Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Freeskiers to take over Dollar Mountain

Slopestyle and more Saturday for Orage Ďanti-compí

Express Staff Writer

Dollar Mountain officially closed for the season after skiing on Easter Sunday. But that doesn’t mean Dollar is done for the 2012-13 season. In some respects, it’s getting a makeover.

If you’re not doing anything Saturday, April 6, and want to watch 32 young guns who are perfectly content with keeping their skiing close to the grass roots, come out to Dollar and bring your urban dictionary.

Be prepared to be wowed.

Sun Valley Resort Terrain Park Manager Brian Callahan and his crew went to work Monday on Dollar Mountain putting together a challenging and creative slopestyle course for an upcoming event that calls itself “the craziest scene skiing has ever seen.”

The self-proclaimed traveling circus of professional freeskiing known as the Orage Masters 8 “anti-comp” is coming to Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain on Friday and Saturday, April 5-6.

“This event is a spectacle, a big carnival on snow,” said Orage Marketing Director Mike Nick, an X Games big air and slopestyle medalist and a pioneer skiboarder from Burlington, Vt. “The cool thing is that it’s like a circus. It’s one part tailgate party, one part costume party and one part slopestyle.”

Orage, a Canadian-based maker of ski outerwear and clothing, originated its late-season gathering of wild and unpredictable freeskiing and spring partying back in 2001 at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. It stayed at Mammoth for four years and skipped up to Canada’s Whistler Mountain for three years, the last two events in British Columbia held in pouring rain ending with the 2010 event.

This weekend’s event is the eighth installment of the Orage Masters. Once again it will be run in a team format featuring eight teams of four freeskiers each. The pros will be skiers with big followings in web videos and “web-a-sodes.” They will represent ski film crews such as Level 1, Stept, Inspired Medica and Traveling Circus.

Among the X Game athletes who follow storms and contests and are expected to compete this weekend are Matt Margetts, Chris Loigan, John “LJ” Strenio, Phil Casabon and Sun Valley’s Banks Gilberti.

If all goes well, Nick said, the Orage Masters hopes to return to Sun Valley in years ahead.

Costumes, of course, are expected, and spectators are welcome. Here’s a schedule:

  • Friday, April 5: Open course training for competitors only (spectators welcome) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Orage Masters broom hockey tournament follows from 4-6 p.m. at Sun Valley Indoor Ice Rink.
  • Saturday, April 6: Orage Masters preliminary heats begin at 11 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m. Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge is the site of the Old Death Whisper concert, free of charge, from 4-5:30 p.m. An after-party and live show by the Casey Donahew Band begins at 8 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum.

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