The Orage Masters “anti-comp” proclaims itself a traveling circus, the “craziest scene skiing has ever seen,” one part tailgate party, one part costume party and one part slopestyle. And this wacky hybrid is pulling in to Sun Valley.
Witness the raucous, riotous, outrageous Orage events yourself on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, when 32 freestyle athletes, participating in teams of four, will take to the jumps, rails and features that Terrain Park manager Brian Callahan and his team have been busy pulling out of their collective vivid imagination.
Though Dollar may have officially closed for the season on Sunday, Brian is out pushing piles of snow around the mountain, including collapsing the 22-foot Superpipe and moving the snow into huge hills to create a high altitude playground of proportions heretofore unseen! This circus has many more than three rings and must be seen to be believed.
Orage, the manufacturer of colorful, high-quality ski outerwear and clothing, gave birth to this end-of-season mayhem in 2001 at Mammoth Mountain in California. In 2011 and 2012, the event took a hiatus as organizers (a.k.a. the ringmasters) searched for the perfect bright, sunny town with a great resort and people who love a good costume party. Needless to say, Sun Valley fit the bill.
This, the 8th chapter of the Orage Masters brings some of the top names in freeskiing to Sun Valley. All the pros have big followings online and will represent ski film crews including Level 1, Inspired Media Concepts, Stept, and, of course, Traveling Circus. The anti-comp is drawing (expected) competitors including Phil Casabon, Mike Hornbeck, Sean Jordan, Chris Logan, Matt Margetts, Andy Parry, Sean Pettit, John “LJ” Strenio, Clayton Vila and Will Wesson. Sun Valley’s own Banks Gilberti will also take home slope advantage. Other local riders planning to shred on Dollar are Collin Collins and Karl Fostvedt.
Four racers will be on the course at any given time, according to Mike Nick, marketing director for Orage, amping up the atmosphere of a three-ring circus. “Two teams go head-to-head in each heat and the other teams are the judges,” he explained. “Spectators can get right on the course and will be very close to the athletes and the action which makes it even crazier,” Mike explained. He also said that local skiers and boarders are invited to come to the training course on Friday (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) to meet the athletes and get a taste of Saturday’s escapades.
After training on Friday, a broom hockey tournament will take place from 4 – 6 p.m. at Sun Valley’s Indoor Ice Rink. In the center ring on Saturday, preliminary heats will begin at 11 a.m. and events run until 4 p.m. To cap off the madness, the popular band Old Death Whisper will play a free concert at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge from 4 – 5:30 p.m. The party moves to downtown Ketchum to Whiskey Jacques at 8 p.m. with a live show and after-party featuring the Casey Donahew Band.
You have never seen anything like this, so you should probably go see it! Sun Valley is, after all, the birthplace of freestyle skiing!
As Mike said, “Sun Valley has been doing a lot to reinvent itself in the freestyle world, and the roots are definitely here. This is something of an untapped resort for this generation of freestyle skiers in many ways and the athletes are excited to get here and get onto the course.”