more about what each participating volunteer site has planned by visiting “Find a Site” at www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites.
This year marks the 19th annual NPLD and continued outreach to local and urban communities around the nation to encourage individuals to be active and outdoors more. As part of these efforts, NPLD continues to support both the Let’s Move Outside! (www.publiclandsday.org/resources/lets-move-initiative/lets-move-outside) and Youth in the Great Outdoors (http://youthgo.gov) initiatives. Last year more than 170,000 Americans participated at more than 2,000 sites nationwide. NPLD volunteers in 2011:
• Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
• Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
• Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
• Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places
• Contributed an estimated $17 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country
Eight federal agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands.
Bode Miller, U.S. Olympic and world champion alpine skier, announced news of his engagement to pro volleyball player Morgan Beck in a tweet from Portillo where he’s currently training – congratulations to the super couple! We wish them all the best.
I have found the one!!! And convinced her to marry me. twitter.com/MillerBode/sta…
— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) September 17, 2012
— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) September 17, 2012
Brad Steward, founder of Bonfire Snowboards and good friend of Tom Sims, sent a note asking us to share this memorial he wrote on his FB page. Please take a moment to read it, share it and remember and honor Tom Sims, founder Sims Snowboards & Sims Skateboards, World Snowboarding Champion (1983) and World Champion Skateboarder (1975).
Through the mid 80’s, early 90’s, there were many things Tom Sims and I planned to do together. We had a list:
1. Build the first permanent half-pipe ever at a Ski Area, in Snow Summit, California.
2. Teach every skater in Japan to snowboard.
3. Get the Sims Skate brand away from Vision Streetwear, sign Hosoi.
4. Start a mountain bike company.
5. Make a snowboard photo album for that thing called the Internet.
6. Decide if we were Canon or Nikon guys. Fuji or Kodak film (he would do some testing and later tell me which way to go).
7. Open every ski area in the world to snowboarding.
8. Beat the Vermont guy who married the rich girl (his way of referring to Jake Burton, in the early days, before they (sort of) mended ways).
9. Create the world’s leading Surf, Skate and Snow business enterprise.
10. Start a magazine.
11. Get snowboarding on MTV.
12. Date playboy bunny Kim Herrin.
13. Make a snowboard for riding waves.
14. Make a bike for riding waves.
15. Teach Kevin Staab, Hosoi, Alva, Jerry Lopez and all the badass North Shore lifeguards to snowboard.
There were hundred’s of other things on the list, these are a few I remember. Alongside the list, Tom had a set of rules:
1. Never, ever, ever, cover-up any part of the Sims Triangle logo. This was Holy.
2. Never talk to Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta or Stecyk about snowboarding, they might teach the Bones Brigade to ride and make Powell into the coolest snowboard company in the world, and erase Sims from snowboarding like they did in skate.
3. Make sure all the Bones Brigade guys have a free Sims board.
4. Never go snowboarding without a camera and loads of film.
5. Never shoot riders on anything other than Sims.
6. Never tell anyone at a ski company we are making money.
7. Never let Barfoot get bigger than Sims.
8. Never do anything to hurt Chuck Barfoot.
9. Never give up the back cover advertisement in any magazine.
10. Never let Palmer, Kidwell or Craig Kelly ride for anyone other than Sims.
11. Never buy coke for anyone on the team. Beer, Pot, Acid and Mushrooms are purchased at my own personal discretion and risk.
12. If you can’t be the best rider in the group, be the best-dressed.
13. Never forget to send every ski area owners kid a free snowboard.
14. Never directionally scrape wax off your board from tail to nose, always work from nose to tail.
15. Never remove your side fins when you have to ride on hard pack.
16. Never ride without style.
17. Always fold your high-back down in photos where you are holding your board next to a Burton guy (so you can show that Sims highbacks fold, and Burton’s don’t – a product difference now long erased).
18. Never wear a backpack. Fanny packs are cooler and show the Sims logo better.
19. Never wear ski clothes. Wear a wetsuit or something bright that you bought in Europe, preferably at the Jet Set store in downtown St Moritz.
20. Always ride gear that no one else can get, and ride in places no one else can go. Make sure you get a photo of you doing it.
21. Always shoot Terry Kidwell doing skate tricks, never show him cruising around or turning.
22. Always go to the Nastar slalom course when you get on at a ski area, make sure you post one of the fastest times on the course. Make sure you sideslip the course beforehand, to clean the ruts and prevent you from wrecking. If you wreck in the course, all of snowboarding’s image suffers.
23. Always remember that snowboarding is just skateboarding on snow.
24. Never go to work for Burton.
25. Never marry someone that isn’t blonde.
26. Don’t drink too much, never smoke and never take pills unless you absolutely need to.
27. Never talk about the list.
This list too, could go on for many pages, on all topics of life. None of it was ever written down or consciously accounted for, it was simply what we knew together and talked about each time we were together. It was the knowledge he dropped. I worked and rode for/with Tom, in one form or the other, from the ages of 15-23. I was a blank slate of a kid, living on the edge of an Indian reservation with a small town half-pipe ramp in my buddy John’s backyard and a 2 chair ski resort 30 minutes from my front door. Skateboarding, Snowboarding and the few heroes who did it were everything to me. While under the tutelage of Tom I kept his rules for the most part. He, as the originator of the lists, kept the rules sacred – I never saw him violate them once. He looked sharp, rode fast and strong—always made sure we ‘got the shot’. As for the ‘to-do’ list, some we got around to, some we didn’t – but everyday at work, or on the mountain, there would be lengthy one-way discussions, goal setting, flights of imagination, laughing, ego, hyperbole and bluster. That was Tom. He lived to create the list, and counted on me to note down and deliver on every idea we/he could think of. The only listed topic he ever remained silent on was Playmate Kim Herrin, who I learned later; he had somehow scored a date with.
After a few years with Tom, I became an adult and gained a deeper appreciation for the manic, caring, inspiring, informative, insane and interesting person he was. As more layers of my youth wore off I also came to learn how different from Tom I was – and how important it was to do my own thing, in my own way. He did funny and fantastic things when he could see I was growing up. He once paid me for 9 months “not to start a snowboard company” – and required me to do no real work for the money. On a different occasion he took me to a bar in Zurich, Switzerland and demanded that I get drunk with him. Halfway through the drinks he asked me to dare him to play James Brown “I Feel Good” on the Bar’s jukebox until we got kicked out. Nine song plays in a row we were thrown out into the street (I have vague memory of him taking a swing at the barkeep as we lay on the sidewalk laughing). He laughed for days over this event. We also later met up with Lopez, Derek and Tom’s close friend Terry – and took the whole legendary surf crew out riding. As one item on the list reduced, he immediately would replace it with a new item to do.
What I remember most of this time however was the coming of age experience and slow realization that Tom was capable of fear and anger, like anyone would be. He was mad his business skills were beginning to fail him. Mad that Burton had taken control of the sport, the history and dialog around snowboarding (he rarely acknowledged the work and dedication of anyone at Burton). Mad that Craig Kelly’s contract (signed in haste at the bus station in Albany, New York) hadn’t held up when Burton came calling. Mad that all of his partners, in every facet of his business, always screwed him in the end. Mad at Vision Streetwear. Mad he couldn’t ride longer and live lighter. Mad at being mad at all of this. Yet somehow, he always kept it light. Whatever feeling he had always flashed, verbalized itself and was gone.
In the early 90’s, when I told Tom I was moving on to start Morrow Snowboards (not the shadow of the Morrow brand you see today) with Rob Morrow, Todd Richards and Noah Brandon, I expected mad. A true contrarian, he congratulated me and asked me to give him part of the company, if I could. When I started Bonfire, he again congratulated me, asked me for a Fireman Jacket and part of the company, if I could. I gave him a Jacket, and an option to buy the company 5 years later—not because I knew he really wanted it. I did it because I knew his pride would permit him to wear the coat or buy the company, and in some way I wanted to challenge him to move forward. I did it because I respected him, loved working with him and had grown up with his strange and fortunate influence in my life and work. Mainly, I did it because I was no longer a kid living by his impromptu mental list. We never worked together after that.
We moved through the later years of our relationship like many old friends do. Hooking up for the occasional run at industry events. Talking on the phone every now and then, I sent him a note after one of his Facebook rants—told him to mellow out and realize his legacy was sealed, strong and real. He didn’t need to say more about his work. We laughed about snowboard stories old and new—conducted a few secret meet-ups at trade shows, where he would master the ability to speak both deeply and cautiously about his business and personal challenges. We talked when Craig was killed in an avalanche. We talked about divorce, and then remarriage. Mostly in these talks, I listened, took notes and respectfully added to the mental list as the conversation went along—my way of acknowledging what a tremendous influence and friend Tom was to me. I assume that somewhere we each secretly knew too, there were parts of the list we had each never given up on.
My final memory of my life with Tom Sims is also my first memory of meeting Tom Sims. I called him one day when I was 14 years old, and asked him to tell me why his snowboards were so expensive. He ran me through all the technology; Rocker base, Solid Maple Plies, Steel Fins, Channeled tail, 3 inch Velcro ankle closures on the binding heel cup, 2 inch on the toe, “Same material Tracker Trucks builds their truck lappers out of, so you know my bindings are beefy”. I was sold, but explained to him I was currently riding on free Burton gear that Jake had supplied me with a season or two earlier. Tom said he would change that, and followed through a few weeks with a personal visit to my house some 600 miles drive from his home. I’m convinced he drove all that way after I told him Jake had recently visited and rode with my friends and me.
The contrast of their visits and the impressions remaining are indelible in my mind. When Jake arrived, he was in a road-grit covered mini-truck with a cheap camper slapped on top. He slept in the back while traveling. As a west-coast born and bred kid, my initial impression at 15 years old was that he was a Hippy hold-over from Vermont. I thought he was cool, and very well educated. Everything he had was Navy blue.
A year or so later, Tom Sims arrived, in a brand new gold BMW with wide, custom wheels, spoiler on the back and a gorgeous blond girlfriend in the passenger seat. Both Tom and his girl smelled like coconuts and the ocean breeze, rolling up to Flagstaff, Arizona. I breathe it all in. Tom’s car was filled with boards, drills, cassette tapes, camera gear, duct tape rolls, boot liners and everything else he could fit in the backseat. It was total chaos and I was immediately attracted. We met at his hotel, the nicest hotel in town, where his girlfriend pranced shyly around in a bikini bottom and sweatshirt (fresh out of the pool I presumed) while he preached the gospel of Sims and ran me through all his gear, each one of his boards, experiments and views on riding. I remember sliding a case of duct tape aside to view a nose shape from what he called ‘The proper distance to see the whole shape’. He made me move boxes, dig for screws and hold things while he drilled innumerable holes in decks, searching for the perfect stance. I was dizzy with the feint smell of wax, waves, wetsuits, women and willful indulgence. The entire conversation was passionate, quick, opinionated, filthy dirty and filled with eye contact and energy like no other adult had ever spoken to me. I was a child who had inadvertently stepped on the burning bush of snowboarding, and I liked the burn. At the end of it all I thought, “Go! Go to snowboarding with everything you have in your heart…and I did”. By virtue of these single and separate visits by Jake and Tom, I have come to believe I had a front row seat to the invisible ‘Matrix-like’ consumer and corporate context of snowboarding today, a context (I will add) that most never know exists—even as they work tradeshows and industry ladders. Tom Sims created the ‘Who’ a snowboarder was. And on the other side, Jake Burton created ‘what snowboarding will become’ and ‘how we will do it’. Both of their efforts, alongside many of us from the second wave, grew a sport.
This dynamic lives on today. When you get a board online, or at a retailer, then go to a resort and buy a lift ticket with no hassle or problems, thank Jake Burton. When you see a teaser of Jed Anderson sliding a massive handrail with bloody board graphics that feature his middle finger and a ‘Cheese Dick’s’ sticker, thank Tom Sims. When you see Danny and Dingo, thank Tom Sims. When you see the Sex Pistols, Black Flag and Minor Threat on your riding play list, thank Tom Sims. When you see riders with the freedom to design their own board graphics and image, thank Tom Sims. This is the consumer context, the rider archetypes set into place before an industry or business existed; one archetypal rider which is informed by nature and instinct—loose, fast, fun and untamable in all forms. The second archetype, an anti-form of the first; purposeful, intentional with a personal architecture whose only outcome is successful execution of the plan; Tom and Jake. Terry and Kelly. Palmer and Terje. Danny and Shawn. The archetype, by the way, knows no gender boundaries, Tina Basich and Shannon Dunn, Laura Hadar and Kelly Clark. It spins on ad-infinitum and snowboarding is always more interesting when it does so. It may also be the reason that Hybrid versions of snowboarding never hold the same imaging power as the pure archetype which is invested in the DNA of the sport by Tom and Jake – boardercross anyone? Moguls? Slalom and hard boots? We are children of a sport with an invisible purity seething out of every seam. Black. White. Cane, Abel, Goofy, Regular.
While the Sims brand has primarily failed in the core market today, in the 80’s they exposed the Achilles of Burton that brands like Bonfire, Capita, Airblaster, Ride, Rome, Lib, Union have all exploited over the last 20 years to define a point of difference in the business. As for Burton, for the last 20 years they have mastered indoctrination over incubation, leaving the latter to the ‘cool companies’ to serve up for their swooping while they use their expertise and passion to bring it to market. Neither part of this dynamic is wrong, or better or worse than the other. The point is that Tom Sims saw this structure, and knew these archetypes would drive the sport and everything around it, well before anyone in the second or third waves of snowboarding would ever puzzle this out. If there were a network of X’s and O’s behind the curtain of what was developing, Sims was Neo – and saw the horror, hope and hype of all of it.
For this reason I will never believe Tom Sims invented snowboarding, I will always believe that he invented the Snowboarder. Tom Sims was a true Pioneer. I have been called a snowboard Pioneer too, for many years now. Have even referred to myself as such, on speaking occasions, press releases, articles and imagery. It always makes me uncomfortable, living under a label. It is fundamentally against what Tom taught me. I have also seen many other people in the industry under the banner of ‘Snowboard Pioneer’, claiming a particular date they started a brand or began riding. Today, on Tom’s passing, I posit this is all bullshit. I’m no Pioneer. No other leader of any other snowboard company around today is a Pioneer, because we should honor the people who achieve this standard by defining Pioneer in precisely the meaning it was given in the days of the old west. A Pioneer is someone who rides in rough off the plains and out of the wilderness; uninvited, dirty, disgusted and dying to get cleaned up—thirsty for the affections of anyone who will sit down and listen to the improbable tale of how that Pioneer came to be in front of them on that particular day. A Pioneer is someone who comes in hot – defies convention and corporate models. A Pioneer is to be approached with trepidation and some distance, until we hear them speak the will of their intent. A Pioneer is disruptive, disappears and moves on when you need them the most; they will not be lassoed into a tradeshow meeting, contract or business plan. A Pioneer will not settle in and mend the fences or build neighborly relationships with other Pioneers; because they’re dying to get outside and get to the shit they ‘gotta get done’ before they get to the next town, the next venture, the next idea on the list. This is a Pioneer. Tom Sims was a Pioneer.
The rest of us ‘so called’ Pioneers? We are like the land developers in the days just after the first slimy, glittering rock of gold was panned out of the murky dirt by that poor soul of a Pioneer who searched so hard and deep for something shiny to prove his worth. We are the ones with clean hands, tradeshow teeth and technology, who have happened upon that Pioneers’ clawed out hole in the river. We are the second wave, who put in resorts, retailers, magazines, websites, teams, terrain parks, teasers, podiums and profit. We are too clean and too calculated to be true Pioneers. As we of the second, and many other waves of snowboarding to occur since, look down at that unnamed shiny thing in the dusty desert that was the world before snowboarding, I say we all pause today and put a name to that first Pioneer, that first burst of energy that made us think, “There might be something to do here, something to grow here”. The name of that Pioneer is Tom Sims.
I can see Tom Sims standing in the middle of that open area of the afterlife now. Feet pressed into the ground, so at to leave a mark for us in the twilight of life. His neck and body are bent down, looking into a small trickle of water, hardly enough water to require more than one step to pass over. He reaches into his pocket to grab an old piece of paper and a pen. He scribbles a note of what will become the new list, before looking up into the blown out hot sun (shoot email@example.com and close down two-stop, shoot Fujichrome 50 for better blue skies; he would say in analyzing the filmed image of these words). He places the paper back in his pocket and crosses the stream alone.
Thank you Tom for our time together. I feel good, like I knew that I would—because I have known you these many years. Put another Swiss Franc in the Jukebox and rest in peace my dear friend.
The NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Drought Outlook issued last week for the period ending Nov. 30 points to drought conditions lingering or intensifying over most of the United States. Exceptions include the Southwest and Southeast, where limited improvement is suggested. Note the forecasted areas of persisting or intensifying drought covers most of the major ski resorts in the Rockies and Sierras sparing only SW Colorado, Northern Idaho and Montana and the Pacific NW. Could this point to another late start for the same resorts that were short on snow last season?
Team Americas won the 2012 Swatch Skiers Cup down in Valle Nevado, Chile. The competition introduced a new and unique format with a series of head-to-head contests featuring one Team America rider against one Team Europe rider in both big mountain and back-country slopestyle disciplines and two rounds of eight heats per discipline with every rider obligated to feature in a minimum of one Freeride and one Slopestyle heat. The winner of each heat won one point for his team. Team Europe with Sam Smoothy (NZ), Mathieu Imbert (Fra), Paddy Graham (UK), Jacob Wester (Swe), Richard Permin (Fra), Sverre Liliequist (Swe) and Tom Leitner (Ger) won the 1st Big Mountain round with a score of 5 to 3 and Team America with Riley Leboe (Can), Chopo Diaz (Chi), and our own Cody Townsend, Chris Benchetler, Moment Skier KC Deane, Drew Tabke, Oakley White-Allen and Dane Tudor took the 5 to 3 win in the second. With the last Backcountry Slopestyle course closed due to unsafe snow conditions, athletes and organizers took a last minute decision to change plans and hold a tiebreak-style match with only three riders from each team on a higher venue with better snow conditions. Team Americas emerged victorious. Check out the incredible final round rides by Cody, Chopo, KC, Mathieu, Markus and Paddy in this video. What a great event – can’t wait to see the action at the next Skiers Cup which will take place in Zermatt, Switzerland, Feb. 9-16, 2013.