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Special events abundant at ski areas

Staff Reports

The grand opening of the interconnect system between Boreal Mountain Playground and Donner Ski Ranch is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 11, conditions permitting.The two ski areas adjoin on the north side of Signal Hill and have come to an agreement that, for the price of $36 during the midweek, skiers and riders can buy an interconnect pass and travel to and fro at will on the existing chair lift network.The personalities of the two areas are very different. Donner Ski Ranch professes itself to be more of an old school type ski area (now celebrating its 64th year). It boasts a more backwoods feel, stressing having a terrain that gives riders the opportunity to explore and make their own paths.Boreal’s trails on the other hand are clearly marked. It is more of a new school type of resort with high tech lifts and a spot right next to the interstate. It has a lot of the acoutrements that appeal to today’s skiers such as terrain parks and halfpipes.The partnership, an agreement made between the resorts without a money exchange, results in 15 chairlifts, 86 possible runs, five terrain parks, two halfpipes, two lodges, more than 700 skiable acres, more than 750-feet vertical and night skiing.The interconnect will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.The interconnect system is the first of its kind in California and one of the first of its kind in the United States – one other example is found in Vermont with the link between Smuggler’s Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort.Northstar-at-TahoeNorthstar-at-Tahoe is the host site of two of snowboarding’s most popular events this January; the United States Amateur Snowboard Association’s (USASA) Snowboard Competition on the weekend of Jan. 8-9, and the Paul Mitchell American Snowboard Tour on the weekend of Jan. 21-23. Both events are open to male and female amateur and professional snowboarders of all ages.The USASA Snowboard Competition’s North Tahoe Series includes the halfpipe competition on Saturday and the slalom discipline on Sunday. A special South Tahoe Series halfpipe competition will be held on Sunday. The cost to participate is $15 per event, in addition to a specially priced USASA lift ticket ($36 for adults, $27 for young adults ages 13-22.)Registration is from 8 – 10 p.m. in the Chaparral Room located above Pedro’s Pizza in the Village.All participants are required to wear a helmet during competition. The top snowboarder from each age group will qualify to compete at the USASA Nationals in March. An awards ceremony and prize raffle will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Chaparral room.The Paul Mitchell American Snowboard tour is the longest running amateur and professional snowboard tour and attracts snowboarding’s top riders from around the world. Participants will compete in boardercross (Friday), halfpipe (Saturday) and giant slalom (Sunday) events for a chance at winning a prize purse of $20,000. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. each day.Snowboarders interested in competing should contact Tom Winters at (520) 750-0500 or Group Dynamics at (310) 452-3599 for registration information.Squaw Valley USAThe road to fame & fortune starts at Squaw Valley USA Friday, Jan 14 through Thursday, Jan 20, 2000. $40,000 is at stake at Squaw Valley USA as the resort hosts The Docker’s Khakis Big Air, the Red Bull Ultracross, and the Paul Mitchell X-Qualifier, all during the Martin Luther King holiday week of Jan. 14-20.The first event is the Docker’s Khakis Big Air Competition on Friday, Jan. 14 through Saturday, Jan. 15. Open to the public, this is an on snow, aerial acrobatic event. Competitors are judged on the height, distance, style and difficulty of their jumps off a specially designed kicker . Unique to this big air event is its team format consisting of one skier and one snowboarder per team. Teams will advance based on the highest combined scores of their jumps. There is no entry fee and all teams are required to participate in the qualifying rounds on Friday, Jan. 14 (no inverts permitted during qualifying).Five teams will advance to the finals on Jan. 15th and the winning team will walk away with the $10,000 cash purse. Following the high flying action on Saturday, Jan. 15, the first 500 spectators will be entertained by a live band and treated to a complimentary beverage at Bar One, the Plaza Bar or the new Sundeck Tavern.The next event on the calendar is the Red Bull Ultracross on Jan. 16-17, also open to the public. Featuring one skier and one snowboarder per team, this is a relay format event (teams must register together).As in a skiercross or boardercross, four snowboarders start simultaneously and race on a moto-style course featuring bank turns, large rollers and table top jumps. As the snowboarders cross the finish line, the electronic timing opens the start gate for that team’s skier.Winners are determined when the skiers cross the finish. The total cash purse for the ultracross is $30,000 and the event will be nationally televised on ESPN Sunday, Jan. 30 from 5 – 5:30 pm (EST) and again Wednesday, Feb. 2 on ESPN 2 from 1:30-2 pm .Rounding out the week’s events on Jan. 19-20 is the Paul Mitchell X-Qualifier, the only official qualifying competition for the 2000 ESPN Winter X-Games. This inaugural event features the best men & women skiers in the world vying for an invitation to compete at the 2000 X-Games, the largest winter alternative sports competition. The skiercross is open to both men and women and the big air competition is open to men only. The qualifier will be nationally televised on ESPN Jan. 30 from 2:30-3 pm and again Feb. 2 on ESPN 2 from 2-2:30 pm.Information and registration forms for the Red Bull Ultracross and the X-Games Qualifier can also be downloaded from http://www.globaleventmanagement.com or by calling 530-581-2636.Sugar Bowl, Alpine Meadows and HomewooodThe first stop on the 2000 Budweiser Lord of the Boards Tour, scheduled to be held at Homewood Mountain Resort this weekend, has been postponed due to a lack of snow and poor conditions.Lord of the Boards is a three discipline competition in which participants compete in all three boardercross, skiercross and telecross events. Competitors can enter in one, two or all three races, but to be crowned the overall lord, racers must compete in all three formats with the lowest accumulated time determining his/her highness.


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