Saturday, January 09, 2010

Go ski racer

Since it just doesn't seem to want to snow out here, I don't really want to do much skiing. Instead, Julie, Jasper and I went snowshoeing in the morning and then I went over to Park City to watch some ski racing.

This is a Mountain Regional race. Most of the competitors are young men and women from high schools and colleges around Colorado, Utah, Nevada and the mountain west. Some are on the Olympic Development team, but these aren't the super stud skiers. They are all over in Europe racing right now (Go Lindsey Vonn!)

The event lasts for four days, but all of these pictures are from day 2 of the woman's race.

The thing that impressed me was how much the ladies got their skis up on edge and their bodies down low. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to hold an edge like that. Notice how close her butt is to the snow, but that her upper body is still almost straight up.

The day was beautiful and the sky was a gorgeous blue. We contrast that with the smoggy, hazy, nasty red alert days they are having down in Salt Lake City.

Some competitors were grimacing with the effort, while others seemed to be having a great time.

The most painful thing to me is the way they smack the gates as they go by. The ones that have the fastest times aren't just touching the gates. They smack every one hard! Look at how far over the right flag support is bent.

And sometimes bad things happen, at speed.

She just held on and kept her skis out of the way. She was dazed and hurt, but skied down by herself.

Right next to the race course is the half pipe and one of Park City's terrain parks. The kids in the half pipe weren't doing exciting things, but the ones going off the jumps were getting some big air.

Some were on skis and some were on snowboards. I liked watching when the skiers actually approached the jump skiing backwards and then took off from there.

This was one of my favorite pictures from the day. While everyone else was doing big tricks, this guy just went floating by. It was hard to notice that he wasn't just skiing on the ground. No movement. No leaning. No prepping for a big landing.

The snowboarders have a bit of an advantage because the landing can be more varied, and yet still be successful. When the skiers did twisting flips, I was sure I was going to be shooting pictures of AirMed helicopters.

And we end with one of the more colorful ones. So many things to photograph here. On Monday I am heading down to shoot the Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon.

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