The 80's were a totally rad decade, except if you were a downhill skier who liked to catch air. That was the era when ski areas mowed down handmade 4' jumps, forbid so-called freestyle air, and were super skeptical of snowboarders and their newfangled tricks. My brother almost lost his pass for launching off picnic tables and hand packing jumps. What a twist that today ski resorts are building 50' jumps, adding metal boxes and rails to terrain parks, open to anyone to huck themselves off.
This Friday and Saturday, Sunday River hosts the 5th Annual Dumont Cup - your chance to see the best free skiers in the country fly off 75 foot jumps and slide metal shooter cannons on an unbelievable slopestyle course on Rocking Chair.
The Dumont Cup is a Pro Am featuring Simon Dumont, Gus Kenworthy, Alex Schlopy Jossi Wells, PK Hunder, Joss Christiansen, Matt Walker, Nick Goepper, Charles and Vincent Gagnier, JF Houle, Colby James West, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, LJ Strenio and Noah Morrison. If you don't recognize these names, and you are still wearing rear entry boots, you must see this ski event and witness how far the sport has rocketed.
The Dumont Cup is Simon Dumont's vision and event - where he brings his pro ski buddies to his home resort, and invites amateurs to compete for a top spot in the finals with the best. Past winners Gus Kenworthy, Alex Schlopy and Nick Goepper's careers launched following their podiums here. Simon, now 26, grew up skiing Sunday River and has become one of the most decorated free skiers in the world, his most recent medal - a bronze at this year's X Games at Aspen.
The March 29 -30 Dumont Cup is like the Winter X Games of the East for free skiing, and your opportunity to witness risky, jaw dropping tricks, triple corks and quad twisty flips at Sunday River - as skiers amped on Red Bull compete for $20,000 in cash, bragging rights and a burgeoning ski career. It's still surprising to me and my brother, children of the 80's, that this kind of big air is allowed, never mind encouraged! Go see for yourself. Dumont Cup at Sunday River Photos by Greg Burke, above Simon & 2011 winner Nick Goepper
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.