Crash of the Day: True faceplant, sans ejection, takes the cake |

Crash of the Day: True faceplant, sans ejection, takes the cake

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Devon O'Neil

CRESTED BUTTE ” With only one significant opportunity for air, the carnage was relativey light on Wednesday ” a few lost skis, a couple lost poles (literally, in one case), some tumbles here and there.

But the good stuff wasn’t absent entirely.

Inaugural Crash of the Day honors belonged to Ted McBee, a 17-year-old Overland High School senior from Denver, who showed that you actually can face plant in alpine bindings with your skis still mostly flat on the snow, and the skis won’t necessarily break ” or even release.

McBee deserves some credit for this crash. He barely speed checked before launching off Big Chute Rock, a spot where many of the junior competitors were stopping completely before they hucked. McBee’s subsequent air ” about 15 feet vertically ” was one of Wednesday’s largest, but upon landing he hit a trough in the hardpacked zone and ate it.

He proceeded to slide about 150 feet down the snow before coming to a stop. The crowd didn’t cheer as much as they should have when McBee skied through the finish line with one pole (a helpful patroller later returned his other one).

Afterward, the part-time Silverthorne resident and A-Basin regular said he didn’t intend to play it safe during his debut run at the vaunted U.S. Extremes.

“No half-ass here,” he said.

To wit: McBee had already hit Big Chute Rock twice leading up to the qualifying round, and he landed both of them. But he saved the big air for when the judges were watching ” even if the crash only earned him a 15.6-point score on a 50-point scale, part of the reason he failed to qualify.

At least he came prepared. Knowing there was a good chance everything would not go smoothly, the 6-foot-2 McBee set his binding DIN to 12, which more than explained their failure to release.

“They’re not coming off, I’ll tell you that,” he said later. “I figured if I crashed I’d get up. Everything worked out, I guess.”

Bailey Chalfont of Columbia, Mo., had one heck of a first run going until he head-butted a mogul at high speed; and California’s Ezra Stemple went off Big Chute Rock backwards after catching a tip on his takeoff, then ended up flailing in an adolescent evergreen. He lost both skis.

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