If anyone watching today's event was not already a huge fan of halfpipe skiing, I'm sure they are converted for life now. Park City Mountain Resort's Eagle Superpipe saw the world's best halfpipe skiers duke it out in the qualifiers. 22 women and 33 men competed for their countries and a chance to be named world halfpipe champion.
It was no surprise to see Jen Hudak at the top of her game today. Blasting a huge 900 on her first hit and ending her run with a solid 720, this is the woman to beat tomorrow. No one was more consistent than Hudak today and it will be up to the rest of the field to catch her. Once again USA and Canada have dominated the women's field, with the top 6 qualifiers all representing these countries. It will be interesting to see how this final plays out with a lineup of ladies who have a big roster of tricks like Sarah Burke, Rosalind Groenewoud and Brita Sigourney.
USA's young gun David Wise started off the men's field with a huge score the held up to qualify him in the #4 spot. X Games Superpipe winner Kevin Rolland was one of the few to land a 1260 in his run this morning. It seems a 1260 may be a pre-requisite for a spot on the podium tomorrow. Rolland was among Mike Riddle, who qualified 1st, and Justin Dorey in succesfully landing this today. Simon Dumont was true to form on his first drop, pulling out a clean, technical run with a high enough score to put him on top. Dumont opted to bow out of his second run due to a pulled musicle in his abdomen, knowing his score would carry him through. Which it did, into the #2 qualifying spot. Mike Riddle came up on top today throwing out a double cork 1260, back to back 900s with technical grabs, alley-oop flat spin, switch 900 and ending it all with a switch rt-side 720. I'm exhausted just typing that.
Mike Riddle's top scoring qualifier run
Below are the top twelve men and women who advanced to tomorrow finals, beginning at 11:00 am. For live updates during the event follow us on twitter @pcride and stay tuned to our blog for videos and results.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.