Telemark Extreme Championships in Crested Butte: warm-ups

Today and Saturday, Crested Butte hosts the 14th annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Telemark Championships. A total of 65 competitors in six divisions signed up for the event, which drew skiers from Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, California, British Columbia, and a large contingent from around Colorado. 

Thursday was check-in and registration day, and most of the skiers spent the day on the Headwall and Sock-It-to-Me Ridge, scoping possible lines, looking for big air to drop, and familiarizing themselves with the terrain. Competitors are grouped in Junior, Adult, and Master's divisions, with each having a men's and women's draw. Surprisingly, the Junior Women have a larger group than the Junior Men. In the other divisions, the men are more heavily represented.

Possible favorites in the Adult Men's division include Crested Butte locals Seaton and Colin MacMillan, who placed fourth and first last year. Runner-up Will Cardamone of Basalt and fifth place finisher Jeremy Wegner of Crested Butte are also in the mix. In the Adult Women's division, defending champion Mackenzie Mailly is back, but the rest of the field appears open.

In the Junior Women's division, defending champion Klara Wohlers of Crested Butte and runner-up Riley Ebel of Vail are both back, as is fifth place finisher Hannah Fasiang of Carson City, NV. Among the Junior Men, third place finisher Luke Cutler of Leadville and fourth place finisher Jordan Goldstein of Vail are both back.

At the competitor's meeting, it was announced that the Headwall would be the staging area for the first day of competition. Several different lines are available, from the relatively easier left side to the no-fall zones in the middle.

Look for a full report of the competition, including photos and video, on Monday.

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Candace Horgan