Yukon’s Freestyle Ski Team faced icy conditions, steep runs and 50-foot jumps at the BC Freestyle Ski Championships in Whistler just over a week ago.
“It went very well,” said Yukon head coach Stu Robinson. “It’s very steep, challenging terrain out there in Whistler. It’s the second steepest world cup mogul course on the tour, so they were all shredding down that. For some of them, it was their first time skiing those kinds of moguls.
“Because there were four events, in general, like in the slopestyle, they were in the black park. So some of the jumps were 50-foot jumps. So it was very technical, very huge, compared to what we have at Mt. Sima.
“It was challenging, icy conditions.”
Of the seven Yukon team members in attendance, Yukon’s current freestyle ski champion, Miguel Rodden, had the strongest finish, finishing eighth in the slopestyle competition.
“I was really happy. I didn’t really have any expectations,” said Rodden. “I had a good time.”
“It’s probably the highest ever (finish for a Yukoner) in the BC championships,” said Robinson.
In his top-10 run, Rodden hit a corked 700 off the top-air, then “had a great rail section,” said Robinson, and finished with a corked 900 mute off the bottom air.
The 900, which was 2.5 off-kilter rotations landing backwards, was the third highest scoring trick in the entire competition, scoring a 8.6, just 0.2 below the highest.
“That was a personal best, by far, for him,” said Robinson. “That was really cool to see.”
Rodden, who was competing in the M2 division, also took 13th in the halfpipe, 11th in the dual moguls and ninth in the single moguls.
Teammates James Boyle, the only other Yukoner to compete in all the events, had his best result in the M3 halfpipe, coming in 15th.
Yukon’s Steven Harlow, in M2 with Rodden, also had some strong results, taking 13th in the slopestyle and 12th in the halfpipe. Brother Josh Harlow took 22nd in both the slopestyle and dual moguls.
Yukon’s Etienne Geoffroy, in the younger M4 division, took ninth in the slopestyle and 13th in the dual moguls.
“Etienne was just on the age-cusp, where he had to compete on the same course as the older kids,” said Robinson. “He really had to step up his game to be able to ride in the huge park and also ride the second steepest course in the world. He had the biggest improvement of the group, actually.”
Teammate Calahan Guidolin finished 25th and 26th in the mogul events for the M3 group.
“There was a really high level of skiing from all the kids and big improvements for everybody, in a very technical environment,” said Robinson. “So I was really proud to see all of the Yukon team get personal bests in such difficult conditions.”
The seven Yukoners at the event included Anna Smith, who was playing the part of “cheerleader,” having been sidelined with a knee injury.
Also at the competition were two former Yukon team members who were skiing for Silver Star in the M3 division. Anatole Tuzlak grabbed fifth in the halfpipe while Sebastien Berthiume reached eighth in halfpipe and 11th in the moguls.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org