Snowy Angels In Aspen
The Second Annual CoverGirl Snow Angels Invitational received over four feet of fresh during the ladies time at Aspen Snowmass. Snow Angels is a fun and unique approach to women’s snowboard Superpipe contests in that it was originated by one of the best snowboarders in the world, Gretchen Bleiler. Women’s snowboarding has been progressing in so many avenues over the last decade, thanks in part to Bleiler’s innovative riding and contest wins.
Knowing that women’s snowboarding needed to have a more rider driven contest, Gretchen took it upon herself to introduce Snow Angels to the industry last year. The contest received rave reviews from the competitors, sponsors, and media. Wanting to continue upon that success GB worked hard with the sponsors and riders to provide an even more action packed fun week of shredding in Aspen this year.
The week started off with snowflakes the size of quarters falling from the sky and more fresh then most of the ladies have seen all year. Most of the competitors have been on a wild swing of contests to prepare for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, thus not getting much powder shred time. So the fresh powder that ascended upon Aspen for four straight days was greeted with smiles of happiness to shred Snowmass’ many great tree runs and powder fields.
Outside of the powder runs and pipe riding, Gretchen makes sure the girls have a blast off the hill from yoga classes with Nike to massages to a CoverGirl makeover to the Oakley party at the Belly Up. The week was all about pampering the girls as they unwind from a crazy season of competitions, but at the same time ride a perfectly cut Superpipe by the guru himself, Frank Wells.
Due to all the heavy snowfall the contest was pushed to Sunday, which provided bluebird skies and a dialed Superpipe to shralp. The ladies arrived to a tight knit crew of local fans, sponsors, top media heads and fellow pros that came out to cheer them on.
Sticking to the best format for any contest, a jam format the girls threw down for just over one hour. The level of riding increased as the jam session pushed the 45 minute mark with GB throwing down insane run consisting of a ten foot crippler, frontside 540, backside 720 and several styly method airs.
Not to be out done, Ellery Hollingsworth who continues to push the limits, brought the heat with a strong run highlighted by the best cab 720 in women’s snowboarding. But the stand out had to be Kelly Clark; this lady is on a mission to make sure that she adds to her 2002 Olympic Gold Medal. Clark captured the TTR World Title just last week at the Roxy Chicken Jam, but proved she was not quite done by throwing down the biggest and most technical runs in the jam format.
Ultimately, the podium lined up with Ellery taking third, Gretchen scoring second and Kelly enjoying another title to her list of wins in 2009. Another huge stand out had to be Maddy Schaffrick, only 14 years old; Maddy brought the hammers earning her best trick and most progressive rider awards.
Check out the photo gallery, as well as the coverage that should be hitting the biggest snowboard media outlets this week.