Local Kirkwood skier Craig Garbiel won the Subaru North American Freeskiing Finals on the Cirque at Kirkwood yesterday. I went out to the Backside in the morning and watched some of the woman drop down into the Cirque from the ridge above Thunder Saddle. I then dropped down the Saddle into the Devil's Corral to watch the all day competition. You can see more photos of the event on altamontstudios.com.
A low snow year meant that skiers had to stay on the Looker's Left part of the Cirque, so many of the normal cliffs and chutes were not skiable this year. That didn't stop the competitors from pulling off some incredible runs. My favorite of the day was seeing Drew Tabkes (aka "The Flyin Hawaiian") pull off a flawless 50 foot backflip.
Another local Kirkwood skier, Josh Daiek, crashed and didn't make into the Men's final 12 run. Josh was sixth on the tour coming into the Kirkwood leg.
Last year I made a DVD of several years of Extremes video footage I had shot. Nate, a Kirkwood ski patroller I know was doing some remodeling of the house next door to mine, so I gave him a copy of the DVD. He mentioned that he knew the guy who won the Kirkwood event, Craig Garbiel, so I gave him a another copy of the DVD to give to Craig. Nate then mentioned that Craig was getting married in a few weeks, and he didn't know what to get him for a wedding present, so the DVD was going to do the trick.
Congratulations Craig Garbiel and go Kirkwood!