Whether you’re an extreme athlete wanting to show what you’ve got, or just a spectator looking for an eye-popping show, Pomerelle Mountain Resort is the place to be on Saturday, Jan. 15 for the annual Slopestyle Competition.
Slopestyle is a popular winter extreme sport in which the athletes navigate a course of jumps, boxes and rails while performing tricks such as spins, grabs and flips. Judges determine the winners based on the difficulty, size, style and fluidity of the trick.
Grant Conrad of Rupert will be one of the judges. He said this type of competition separates the contenders from the pretenders.
“I always love watching the competition because it’s just like any competitive sport, it either makes or breaks the person,” Conrad said. “Some people completely fold under pressure, while others do these amazing things that you’d never see them do outside of a competition. It seems to push them to the next level and they’re pulling tricks that they’ve never done before and you get to see them go off.”
Terrain park manager Zack Alexander and his crew is hard at work making sure the venue is first-class for the riders, as well as spectator-friendly for the fans.
“We have a lot of local kids who are really good riders and the terrain park has become such a key feature at every resort,” Alexander said. “Kids see (the sport) on TV with the Olympics and the X-Games, and you’ve got your Shaun Whites and Tanner Halls and those big athletes. You’ve got these young kids who are all about the freestyle sport and this event caters to that. It’s all about big tricks, style on rails and level of difficulty on rails.”
Since Pomerelle started hosting slopestyle events about 10 years ago, the resort has continually added features as the sport evolved and has gained in popularity. While the terrain park is showcased during slopestyle comp, it is set up and available for riders all season. For the past three years, Pomerelle’s terrain park has been located on Colt.
“We try to add new stuff every year, and try to do different set-ups with the stuff that we have,” Alexander said.
About 30 to 40 riders are expected to compete for trophies and door prizes. Competition starts at noon on Jan. 15. Athletes can register 9 to11 a.m. at the lodge, or they can pre-register online at Pomerelle-mtn.com. Helmets are required and riders under 18 need a waiver signed by their parents.
This slopestyle competition is just one of Pomerelle’s upcoming events. The Big Trick Competition is on Feb. 12, the Hot Iron Night Rail Jam will be under the lights on March 5, and Competition XXX is March 12.