For the last 3 years, the Grand Targhee Big Mountain Tele-Comp has been hit by boat-loads of snow before and during the annual competition leaving multiple feet of fluffy white snow to cushion massive hucks, stomps, and violent tomahawks by the competitors. This year’s comp, held last weekend, was hit so hard with snow and white-out conditions the weather unfortunately became a limiting factor of both the ability of the judges to judge, and even at times, the ability of the athletes to adequately navigate their lines.
Regardless of the limited visibility, the snow conditions were so incredible, and the venue was so filled in, no one seemed to mind that they could barely see their line. And although day 1 was still socked-in, it provided competitors with the best visibility the weekend had to offer.
The day ran smoothly as athletes ripped Tele turns down a nicely softened up venue by the foot of fresh that fell the night before. Everyone seemed stoked regardless of if they had stomped or botched their line because the snow was so great you could go ski-off a bad line with a couple of pleasing powder runs off the Sacajawea lift.
Day 2 began with another foot of powder overnight, but unfortunately came with even worse white-out conditions. Since the finals venue is considerably gnarlier than the qualifying venue, the judges made the call to use the planned weather day and delay the competition until Sunday. Most people were indifferent about the finals being bumped to Sunday because, hell, there was 2 feet of fresh pow to be skied! Thus, huckfest 2014 ensued and Saturday became one of the best days I’ve skied this season. The resort was littered with rippin’ Tele skiers everywhere hucking cliffs, plowing face-shots, and having the time of their lives. It was simply fantastic skiing—-no other way of putting it.
Unfortunately, on Sunday (day 3), the visibility was even worse than Saturday and the comp finals were eventually cancelled. It was a bit of a let down as I had gotten myself SO stoked to ski the line I’d set up, but at the same time… it snowed another foot at night and there was now 3 feet of new snow that was just asking to be shredded… 🙂
Since the competition only ran one day, and competitors only got one qualifying run, by Sunday it was almost as if there had in fact been no competition at all. The weekend became something of a large tribal gathering of expert hippie tele-wackers all looking not to win, but just to have a freaking awesome time slaying powder turns and somersaulting tele-rolls down the west side of the Tetons.
For results of the single day-single run comp, click HERE.
Here are pictures of the venues from last year when you could actually see the terrain…
Some additional pics of the CRMS junior competitors. All the following pictures are courtesy of the Colorodo Rocky Mountain School Telemark Team. Thanks for sharing CRMS! Keep droppin’ those knees and shredding it!