By Tyler Allen EBS Senior Editor
BIG SKY – More than 100 skiers and snowboarders tested their wits and skills in Big Sky Resort’s expert north side terrain March 12-13 during the 11th annual Headwaters Spring Runoff.
Nearly 80 junior competitors, ages 18 and younger, competed in Saturday’s qualifiers in the Obsidian area for an opportunity to move on to the Sunday finals. The young rippers took advantage of Obsidian’s large drops and fast snow conditions to put on an impressive show for the judges and spectators watching from the bottom of the venue.
Approximately half of the juniors were selected to compete on Sunday, and event organizers moved the competition to the heart of the Headwaters Cirque. Both the adults and junior finalists were given one run in Zone 3, or the Three Forks area, with options to exit the bottom through The Elbow, DTM or Dead Goat.
“I was thrilled that [the venue] was in Zone 3 this year,” said Erik Morrison, a longtime Runoff competitor who took 11th in the men’s snowboard division. “It was really nice to see a slight change of venue and have the Headwaters competition on new lines. I’d like to continue to see more variety in terrain selection and features.”
The top of Three Forks was mostly hardpack after the juniors were given an inspection run before the adult competition – but with a few inches of new snow and filtered sunshine throughout the day, the bottom of the venue was in great shape for big airs and screaming straight-lines into the apron. Morrison was especially impressed with how hard the juniors attacked the venue.
“It is the next generation that’s coming up of Big Sky freeriders
that gives me hope for the future of the Headwaters Spring Runoff,” he said. “The strength and numbers of the juniors coming up will make it so the [competition] lasts for many years to come.”