2011 TNF Masters At Crystal Mountain: Registration & Inspection Runs
Scott Sheer & Maria DeBari Photo: Hardaker
Crystal Mountain, WA – The 2011 North Face Masters of Snowboarding stop 2 at Crystal Mountain, WA is officially under way. A field of riders from the United States and a heavy international field have all made there way to the sleepy little resort with one goal in common, snowboarding!
This year the The North Face Masters and The Freeride World Tour have teamed up for a special contest at Crystal Mountain. In what could open the doors for more big mountain snowboarding events in the country, the two biggest snowboarding freeride tours have joined forces. All the regular North Face Masters tour riders were excited to see athletes from the Freeride World Tour joining our little party in the states. Big mountain snowboard legend Xavier De La Rue has made the trek to Washington along with American snowboarder and former North Face Masters tour winner Matt Annetts. This year's field is as strong as any I have ever seen at the masters.
Iris Lazzareschi, Laura Hadar, Kaetlin Elliott and Mary Boddington Photo: Hardaker
The weather in Washington greeted riders and media to heavy rain, thick fog and wet conditions for today's inspection runs. Even with the less then ideal conditions all the athletes were out and about from 9:00am-3:00pm taking lap after lap of soggy runs. We are snowboarders after all and this is why we made the trek to the middle of nowhere. Not rain, sleet or ice will keep us off the slopes.
At the rider meeting Matt Annetts came with a fanclub of friends and family members all wearing shirts that read "Matt Annetts Fan Club," a first for the tour. The parking lots are full of RVs that we are assuming belong the the Europeans here to compete with us on the tour.
Ralph Backstrom Finding His Line in the Fog: Photo Hardaker
The top men and women on both tours have been pre-qualifed and will advance directly to the finals. Tomorrow we are scheduled to have day 1 qualifier's but it looks like the weather will bless us with more snow and hopefully a one day delay in the contest. I am super blessed to have been selected to ride #7 for the men out of a field of 63 in the first round. If everything aligns, the comp will be delayed and I will wake up on Tuesday to a foot of fresh and an untracked contest venue. Regardless of where riders drop in the field the action is going to be intense.
Stay tuned for tomorrow update.