Tricks for young and old on Vail |

Tricks for young and old on Vail

Ryan Slabaugh

Because the dictionary defines tricks, in the context of skiing, as “a special skill,” leaving out all those with mortgages and memories of Reagonomics might, well, trick some people into believing old skiers can’t learn, um, new tricks.

If you’re of the cynical sort and need some evidence, Vail will have plenty on hand Saturday. On Golden Peak, the Snowboard Outreach Society is concluding its season with a slopestyle event starting at 10:30 a.m. It’s the last opportunity for snowboarders to qualify for nationals, which start March 22 at Sunday River, Maine.

“Everybody here is working on wrapping up the season,” SOS outreach coordinator Mike Gehard said. “We’re sending 70 people to nationals, which is about average. We’ve had a good year.”

Gehard cited the five injuries in the 15 events as unfortunate, but still low. In slopestyle, competitors run a course or rails and jumps and are judged on style and the degree of difficulty.

Registration is $25 and starts at 8 a.m.. While most SOS competitors can’t drive yet, a little bit higher on the mountain, an older crowd will hit the third event in the 2003 Mogul Mania Series, which will kick off at 10 a.m. There, experienced freestyle skiers will take to a single-elimination dual-bump competition on Cookshack, just off of Chair 2.

At 1 p.m., an Air Show competition will feature a handful of competitors going for the biggest trick. Winners of both events will walk away $1,000 wealthier. Steamboat Springs’ Eddie Keiser won the bumps section at the last event, while Breckenridge’s Jimmy Schad took the Big Air prize.

After the competition on Saturday, a post-event party at Garfinkels in Lionshead will have raffles, prize giveaways, contests and drink specials. Competitor registration is available online at or in person at Ski Base in Lionshead. Register in person and receive a free copy of the freeskiing video “Skiing’s Last Stand,” and also enter to win free Fate gear.

The last Mogul Mania event is scheduled for March 22.

If those two events aren’t enough for you, starting Thursday, the world is coming together for the North American International Federation of Skiing Masters Cup at Golden Peak. Ski racers from 10 different countries and from all age groups and racing backgrounds – such as Pepi Neubauer from the Austrian Team, a Norwegian Olympic skier and Erich Windisch, formerly from the German national team – will be competing for individual and team trophies.

On Thursday, the men will begin competition with a giant slalom from the Boo-Boo start house, followed by the women and older-men’s group running slalom out of the west start in the main race arena. By the end of the weekend’s event, each athlete will have raced two giant-slalom days and two slalom days.

The Masters circuit spans five regions throughout the United States, with each conducting its own annual race series.

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail will be the hosting this event. For more information on this event, how to enter, or if you would like to help, please call 476-5119, ext 137.

Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at

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