Crested Butte Takes the Coveted Backcountry.com Sickbird Belt Buckle at Back-to-Back FWT Events
In it’s first time at Moonlight Basin, the Freeskiing World Tour Qualifier went off March 23-24. Moonlight Basin pulled out the red carpet for the athletes as the athletes showcased the great terrain Moonlight Basin has to offer in the “Headwaters.” Kyle Taylor of Bozeman, MT took 1st place for the men as Australian Nat Seagal earned 1st place for the women.
The Crested Butte contingent was led by Randy Evans, who followed his strong Snowbird finish with a 5th place finish. Randy also earned his first Backcountry.com Sickbird belt buckle with two super strong runs. His day 1 run through the “Tetris” double and the Frankie Alisuag-dubbed “Rockstar” double was somehow outdone by his straightline through the “Equals Sign” straight to a backflip in the “Elbow” in his finals run.
Irwinites Brandon Clabaugh and Forrest Cole finished in 6th and 12th respectively. Both of them skied the highest line score of the day, a triple at the bottom of the “Whitewater” section of the Headwaters. Forrest capped off the 4th-best score of the finals with corked 3 Japan over a booter he built with Brandon just before the finish.
Ashley Bembenek led an impressive showing of the Crested Butte women with her 2nd 6th place in two weeks. Francesca Pavillard-Cain, Alex Reidman, and Kaytlin Hughes followed in 8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively. Ashley showcased her strong racing background as she arced big, fast GS turns down the Headwaters. Francesca and Alex chose more technical lines as they skied “Hell’s Half-Acre” on day 1, a high exposed chute with 2 mandatory airs, and Francesca was the only female competitor to ski the Equals Sign in the finals, where fellow Crested Buttians Randy Evans and Mark Mikos skied.
Overall, the FWT Qualifier at Moonlight Basin was a great inaugural event. Moonlight Basin and the town of Big Sky, MT welcomed the FWT family with open arms. One final shout-out to the Fernie boys: Dylan Siggers took 2nd, Ben Ogilvie 3rd, Caleb Brown 8th, and the maestro, Luke Nelson, in 10th. Watch out for these guys at Kirkwood!
Thanks to Fish Eye Guy Photography out of Bozeman, MT. Check his website Fisheyeguyphotography.com or his Facebook. Thanks to the FWT and Amy Jimmerson for their photos, check out the rest of the gallery on Facebook and their website at freeskiingworldtour.com.