Heading into the Mount Snow, Vermont -- the second-to-last stop of the Winter Dew Tour after Breckenridge -- it's the East Coast riders and skiers who will benefit from this New England hometown advantage. More than a pat intro, this point speaks to the sometimes adverse conditions -- some slush with more ice -- that tax athletes more accustomed to the smoother ideal associated with mountains farther west.
In fact, in the tour-standings, Nor' Easterners sit pretty with four out of six entrants standing in the top-five.
Vermonter Kelly Clark stands at the highest elevation with a second-place-finish in Women's Superpipe at Breckenridge. Kelly, a West Dover-native who grew up riding Mount Snow, should work the pipe to her benefit as she antes up against Ohio-native Gretchen Bleiler, who leads her by four points in the tour-standings.
Siblings Hannah and Elijah Teeter held down fourth-places in the Men's and Women's Superpipe Finals there in Breck, with each earning a 78- and 84-point score, respectively. Ratcheting a 96 from the judges, snowboarder Hannah edged out the Olympic medalist Kelly in the Women's Superpipe Prelims by a mere point-lead, a score that dropped 18 points after the Finals. Gretchen, Kelly, and Elena Hight swooped in with impressive runs to finish in the top-three, respectively, leaving Hannah trailing in fourth place by four points.
Representing the dude-front of things, snowboarder Sam Hulbert secured 84-point fifth-place in the Slopestyle Finals at Breckenridge, and no doubt the New Hampshire native will acclimate himself quickly to the challenging conditions here at Mount Snow as he works to advance in this week's competitions.
But while the New Englanders might think Mount Snow might be something like, say, the homecoming game, they certainly weren't expecting the legion of Wild Card entries to come and offer up a hard time.
The New England advantage continues with New Hampshirite skiers Peter Borough and Colby West as they enter the Winter Dew Tour here in Mount Snow. Hailing from a little farther south is Pittsburgh native and versatile shredder Tom Wallisch, who hung out at Breckenridge with a recuperating collar bone he had recently broken. Not one to shirk from competition and freed of his shoulder sling, Tom is registered here at Mount Snow and ready to tear up the Superpipe. Skier Tanner Hall, perhaps heartened by his stellar first-place runs at the Superpipe Finals at Breckenridge, is also entering here the Slopestyle competitions here at Mount Snow. Jon Olsson is also hopping in for slope action, along with the legendary TJ Schiller -- the latter of whom
With regards to Men's Snowboarding, Danny Kass will give Breck Slope champ Shaun White a run for his double-entry money as he chips in on Slopestyle. Marrius Otterstad, Luke Mitrani, Louie Vito, and Nate kern will also compete.
Among other late-entry athletes, we have the veteran riders Janna Meyen, Tara Dakides, and Alexis Waite anteing up in the Slopestyle competition.
Wild Card snowboarding men include the Japanese ripper Ryoh Aono, the old soul Matt Ladley (check out this teenager's classic straight airs!), the songwriting Ben Watts, the Breck native Jake Black, and the Stratton Mountain School alum Michael Goldschmidt.
As for Women's Snowboard Superpipe, look out for competition fiend Jamie Anderson, young ripper Madeline Schaffrick, and Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy attendee Faye Gulini.