Spring Jam is Squaw’s final hurrah
The transition from winter to spring could literally be seen at Squaw Valley’s Spring Jam III held this weekend, April 22-23.
The Spring Jam III, quickly becoming tradition, combined halfpipe, skiercross, boardercross, and big air competitions with the ludicrous but entertaining Lake Cushing Classic. More than than 200 athletes were on hand to compete in Squaw Valley’s last event of the season.
Saturday featured the Boardercross, Kahlua Halfpipe competition and the Cushing Classic Pond Crossing.
The weather started sunny, accommodating the boardercross competition which ran down Squaw Valley’s upper mountain Cross Course. Heats of four racers navigated the course which was designed with obstacles, banks, s-turns and table top jumps. Kim Percy won the boardercross event for the women, followed by Rosemarie Dittfach, Crysta Metzger and Andrianne Olson. Nate Holland won the men’s competition. Carlo Mondavi claimed second, Aaron Collins came in third and Chris Novak rounded out the pack in fourth place.
The sunny weather turned to snow then to fog, forcing the halfpipe competition to be canceled at its halfway point.
Attention was then shifted to the 10th annual pond crossing at the base of the mountain, where more than 1,000 people witnessed the antics of 40 people tempting hypothermia for a 2001 season pass to Squaw Valley. The weather was cold and windy with a mixture of rain snow and hail as several people, utilizing the equipment of their choice, attempted to cross the 35 degree waters of Lake Cushing.
The goal was to maneuver down a snow ramp and across the lake without falling. After costumed skiers, snowboarders, telemarkers, canoes, rafts and one attempt with a golf cart, 16 year old Scott Whitlake prevailed.
Following the competition, a pair of Volant Machetes, designed by Shane McConkey, were put on the line for the six folks who raced, swimming, across the pond.
The skiercross competition, held on the same course as the boardercross, began the festivities on Sunday. Anik Demers took the gold. Michaela Boyle claimed second place, Alanna Lungren took third place and Sarah John finished in fourth.
Daron Rahlves won for the men, followed by Mike Prado, Aaron McGovern and Calvin Mitchell.
The event concluded with the Southwest Big Air finale. Carlo Mondavi claimed the the mens’ snowboard division, followed by Aaron Collins, True Love, and Nate Holland. Michael LaRoche won in the men’s ski division. CR Johnson took second place, Steele Spence claimed third and Mike Schimke came in fourth. Libby Frantz was named Lady of the Air.
The event, sponsored by Budweiser, Volant, Ford, Southwest Airlines, Kahlua and Freeze Magazine, gave out more than $10,000 in prize money and had no injuries.
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