SNOWSPORTS

FREESTYLE DOUBLE CROSS
WINTERGREEN, VIRGINIA
January 27, February 10 and 23

Over the course of the season, Wintergreen hosts three different competitions on its slopes, the results are tallied and an overall winner is crowned after the finale. The races themselves consist of multiple heats of four skiers or snowboarders at a time barreling through their specially designed terrain park over jumps, gaps, and banked turns at top speed. The inclusiveness and unpredictability of the races is what organizer Sepp Kober loves about the race. “It’s open to all ages, as well as skiers and snowboarders,” he said. “Anything can happen.” In the double cross, the right tactics can become as crucial as speed on the course, since, as they say, “rubbing is racing.” The event takes on a carnival atmosphere with music pumping at the top of the hill and the race director calling out the results in real time. wintergreenresort.com

TOTALLY 80s RETRO WEEKEND
BEECH MOUNTAIN, NORTH CAROLINA
February 22-24, 2013

Prepare to hit the way-back button with this retro weekend at Beech Mountain outside Boone, N.C.; you’re going to have to break out the aviators, neon, and one-pieces if you want to fit in at this party. Just be sure to stretch before you assault the mountain with spread eagles, daffies, and backscratchers. Last year’s event featured a mechanical bull, best outfit competition, and hair bands lighting up the stage. Deep, 80s-themed discounts are as prominent as leg warmers and chest hair throughout the resort. New events this year include an 80s trick contest and a rail jam with a DJ spinning your favorite hits from the decade. Get your dance on at an after party with no cover. beechmountainresort.com

WV OPEN
SNOWSHOE, WEST VIRGINIA
February 23, 2013

Snowshoe Mountain is the largest resort in West Virginia, and the region for that matter, so it is no surprise that the resort hosts the largest slopestyle competition of its kind in the area. The WV Open draws the best talent from the state and beyond to Silver Creek’s Mountaineer Terrain Park for one night of spins, flips, and grinds. The event takes place under lights, which only adds to the competition’s electric atmosphere.  Also included in the festivities is a demo by U.S. Airbag, a maker of giant pads for ski slopes and terrain parks. The bags are set up in the landing zone so skiers and snowboarders will get their chance at launching huge or practicing new tricks without the threat of a slam on the ice. snowshoemtn.com

MOTOWN THROWDOWN
Morgantown, West Virginia
Halloween Weekend, 2013

Each Halloween, Morgantown is overrun with young kids in wacky get-ups looking for handouts and getting hopped up on sugar. No, we are not talking about trick-or-treaters; we are talking about the crowd at the MoTown Throwdown. The annual rail jam competition is the earliest opportunity to slide on snow, even if it is 20,000 pounds trucked into downtown. The city shuts down High Street, and the Seven Springs park crew erects an elevated tower system to launch the riders. Bails and slams are cheered just as loudly as stomps as riders push the limits of street style. A DJ is on hand to entertain the crowd and pump up the competitors, and previous musical performances include Mix Master Mike and Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, but the party does not end when the contest does. pathfinderwv.com

SUGAR FEST
SUGAR MOUNTAIN, NORTH CAROLINA
December, 2013

North Carolina’s Sugar Mountain pulls out all the stops for its annual Sugar Fest, now over a decade old. Usually held in the early season as an official winter kick off, Sugar Fest is a diverse celebration of winter activities. Sugar Mountain Director of Marketing Kim Jochl says Sugar Fest is designed to appeal to everyone: “We’ve evolved it over the years to be more inclusive of all winter activities, not just skiing and snowboarding. We have fireworks, live music, and performances by Paul Wylie, [figure skating] Olympic Gold medalist.” Along with Wylie, Sugar brings in other Olympians like skier Diann Roffe to teach clinics and meet the crowd. A rail jam caps off the event with over $4,500 in prizes and giveaways. skisugar.com 

Best of the Rest 

CUPP RUN CHALLENGE
Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia
February 4, 2013snowshoemtn.com

THE MARYLAND OPEN
Wisp Resort, Maryland
February 23, 2013wispresort.com

WILD THING WEEKEND
Canaan Valley Resort, West Virginia
March 1-2, 2013canaanresort.com

SNOWY LUAU FESTIVAL
Timberline Resort, West Virginia
March 15-17, 2013timberlineresort.com

SHRED FOR THE CUP
Appalachian Ski Mountain, North Carolina
All Winterappskimtn.com

For more great Race Ahead information check out these sections:

Snowsports

Trail Running

Road Running

Mountain Biking

Road Cycling

Climbing

Paddling

Hiking

Multisport

Superlatives