As predicted, blast of moisture from the California coast came in hot and heavy (literally), slowed down bustling Squaw Valley Village, and sent the city dwellers on their way. However, still lurking in the village bars, plush penthouse suites, and local makeshift hostels, is a diverse crew of the world?s best skiers and snowboarders from around the globe. They wait in hopes of being the first snowsliders ever to ?legally? slaughter Squaw Valley USA?s infamous and looming Tram Face.
The Nissan Tram Face is the second stop of the 2009 Freeride World Tour and the only one in North America. This uniquely organized event allows the riders, organizers, and most importantly, Mother Nature, a seven-day window to ensure optimal conditions for some truly legitimate big mountain riding.
Day one of competition went down Friday under bluebird Sierra skies and on a semi-sun baked, but still impressive Silverado Bowl.
?It wasn?t two feet of blower, but it was predictable and safe,? said day one snowboard leader and local hero, Jeremy Jones.
The Silverado Face was crushed by an alternating start list of skier-snowboarder that allowed both sets of judges time between runs to calculate scores and produced a surprisingly fast-moving onslaught of creative and gnarly lines.
The Euro-dominated field of 53 shredders was topped by Swede Reine Barkered and Eylse Saugstad on the ski side, and Americans Jeremy Jones and Susan Moll for the snowboarders. Barkered?s risky huck out the bottom was enough to give him the pleasure of finally beating fellow countryman Henrik Windstedt and France?s Aurelien Ducroz who both took similar lines.
With one solid day under the belt, competitors are still not satisfied enough to walk away and give up hopes of making history on the Tram Face. The frustratingly warm Sierra storm has set in and everyone can only hope that the freezing level will be the first opponent to drop.
Check out the Tramface website for full results.