Sunday, February 3, 2008

Main Event and Video Park at Crotched Mountain

The Main Event and Video Park WENT DOWN at Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire, January 4 and 6th, 2008

Crotched Mountain in southwestern New Hampshire is a little off the
beaten path, but on the weekend of January 4-6, 2008 it was the center of the universe for East Coast competitive snowboarders with its roster of supercool events.

Friday night, January 4. saw the second annual snowboard "Video Park” produced by Kevin Corcoran of Egan Entertainment and hard-working friends, and Sunday was the first stop of the Main Event 4 contest circuit, which is the premiere competition series for snowboarders on the East Coast.

Video Park 2008

The idea behind Video Park is this; put together a ripping pro level terrain park with outstanding creative features, and then get NewEngland's snowboard and ski freestyle film crews and the riders they shoot, together in one place and watch what happens. Oh, and did I mention that as part of Crotched's "Midnight Madness" the whole mountain was open to the public until the unheard of hour of 3 a.m. the night of Video Park? Midnight Madness goes on all winter at Crotched. (see Video Park 2007)

Kevin Corcoran, impresario of Video Park, and producer of Egan Entertainment’s Terrain Park Report on “Wild World of Winter,” and world class skier/producer Dan Egan interviewed riders on camera for their show while their filmer Sky shot action footage along with dozens of East Coast film crews. The roaring bonfire at the base thawed fingers and noses on the 21 degree Fahrenheit night, and the action continued until after 1 a.m. Crotched Mountain was hosting a "lock –in" sleepover for a kids group that night and a stream of kids in pajamas holding sleeping bags could be seen in the lodge. Midnight Madness happens on Friday and Saturday nights and a lift ticket from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. is just $29.

Crotched Mountain is a Peak Resort

How does Crotched Mountain have these events that would cause other mountain management teams to shudder and seize? Crotched is part of the Peak Resorts family of snow resorts out of Missouri. Peak is obviously run by a cool group of people. The management team at Crotched is young and super hip. General Manager Chris Bradford who was promoted up from Communications Manager this year is just 31 years old. Terrain Park Manager Aaron Hier and Marketing Manager Craig Messa are all young too.

Peak Resorts run nine snow resorts now and are are proud new owners of Mount Snow in Vermont and Attitash in New Hampshire. In fact Mount Snow is considered the "jewel in the crown" of the growing chain and has been on their wishlist to own for years. Money has been lavished on Crotched Mountain in the last few years in the new fan guns for blowing snow, the lodge, the staff. This little mountain has got it going on. On top of all that it has the kind of natural energy vortex where you will find the people you need at the right time. In fact there must be an energy line running through this area, because we felt the same great energy at Mount Sunapee 35 miles away too.

If you want to hit 2 New Hampshire mountains in one weekend easily and stay in a cozy country inn in the middle like I did, consider the Candlelite Inn in Bradford. Just 9 miles from Mount Sunapee for snowboarding and skiing, and 25 miles from Crotched, you can relax at this gracious home base and gaze out into the snow covered yard and pond while enjoying a 3-course home baked breakfast from the Sun room. More on the pleasures of Mount Sunapee in another blog entry here.

The Main Event at Crotched Mountain

Sunday, January 6 saw Crotched again hosting a snowboard happening as the Main Event launched its first event of four, for this season. The Main Event is
a mini-slopestyle event with a jump and rail set-up. One male and one female winner of the series get a Wild Card entry into the US Open Slopestyle Event.
(See what events are happening at

The jumps were whipped into super shape by no less than Josh Lempert
Himself, of Snow Grind and Zaugg with help from Aaron Hier, Crotched Park Manager, and Brandon Halberstadt, Main Event co-coordinator. The boys were pushing snow around ‘til all hours of the night to get the course ready for Sunday. By the way we hear that Zaugg has a super-duper new snow grooming machine making its way over from Japan to be introduced this season.

Riders had their choice of a large or larger jump, an oil tank with a box on top or a rail. Last but not part of the scoring was a dragon rail with an upward flip. 84 riders in the 4 categories of "Heavy Weight" male and female, and "Light Weight" males and females competed with 2 runs each in the qualifiers. Thankfully only a few minor injuries were reported by
competitors after the event.

Brandon Halberstadt, one of the two event coordinators (and Burton rep) was absolutely resplendent in his new Burton yellow and black plaid jacket as he announced the event. We like his enthusiasm on the mike and the fact that he clearly called out the riders names and tricks, which makes watching a comp at least 100% more enjoyable. Wendy Zimbone, the
other event coordinator kept everything running smoothly and seriously, there was a lot to handle!

photo at right - Micah Murray, last year's Main Event Organizer, with Brandon Halberstadt. These 2 "brothers from another mother" are so good looking that it's like small planets colliding when they stand next to each other.

Andrew Mutty, the man, the legend, the Main Event Creator and
Ringleader himself was hands-on-site here doing everything at the same time, spray painting the knuckle, scattering evergreen boughs on the downside of the jump, photographing young proteges bonking a boulder, and coaching his future members of the international and prize winning Flow International Team that he manages. Andrew Mutty, (a homey from Massachusetts) has a "cool" factor in snowboarding to rival that of Miles Davis' in jazz. He says he started this series because we didn't have anything like it here on the East Coast and he wanted to give the kids a way to get into the US Open and generally progress.

(Snowboard events listings at - details on this and all other events in the Northeast.)

From the minute things started, kids threw down impressive tricks. With riders attending from Waterville Valley Academy, Stratton Mountain school, and Okemo Mountain School, the bar was set pretty high. There was a clear progression of riding from last season mixed in with a lot of style. Justin Morgan blew everyone away when he did a corked out cab 720 truck driver, winning him the Snowboard Jones best trick award.

Winners of the Crotched Mountain Main Event 2008 here.

Other dates and places of the series are:

Ski Sundown, New Hartford, CT, January 19
Mount Snow, Southern VT, February 3,
Waterville Valley, NH, February 10, FINALS

No comments: