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High flying fun at the Winter Dew Tour

Dew Tour halfpipe

The Winter Dew Tour came back to Breckenridge and brought with it some amazing pipe and slope competition. Kicking off the tour during Breckenridge’s 50th Birthday (Dec. 16), it will continue through the season with stops in Killington, Vermont and Ogden, Utah.

As an extreme winter sports novice, I wasn’t sure what to expect heading to Breck this past week, but I was met with astounding feats of athleticism, a fun après atmosphere, and a few surprises.

In the pipe

Competing in the world’s longest half pipe at 602 feet, the world’s best freestyle skiers took to the pipe throwing some outrageous heli’s and flips. Compared to the better known snowboarders, I had no idea these aerial artists existed. Guys like Lukas BowmanTucker Perkins, and the overall winner, KevinRolland all laid out perfect airborne acrobatics (including a massive switch 9) to the delight of the crowd. Dew Tour 2011

Not to be outdone, the biggest names in half pipe snowboarding came and showcased their skills on the picture perfect Colorado snow Saturday. Riders from as far away as Japan and Russia joined up with local all-stars like Breckenridge’s own Steven Fisher.

Olympians Shaun WhiteLouie Vito, and Scotty Lago put on great displays of signature moves including stunning double corks and double flips balanced with some serious spin.

But not everyone was so lucky: Luke Mitrani,Danny Davis and Iouri Podlachikov all took some serious spills, landing on everything from tailbones to foreheads.

And let’s not forget about the girls. Heavy favorites Kelly Clark and Gretchen Bleiler put on quite a show and were certainly challenged by an outstanding run from Chinese Olympian Xuetong Cai.

At the base

In addition to the fun that competition brings, the Winter Dew Tour provided a festive slopeside base camp. Just outside of Peak 8’s Ski Hill Grill, the Festival Village featured video gaming, giveaways, and encounters with gear pros and athletes.

In town, Main Street came alive each night of the tour with competitors and spectators looking for après food and fun after a long day on the mountain. The tour parties at Cecilia’s and Liquid Loungemay have been “official” but all of main street was pumped up to host the tour.

Adding to the merriment is the Nike Chosen rail jam and concert featuring Prime Element that is shaping up to be the granddaddy of them all. Taking place in the heart of Breckenridge, this after party at the Riverwalk is sure to be one for the ages…hard to say after all the fun and excitement fromBreckenridge’s 50th Birthday Bash just yesterday.

Not finished yet

But things aren’t over yet; the slopestyle finals take place Sunday at Peak 8. Take advantage of the best talent served up in Breck and make the day on the hill out of it. Who knows, after watching the athleticism of Tom Wallisch or Silvia Mittermueller, you may want to challenge yourself next time in the park.

— Chris Yonushewski

**Dew Tour Update**
Sunshine and great tempatures made the last day of the tour bittersweet as the slopestyle competition was filled with great performances. After all the rotations, flips, corkscrews, and rails, the snow settled and this leg’s winners emerged. Tom Wallisch in the men’s freeski slopestyle, Gjermund Braaten in the men’s snowboard slopestyle, and Spencer O’Brien in the women’s snowboard slopestyle. For full results for the tour please click here.

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