Bumps, Jumps, Gates, Pipes, Rails, Slope: You Name It – SVSEF Did It


The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation staged its 6th annual Sun Valley Freestyle Spectacular and despite a plethora of new snow and challenging conditions, the event lived up to its title billing.
“For the athletes to go as fast as they did and ski as well as they did is why we call it the Spectacular,” SVSEF Program Director Andy Ware remarked. “I know of no other team or division that puts on an event this big and gets it done.”
According to Ware the two-day event featured 192 runs for Saturday’s single moguls, 91 runs for Sunday’s singles and 100 runs in duals. That latter was able to happen thanks to Sun Valley Company breaking out snowmobiles to get competitors back to the top of Roundhouse Slope. Heat winners hit the finish line and looped back
“Thanks to an amazing staff, more than 50 parent volunteers and Sun Valley Company, we were able to welcome 91 skiers on Saturday and 96 Sunday. And, for the second year in a row, no one got hurt and no ski patrol was involved,” Ware said.
Winners were awarded 8×10 handmade plaques created and donated by Lauren Street of Boulder Mountain Clayworks.
“People love them,” Ware said. “They are very personal and so much better than your generic acrylic trophy.”
Trophy winners in were 10-year-old Sammi Smith, who won her age class both days, and bounded her way to three top-10 overall finishes. Luke Rizzo skied to third and Alex LaFleur sixth in duals.
“Addie was really determined on Sunday. She skied much more aggressively,” Ware said.
Addie Rafford was sixth in the women’s draw. Top three class wins in singles were posted by Katie Markthaler, Rafford, LaFleur, Rizzo, Henry Cherp, Ben Anderson, Toby Rafford and Alex Austin.
SVSEF freeskiers will get their day in the sun with the Sun Valley Freeskiing Spectacular January 29-30 at Dollar Mountain. Slopestyle will be staged Friday and halfpipe on Saturday.
SVSEF Spectacular Class Results
U17: Devon Brown 5/5.
U15: Katie Markthaler 3/13; Addie Rafford 4/2; Eliza Marks 8/4; Rainey Wilson 11/3; Esmee Verheijen 13/14.
U13: Frances Cherp 6/5; Chloe Vogel 7/10; Amanda Brown 8/4; Grace Rogers 10/7; Avery Griffin 11/9; Carson Vogel DNS/10; Logan Smith DNS/11.
U11: Sammi Smith 1/1.
U17: Alex LaFleur 2/2; Tobias Verheijen 5/6.
U15: Luke Rizzo 2/1; Henry Cherp 4/2; Ben Anderson 7/3; Willis Sanchez-duPont 14/8; Chris Pedersen 19/17; Henry Buell 20/15; Axel Diehl DNS/21.
U13: Toby Rafford 3/DNS; Alex Austin 8/3; Adam Kind 12/9.
Overall Results 
SV Spectacular Single Moguls – Saturday 
SV Spectacular Single Moguls – Sunday
SV Spectacular Dual Moguls – Sunday 

Sammi Smith beams on top of the podium


th-14California’s Mammoth Mountain hosted the first stop on the U.S. Grand Prix Tour and U.S. and SVSEF Gold Team member Chase Josey made the most of the national spotlight. The 20-year old Josey rode to second place in men’s snowboard halfpipe with a score of 90.2. Josey was one point behind the winner, Ryo Aono of Japan, and led a sweep of four Americans in the top five. This finish bodes well as Chase will also appear in this weekend’s X-Games in Colorado. The men’s snowboard superpipe final will be televised live on ESPN from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, January 30. Fellow SVSEF Gold teamer and U.S. Freeskiing Team member Jacob Beebe finished 15th in the Grand Prix skier halfpipe at Mammoth.


The SVSEF Freeskiing Team tackled the Bjorn Thorsen Memorial at Park City. Coach Reed Snyderman remarked, “The kids skied well in the Superpipe competition today. Hanna Blackwell kicked butt and had impressive runs with her 540 being a highlight. She ended up second overall out of five and first in her age group. George Murray skied well ending up with bronze in the U13 age group with Ridge Dirksmeier claiming silver for the U13 boys. Jedson Waters had impressive amplitude and claimed silver for the U15 men, and Trey Potter claimed the top spot for his U19 age group. There were 24 male athletes in the event and the Sun Valley crew represented well.”
Snyderman added, “The athletes skied well at the USASA Big Mountain West series rail jam Saturday and slopestyle Sunday. Notable performers in the rail jam included Sarah Kope first in the Open category for women, Jedson Waters third in 14-16 year old, and Joey Markthaler who was third for 10-13 year olds.  In the slopestyle event Sunday the athletes battled challenging wintry and windy conditions. Alvaro Jiraldo was third for Open Men, and Sarah Kope was first for Open Women.”


The SVSEF Snowboard Alpha Travel Team plus one headed south to heat up the hills at Snowbasin Resort outside of Ogden, Utah. Phebe Ericksen was the overall champion in rail jam and slopestyle. Jack Verhaeghe pulled down first place in giant slalom, third in slalom and slopestyle, and eighth in rail jam. Aidan Green slid to sixth in rail jam and seventh in slope. Elk Spencer collected sixth place in slope. Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain is the next stop on the USASA Big Mountain West Series, February 4-7. The series features boarder-and- skiercross, slopestyle and halfpipe.


pjc;skadjvbPayton Bacca, 14, a member of the SVSEF snowboard program since 2008, is one of five girls ages 14-and-under invited to the prestigious 2016 Burton U.S. Open Junior Jam.
Staged February 29 through March 1 in Vail, Colorado, the Junior Jam is a long-standing tradition and considered proving grounds for some of the world’s best young riders.
Despite being known for her prowess as a snowboard cross rider, Bacca placed third in halfpipe at USASA Nationals last spring. She will compete in a field of five girls. The top finisher qualifies directly to the next round of competition against the older pro riders later in the week.
“This will be the biggest event that I have had the opportunity to participate in. I am looking forward to competing with two of my close friends,” Payton said.
A freshman at Wood River High School, Bacca is an avid soccer player when not riding for the SVSEF Alpha Travel Team. She has started a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the costs of the trip. If you would like to contribute, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/xac6fxzv.


The steeps of Jackson Hole were the setting for Wes Barron Speed Series, January 22-23. An abundance of fresh snow canceled a third day of competition.
SVSEF USSA men took the top step on both days of competition with Jake Blackburn winning the opening race by 1/100th over teammate Bennett Snyder. Max Noddings, Matt O’Connor, and Carter Jendrezak cracked the top 10 and with Ian Hanna, Wyatt Minor and Charlie Stumph gave SVSEF eight racers in the top 12. Hometown Jackson Hole was next best with three.
Snyder took the win on Saturday with a time of 50.43. Blackburn clocked in at 50.75 and Noddings was just off the podium in fourth place by .14 of a second. O’Connor and Jendrezak slid into the top ten for the second straight day and Hanna was 10th overall.
SVSEF USSA Team member Lily Fitzgerald finished second to Madison Hoffman (RM) in both women’s races. Anastasie Echeverria had her best results to date with a third and fourth. Libby Kaiser was fifth and eighth. Also cracking the top 10 in a field of 113 were Kaia Jensen, Molly Milgard, Grace Pepin and Ella Viesturs. SVSEF put five women in the top 10 in both races, and with Madison Ferris and Jensen had seven in the top 12 on Saturday.
IMD Team member finished Falon Hanna finished first and second in the U14 girls’ class and 18th overall in one race. Sage Curtis skied to third and fifth place class finishes. Ridley Lindstrom was second and third and Charlie Snyder fourth and fifth in the boys’ U14 division.
The USSA Team resumes racing next month here at home with the Laura Flood Memorial, February 5-7. The IMD squad travels to Park City for U14 qualifying races.


SVSEF Cross Country and Dartmouth alumni Max Durtschi, a member of the U.S. National Biathlon Team, earned World Cup starts based on recent finishes in IBU Cup races held in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, Ridnaun, Italy,  and Langdorf, Germany.
“In Nove Mesto I fnished 55th in the sprint. In Ridnaun, I led the U.S. men with a 30th in the sprint and finished 52nd in the pursuit and in Langdorf, I led the U.S. men with a 36th in the sprint and a 40th in the pursuit,” Durtschi reported.
The 24-year-old Durtschi will compete in two World Cup competitions: February 4-7 in Canmore, Alberta, and February 11-14 in Presque Isle, Maine.