Text, photos, and video by Eric Crews

The wintry precipitation that fell across the High Country over the weekend was a nuisance for most area residents, but for the participants in the Red Bull Buttercup at Appalachian Ski Mountain on Saturday, the snowy weather provided an extra incentive to come out and compete for a chance to win a round-trip, all-expenses-paid vacation to Lake Tahoe. Over 80 skiers and snowboarders competed in the event. Saturday’s event at the Appalachian Terrain Park was the sixth stop of the series and one of only a dozen stops along the East Coast.

The event kicked off under cloudy skies with intermittent snow showers. The Red Bull tent was humming with energy as the DJ spun raucous beats that only added excitement to the energy drink-fueled crowd of spectators and participants.

The Buttercup competition is centered around style and the rider’s ability to implement various spins, manuals, grabs, and other style intensive tricks while successfully incorporating all of the aspects of the park. The event was founded in 2009 as a way to showcase East Coast rider’s creativity in technical trickery, and was designed to bring snowboarding back to it’s roots: having fun and shredding with friends. This year the event has increased in size with the organizers adding events all across the United States. At each event prizes are handed out for various categories with the winner of each event earning a chance to compete in the National Red Bull Buttercup Competition in Lake Tahoe on April 10, 2010.

The winner of this year’s Red Bull Buttercup at the App Terrain Park was Andrew Sanchez. “I’m really excited to go to Tahoe,” Sanchez said after the event. “I’ve never been [to Tahoe] before, so it will be good to go check out something new.”

“It couldn’t have gone to a better guy,” Stanley said of Sanchez. “He rides well, he’s got a great style, and he captured what this event was all about.”

Canyon Mueller took the honors of Standout Skier, Peri Runio won the Ladies’ Best Snowboarder, while Evan Williams took the under 15 Grom Category.