Crash of the Day: Going for the win, Hall doesn’t disappoint
CRESTED BUTTE – The good news, as unbelievable as it appeared at the time, was that Jesse Hall did not get hurt. The bad news was that, in following the temptation of victory, he lost any chance at tasting it.Hall’s first-run wipeout on Headwall Saturday was not just the Crash of the Day, it was the Crash of the Week. And he didn’t even double eject until later in the run, once he’d recovered from the initial carnage and regained control.Knowing he needed a spectacular performance in the finals to move up from fifth place, Hall – who won the Extremes two years ago – pointed his skis down a line of granite nobody else had attempted to negotiate.He dropped a massive air considering the incredibly rocky section that lay below him, but he didn’t stick the landing. And so began a slide that made beating hearts skip, left mouths agape and silenced a typically rowdy crowd.Hall slid approximately 150 vertical feet, bouncing through two substantial rock gardens on his way down, before somehow righting himself with his back to the bottom of the hill. He pulled out of his backwards motion, then started ripping huge, arcing turns down the rest of the run.The crowd was roaring at this point, but Hall, a former Crested Butte local who now lives in Utah, wasn’t done yet. He carried plenty of speed into the bottom and then inexplicably launched a backflip off a snow-covered rock that was only about 2 feet off the ground. He underrotated the flip, landed on his face and double ejected.After collecting his equipment Hall walked through the finish line, one ski in each hand, to overwhelming approval. Within 60 seconds he had a can of beer on his lips.”I was sitting in fifth so I wanted to ski the hardest line on the venue to win,” the 24-year-old explained. “So I went for it and it was a little bonier than I thought and I ended up falling down the whole thing.”Didn’t hurt my skis, didn’t hurt me.”Hall went on to record the top single-run score of the week, 37.8 points, on his next trip down Headwall.Runners-up: Suzanne Graham of Salt Lake City was the only competitor, male or female, to get inverted off a significant feature this week. She hucked a 30-foot backflip off Box Rock Saturday, actually landed it, but then lost control in the bumps and cartwheeled for 100 vertical feet. … Lucas Urtiaga of Santa Fe, N.M., also put in a bid on his second run, underjumping the top air of a double drop and landing directly on rocks. He lost a ski and tumbled for a good while.
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