February 11, 2014

CBMST Takes Top Spots at Aspen Highlands IFSA Regional

Brittany Barefield, currently a junior at CBCS, on top of the podium at Aspen Highlands earlier this year. She was one of 2, -I repeat - girls on the freeride team in a ski town.

A week after strong performances on their home mountain, the CBMST travelled to Aspen over the weekend for the next IFSA Regional.  Brittany Barefield and Solon Gray won their respective female and male 15-18 year old divisions while Brooks Hudson took 2nd place in the U12 division.

Left Photo: Brittany Barefield on top of the 15-18 Women’s Podium

The CBMST rolled into Aspen on Friday night amidst snow and a building social media onslaught of what they were/would be missing at home.  Just so you know how crazy the Elk Mountains are, Aspen has received 22″ in the last seven days while CBMR reported 48″.  We have often been on the other side of this Elk Mountain seesaw, so let’s just say that when fog, not snow, caused a weather hold on Saturday, forcing the competition to be held Sunday, it’s no surprise that some team members and coaches alike wanted to head home.

Solon Gray boosted his airs on the way to victory. Photo: Jeremy Swanson / Aspen-Snowmass

Solon Gray boosted his airs on the way to victory. Photo: Jeremy Swanson / Aspen-Snowmass

But if there is anything Crested Butte is known for, it’s perseverance, and the team was ready for action on Sunday morning.  A fresh few inches had blown in on the venue in the “Y Zones” on Highlands Bowl, and that was on top of 6″ reported the day before (when CB reported 16″, but we’re past that, clearly).  Stoked on the powder competition, the team solidified their line choices and battled tough visibility in the competition venue.

After their first ever big mountain competition last weekend, the U12 division was eager to get after it again.  Unfortunately, some mistakes in judging led to an athlete that crashed being crowned champion. Brooks Hudson led the way for the CBMST with 2nd place (we’ll just call it the “real” 1st place), and Kye Matlock finished in 5th (really 4th) place, only 9/10ths of a point behind Brooks, showing just how tight the U12 competition really was.  Jackson Warner and Gus Bullock were attacked by the snow snakes in powder and fell.

Brittany Barefield represented the CBMST’s female contingent and did it well.  Competition judge and local shredder, Whit Boucher, said, “She skied better than over half the dudes!” Brittany’s strong skiing amidst her myriad of features in the venue really helped her stand out amongst the women’s field.  “That was so much fun,” said Brittany after her run.

Brooks Hudson was stoked with 2nd. But we know who didn't crash and should be first. Photo: Will Dujardin

Brooks Hudson was stoked with 2nd. But we know who didn’t crash and should be first. Photo: Will Dujardin

There were 8 CBMST males competing in the 15-18 Men’s division, and despite the team’s mixed results, Solon Gray came out on top, winning the division.  Running 2nd to last, Solon watched all the competitors throw down and had his work cut out for him.  Earlier competitors had thrown backflips and big airs, but Solon wasn’t intimidated. He stuck to his plan and executed all of his airs with clean landings and showcased his powerful skiing technique.  Solon, who has been a ski racer for years, has recently focused more on big mountain competitions where his racer technique is paying off in a big way.

Solon Gray gets the win. Photo: Will Dujardin

Solon Gray gets the win. Photo: Will Dujardin

Lane Griffin, Matthew Harper-Johnston, and Conrad Truettner led the rest of the men with 14th, 24th, and 27th, respectively.  It was Matthew’s best competition run in his two years on the CBMST, the freshman has shown great improvement over the last couple weeks. Unfortunately, Oz Scott, Bill Klein, Peter Landry, and Patrick Curvin all took falls in the powder.  Patrick Curvin had a great run going with a creative tree gap but backslapped and washed out on his landing while Bill Klein started his run with a big 3 that he over-rotated.  Next up for some of the CBMST is the Junior Freeride Tour event on Sunday, which is part of the Subaru Freeride Series Freeride World Qualifier event.  The Taos IFSA National Series event follows the next weekend.  It’s busy times for the CBMST, but all this snow has the team buzzing and ready for action.

About the Author

2. Will Dujardin
Will Dujardin is our content editor at West Elk Project. He competes in big mountain competitions and coaches the Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team. Skiing is his life and he likes to mix it with other fun things like DH mountain biking and traveling.