Freeheel Throwdown to debut at Copper |

Freeheel Throwdown to debut at Copper

ADAM BOFFEYsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily Drew Hauser, a Summit High School senior and member of the U.S. Telemark Ski Team, competes in a giant slalom race last March at the World Cup Finals at Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho. Hauser will be one of several U.S. team members competing in the inaugural Rocky Mountain Freeheel Throwdown Saturday and Sunday at Copper Mountain.

COPPER MOUNTAIN Tory Hauser hopes a new local tradition will take root this weekend when the first annual Rocky Mountain Freeheel Throwdown comes to Copper Mountain.Hauser, an avid telemarker, Summit High School’s alpine ski coach and the inaugural event’s organizer, also ran the Rocky Mountain Telemark Series before it dropped off the face of the map circa 1995.”It was a well-attended series from the mid-80s to the early-90s, but then it fizzled out,” Hauser said. “I was thinking, ‘What can we do?’ and Tom Jones at Wilderness Sports expressed an interest in getting something started.”Once the local outfitting shop stepped forward as the event’s primary sponsor, Hauser began the extensive planning process. He said he has scheduled a variety of events a dual slalom, giant slalom, sprint classic and halfpipe in hopes of attracting a wide range of athletes.Although the halfpipe competition is the only Throwdown event not under the auspices of the United States Telemark Ski Association (USTSA), it will still be considered in the weekend’s overall standings. According to Hauser, the pricing – $100 for the weekend, $60 per day and $40 per event should be conducive to athletes competing in all four events.

“The racers are very athletic, and I think a lot will do the halfpipe for fun,” he said. “Why not?”Event registration will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. at Jack’s Slopeside Grill. Registration will also be available from 7-8:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday.The freeheeling festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with the dual slalom, followed by halfpipe training (1 p.m.), the halfpipe competition (2 p.m.) and an awards ceremony and fundraiser for the U.S. Telemark Team from 5-7 p.m. at Wilderness Sports in Dillon.

Sunday’s action begins at 9 a.m. with a mandatory jump training and course inspection prior to the sprint classic at 10 a.m.; the GS will be at 1 p.m., and the final awards ceremony begins at 4 p.m. at the Salsa Mountain Cantina.Competition categories will include Junior 1 (14-17 year olds), Junior 2 (13 and under), elite (must have USTSA license or buy weekend license for $10) and citizen. Hauser described the first Rocky Mountain Freeheel Throwdown as a valuable opportunity for USTSA racers to gain points. Steamboat will host this year’s national championships in March.Summit High’s Drew Hauser will be one of several U.S. team members competing at Copper this weekend. According to Tory Hauser, U.S. team members are entirely self-supported in their quest to compete in the World Cup, which makes financial contributions invaluable.

– Sprint Classic: Sunday, 10 a.m.- Giant Slalom: Sunday, 1 p.m.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at

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