Locals savor Powder 8 contest
BRECKENRIDGE – The only thing missing from the 24th annual Powder 8 Championships was a barbecue.
Sim Groterber and Randy Vreneman narrowly beat out Paul Krause and Rick Ascher for the title of the event, which was half competition, half party.
“A little teeny, tiny, off-synch turn” was the difference between the two teams, according to Joan Marts, one of the judges. “Otherwise, we were sweating it.”
The event consisted of much more than the competition.
“It’s all about the party,” said Dave Bonno after taking a swig of the beer he was holding. “I got started last night.”
The scene near the summit of Peak 7 did resemble a party.
A crowd of about 20 people, including competitors and ski patrollers who had helped to organize the event, milled about.
A snowcat provided a make-shift patio complete with bagels, coffee and, if you knew where to look, beer.
The competitors were enthusiastic about this particular incarnation of the Powder 8 event.
“It’s a great event,” Bonno said.
“All my buddies are doing it. I know practically everybody that’s skiing here.”
The steady rain Tuesday night left some wondering if the event would still go on.
Event organizer Rick Ascher put a stop to any such speculation.
The snow was slushy with a thin crust as the competitors began carving down the hill. Light flurries before the semifinals turned quickly into wet, heavy “corn snow.”
The competitors didn’t seem to mind the less-than-stellar conditions. “It wasn’t too bad at all,” Bonno said.
“I thought it would be a lot crustier. This was pretty soft, actually, but not exactly what you’d want for a Powder 8.”
The conditions seemed somewhat appropriate for the home-grown event.
Breckenridge resident Jack Roach wielded the start flag, an old, yellow ski jacket threaded with an older ski pole.
“It’s just something fun to do,” Roach said.
“I always like fun things to do on the mountains.”
Joe Hubbard, one of the judges and a member of the Breckenridge ski patrol, praised the local event.
“This and the Bump Affair are the only two local events still left,” Hubbard said.
Bonno agreed, adding: “If you live in town, you should do this at least once.”
Dan Kelley can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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