Yes, the snow is melting fast, but the events calendars are heating up in ski country. Put your bike and golf clubs down and go ski this weekend. The big action is going down at Sunday River's Dumont Cup.
Some of the biggest names in big air and big ski tricks, Jossi Wells, Gus Kenworthy, PK Hunder, Torin Wallace, Alexis Godbout, Joss Christenson, and Alex Schlopy, are coming to Maine to compete in the 4th Annual Dumont Cup, a pro am slopestyle contest. Their host is X Games Gold medalist and Maine native Simon Dumont, who founded this event after breaking the world record for a quarter pipe jump in the spring of 2008 at Sunday River.
You can be front and center, in Rocking Chair Park at Sunday River, to watch amateurs work their way through elimination rounds on Friday, March 23. 40 skiers will be selected to compete Saturday against the seven top pro skiers for cash prizes of $25,000. You can ski to the venue, or walk up the snowy hill near the base of Barker Mountain. Unfortunately that is how host Simon Dumont will be attending his own signature event, he pulled out of Euro X Games earlier this month when he tore his ACL, then flew to Vail and underwent surgery last week, so he will not be competing on skis as he has done for the past three years. So it goes with big aerials, big consequences.
Ironically, last year's Dumont Cup was cold and windy which caused blustery tailwinds and several big crashes along with the big tricks. Nick Goepper won with a cork 900, switch dub rodeo 9 japan and a dub cork 10 mute (feel free to look that up in your freeskier dictionary or YouTube it). Goepper's ski career has launched since, this pro am event helps amateur freeskiers show their stuff, meet their montors and grab some attention on the East Coast. This year, the Dumont Cup action should be huge, the snow should be soft, and the spectator scene should be amped up on sunshine and Red Bull giveaways - one of the eventís big sponsors, along with Target, Oakley, Nike 6.0, HEAD, Toyota, Giro, Rockwell, Seshn, Empire Attire, and Kicker. The Dumont Cup is televised on NBC Sports, to broadcast April 10.
If you have not seen the Dumont Cup, it is like X Games slopestyle skiing comes to Maine instead of Aspen. And if you have not had your fill of skiing, The River has over 450 acres of skiing still.
3rd Annual Dumont Cup Photos by Greg Burke
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.