The annual Grand Targhee Big Mountain Telemark competition commenced today with a fabulous foot of fresh powder blanketing the venue with pillow soft landings. It was stunning snow conditions, however, the storm was just getting started leaving the day 1 venue socked into the clouds for much of the day. Regardless of the poor visibility, the competition continued in full blast and tele-wackers from far and wide congregated at the top to rip lines you don’t normally see Telemark skiers ripping.
Even though it didn’t phase the tele-stoke to go big, the poor visibility definitely affected the competition today. One of the three judges had to hike to the top of the venue to judge because the clouds were so thick it was impossible to see the top of the runs from the bottom.
At times, the whiteout was so intense, crowds at the finish couldn’t even see the lowest popular cliff to hit. As one of the athletes myself, it was difficult to keep track of where your line was because much of where you’d look–up,down, and all around–was the exact same whitish grey color. It was a day full of blind landings and tele-rolls, but all in all the athletes threw down impressive runs.
The storm still has not let up and there is 10″- a foot of new expected for tomorrow which should leave the Finals venue blanketed with at least 2 feet of new snow. This is great, because the Finals venue is gnarly steep and littered with HUGE cliffs. Should be fun–stay tuned for much more to come from Day 2!