----------------------- -------------------------- Your Ad Here! ------------------------ -----------------------------
Transpack Boot Bag  Flexmeter Wrist Guards Aerofreestyle Mat Snowboard Events Calendar
Azzpadz Rides Of Passage Book Ross Powers Foundation Product Naming Plattekill Mountain Snowboard Wrist Guards Phrakis Boot Rest

Board Shops
Events Covered
Getting In Shape
Guest Book
Link To Us
Media Room
Mountain Resorts
Movies / DVDs
New Boards
Pro Forum
Pro Scoop
Q & A Index
SB Registry
Summer Sports
U S Open
Your Business

Back to the Article Index
Grand Prix at Mountain Creek Determines US Olympic Team 2006
By Lauren, and Jon Callahan - Technical Consultant

        Shaun White                      Andy Finch                  Pat Malendoski Cuts Pipe        Gretchen Bleiler            Clair Bidez. & Lindsey J.

The Grand Prix at Mountain Creek NJ, held Jan 20-22 was the East Coast event of the season, so far.  The third jewel in the crown to choose the Olympic Halfpipe team, the crowd was excited and everyone was there. Mountain Creek has a friendly crowd, with a little less attitude than the more northern venues. And a higher percentage of snowboarders vs. skiers than any resort I've ridden. Over the weekend it approached 80%.

Danny Kass
Danny Kass & Lauren
Mason Aguirre
Mason Aguirre & Lauren
Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark and Lauren
Ross Powers
Ross Powers & Lauren


Top of the pipe
Andy Finch
Andy Finch broke his board
Scotty Lago
Chad Otterstrom, Lauren, Scotty Lago

Weather over the weekend included everything: from sunny warm, t-shirt riding weather, to light clouds, heavy clouds, and eventually clear skies and strong gusty wind, with icy temps which delayed the important half-pipe practice before the final Finals Sat. night. The strong winds ultimately caused the surprise postponement of the event until Sunday morning.

The halfpipe was in excellent shape, which was amazing considering the 50 degree temperatures on Friday. Keep in mind that the only places in New Jersey with ANY snow on the ground that weekend were Mountain Creek and the nearby Hidden Valley slopes. Everywhere else the ground looked like late April.

Friday Night's pre-halfpipe finals in the warm weather caused the pipe to have one area slightly out of whack, and many of the pros fell during their runs. The format was best run of 2.

Click on Player Image Below for Video courtesy of Huckfest Productions

Shaun White and Danny Kass Halfpipe runs, Mountain Creek Grand Prix 2006   (3min.14seconds  --  It's 11 Mb and takes a while to load in a new window)

Click to open in new window

Friday Night Winners  Click for full list and more pictures

1. Shaun White
2. Danny Kass
3. Keir Dillon

Shaun clinched yet another 1st place finish, to make it four straight in a row.  This is amazing considering last year he didnąt finish well at all in the Grand Prix contests.  He finally figured out this season what the judges are looking for.  Huge amplitude and smooth back-to-back1080s, a good 10 feet out, gave Shaun the win. This was also one of the first big finishes for Keir Dillon in the Grand Prix.  Keir is known for his huge, stylish McTwist.

Saturday Night

There was an amazing turnout for the Saturday night finals.  Last season there were an estimated 6,000 people for the finals.  This season it appeared to easily double, if not triple in attendance.  Unfortunately, the practice session and then the event were cancelled due to the heavy winds.  This was an excellent call on the judges' part.  These dangerous winds could have caused the riders to miss the transition and end up being thrown on the deck or even in the flat of the pipe. Shaun White told me he was sorry the contest was postponed, he was anxious to get home and give his Mom the new car he had won, before she had her old car repaired.

But the patient crowd, some of whom had waited for 2 hours or more before the event to secure their locations along the halfpipe, did finally get a bit of a show after the 90 minute wind delay.

When the pipe contest was finally postponed for wind, after a delay during which there was nothing to look at but each other and an empty pipe, the pipe spectators were rewarded for their wait by the spectacle of seeing almost all the competitors throwing down big tricks in the pipe at the same time. They got to see Danny Kass and Danny Davis throw 720s, ending up only breathtaking inches away from each other without colliding.  Neither of them realized how close they were to each other until after the fact.

Shaun White opted out the "back door," pulling his silvery bandana face-disguise up to his goggles and riding down the hill outside the pipe, vanishing into the local crowd of Mountain Creek riders. Mountain Creek is open for nighttime riding, so there were plenty of people to disappear among. Friday afternoon a careful observer would have seen many of the pro riders on the lift and playing on the hill, but you really had to know what to look for as these people can blend anonymously into the crowd when they want to.

Sunday Morning

It was on!!!  The pipe was looking perfect, nice and firm with plenty of sunshine from Mother Nature, and one wall in shade. The female riders commented on how the consistency of the pipe would be perfect by the time their match began a little later, with the sun higher, the shade receding, and the pipe softening up a bit.

If you imagine that the starting area at the top of the pipe is filled with adrenaline charged athletes chomping like race horses before their runs, think again. The atmosphere is as calm as a tea party at a senior center. The athletes chat quietly and stretch a bit. Gretchen Bleiler does a little yoga and dancing to stay limber. Tricia Byrnes listens to a mix on her iPod. I chatted with Danny Kass about his new Grenade clothing line and very cool jacket he was wearing. He asked me how the website was going, and I told him about the feature I did on him being nice to his fans.

Ross Powers is very focused on his run, and he even visualizes it, swinging his hand back and forth to simulate his trick points, when he's standing at the drop-in. Ross really hoped to make this his second trip to the Olympics.

Shaun White had an amazing run.  Starting off with a huge frontside air, followed by a FS 1080, to a Fakie 1080, to Back to back 900s, and finishing it off with a McTwist.

Andy "The Pit Bull" Finch put on a great show, as always.  Instead of breaking under the pressure, he pulled some of the biggest airs of the whole day.  Boosting huge, smooth 900s and 1080s a good 15 feet out, the whole way down.

Scotty Lago  and Danny Davis who were looking to be Olympic contenders unfortunately couldnąt link it together.  They both choose to go for the 1080 right out of the gate. Unfortunately they couldn't keep in an edge in the landing, resulting in them sketching out or even falling.  These will definitely be two guys to watch out for, for years to come.

Click here for more results

Click here for more pictures

Click here to see Grand Prix party pictures

"Let's Ride!"






Home  | About | Contact  

Send e-mail to

Bookmark this site and check back. New Stuff added often!

only search SnowboardSecrets

Copyright © 2003 - 2009 All Rights Reserved
This web site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of 
New York State, USA, without regard to its choice of law rules.

This site built and maintained by Sean Mulligan