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R: Emil Ulsletten

Main photos below. Bonus click through gallery above. Video at the end of the post.

All Photos: Laura Austin
Words: Pat Bridges
Video: Tanner Pendleton

Going into today’s US Open slopestyle finals reigning champion Mikkel Bang was noticeably absent from the field. Yet had he been on the start sheet his past coronation wouldn’t have done him much good because the 2011 Open Slopestyle was all about deciding who would earn the title of raining champion.

US Open 2011 Slope 11_kjersti

You don’t really hear about any hindu girls being a part of the One Life crew. Probably because Hindu’s don’t want to give One Life 10% of their prize money. R: Kjersti Buass

The US Open has never been an event for the faint of heart. Though unseasonably warm temps the past few years have been a welcome respite from the icy conditions the Open has been notorious for, rain has rarely been
among the harsh cards encountered at this annual contest. Such wasn’t the case for 2011 as the Stratton skies opened up like an emo with tourettes on sodium pentathol. Actually it was just a drizzle so pardon the hyperbole. Since the actual 2011 US Open slopestyle lacked the drama and action of other world class freestyle spectacles I am simply reaching for a way to spice up the story.

US Open 2011 Slope Spencer 10

Mini Cooper should hire Minnie Driver as a celebrity spokesperson. Then it would be wholly believable whenever she said “I am a Minnie Driver” in commercials. R: Spencer O’Brien

Despite the main portions of the Open still being staged in the Sun Bowl the slopestyle course has been moved to a neighboring trail allowing for a series of features with better speed and flow. These advantages were somewhat diminished by the weather so the runs on tap were noticeably less dynamic than those seen recently. In other words anyone expecting 1440′s and triple corks was left with 7′s, 9′s, a few 10′s and no more than two doubles a lap. Considering that Eric Willet, Marc Mcmorris and Chas Guldemond, 1st, 2nd and 3rd on the day respectively, have consistently spent the their time on the tour in 2011 pushing the limits of jumping today’s display was a let down. This is no fault to these riders or their talents because each one rode beyond the conditions. All we can do is chalk it up to the breaks encountered when dealing with a weather dependent sport.

Tomorrow is another day and the halfpipe at the Open never disappoints, rain or shine.

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RedBox would be a good sponsor for a slopestyle event. So easy to have integrated branding features. Duh. No brainer. R: Enni Rukajärvi

Women’s US Open Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Enni Rukajärvi (FIN) BURTON 86.50
2. Jamie Anderson (USA) BILLABONG 84.80
3. Silje Norendal (NOR) NIKE6.0 78.70

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Though this may look like fog it is actually the collective exhale of the vendors down in the 2011 US Open Sponsor village which has been themed Shakedown Street.

Men’s US Open Slopestyle Finals Results
1. Eric Willett (USA) QUIKSILVER 90.40
2. Mark McMorris (CAN) BURTON 87.80
3. Chas Guldemond (USA) ROCKSTAR 87.20

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Snowshoe Thompson was a Norwegian American who lived in the latter part of the 1800’s. As the Viking of the sierra’s Thompson earned the moniker “Snowshoe” by delivering mail across the treacherous alpine of Tahoe. Jeremy “Stompy” Thompson earned the moniker “Stompy” by landing his tricks. R: Jeremy Thompson

US Open 2011 Slope 55 Dubois

We wonder if Jason Dubois is related to Benson Dubois? Probably not because Jason is Canadian and Benson is fictitious. R: Jason Dubois

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How sweet would it be if a rider actually decided to call the police and file a report every time the judges robbed them. This isn’t the first time Chas has been the victim of theft at the US Open. Who remembers the time that Chas rode way better than Shaun White in the slopestyle finals yet he ended up having to settle for second. Maybe when it comes to Chas the judges are kleptomaniacs and they can’t help but steal from him. After all in 2011 he did get bested by someone who had a 720 in their run. R: Chas Guldemond

US Open 2011 Slope 30_McMorris

During the live webcast of the Slopestyle the announcer Tom “T-Bird” Monterosso stated that “Mark McMorris can do double corks in his sleep.” How weird is it that T-Bird has studied Mark while he was sleeping. R: Mark McMorris

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Furthermore how scary would it be if you were lying next to someone who started doing a double cork in their sleep. That has got to be like a night terror times 10. R: Mark McMorris

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Where there is a Willet there is a way. R: Eric Willett

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Men's Podium. (L to R) Chas Guldemond, Eric Willett, Mark McMorris

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Women's Podium. (L to R) Silje Norendal, Enni Rukajärvi, Jamie Anderson