Archives for category: winter sports


Santa Cruz native Cody Townsend was selected in mid-January to captain Team Americas, which will face Team Europe, for the 2013 Swatch Skiers Cup in Zermatt, Switzerland.

The competition, scheduled to be held Feb. 10-15, pits some of the best big mountain, free skiers and slopestyle athletes against each other. This will be the third annual Skiers Cup and first held in Europe.

Townsend will lead teammates KC Deane, Rory Bushfield, Charley Ager, Logan Imlach, Timy Dutton and Josh Daiek, with an eighth rider to be announced.

Together, they face the Team Europe skiers: Captain Kaj Zackrisson, Markus Elder, Paddy Graham, Richard Permin, Sverre Liliequist, Nicolas Vuignier, Fabio Studer, as well as an eighth to be announced.

For more information, check out the official site.

Royal Gorge at Donner Summit just outside of Lake Tahoe is open for the winter ski season, according to a press release.

Royal Gorge, which touts 19 trails and more than 20 kilometers of terrain for cross country skiing, is now operated by Sugar Bowl Resort and is open to the general public seven days a week 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Trail passes will also be available for purchase at the Van Norden trailhead. All-day lift tickets will cost $27. Skiers can receive a $10 discount on a Royal Gorge trail pass on Saturday, and every day throughout the season, by purchasing a $19 CORE pass,” according to a press release.

For more information, visit

I recently found this video at the Grind Out Hunger website and thought it’d be good to share over here. Aptos’ Marissa Hushaw, who you may remember because she dominates on a snowboard, held her inaugural Rail Jam for Grind Out Hunger at China Peak late last month. They raised enough money for 3,600 meals.


— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

Santa Cruz Sentinel sports editor and snow sports enthusiast Julie Jag went out and experimented with the Spiers family at Boreal a few weekends ago for her first-ever snowskating experience. This, and her telling of the tale, were the result.



Editor’s note: This is also the final video made with our GoPro camera before it was lost to the depths of the Pacific Ocean during a diving expedition with a large swell and dangerous conditions.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

From left to right, the top Minus 7 Melee women's finishers were former Santa Cruz resident Tara Curtis Atkins, who took third; Santa Cruz High sophomore Mathilda Spiers, who took second; and Project Snowskate rider Kendra Wilson of Nevada, who won. (Jim Spiers/Contributed)

Santa Cruz High student Mathilda Spiers placed second in the fourth annual Minus 7 Melee snowskate contest at Donner Ski Ranch in Norden near Trukee on Saturday.

Spiers was there defending her 2011 finishes of first place in slopestyle and second place in slalom. Snowskating is a skateboard-snowboard hybrid sport.

Spiers, who rides for the Santa Cruz-based and family run Predog SnowSkate company, was not the only one with Santa Cruz ties to make the podium in the slopestyle event. Also in the women’s division, former Santa Cruz resident Tara Curtis Atkins took third and Spiers’ Predog teammate Kendra Wilson of Nevada won, according to Spiers’ step-mom Melissa Spiers.

Spiers is a sophomore who also “runs track, plays volleyball and wakeskates” according to Melissa Spiers.

Spiers’ brother, Aidan also planned to compete, but had a schedule conflict.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

Aidan Ralston scored this third-place trophy at Sierra-at-Tahoe's 5th annual Ralston Cup over the weekend. (Jim Spiers/Contributed)

Santa Cruz’s Aidan Spiers placed third in the 5th annual Ralston Cup, a snowskating slopestyle competition at Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Upper Main, on Saturday, according to Spiers’ step-mom Melissa.

Spiers — who rides for Predog SnowSkates, a Santa Cruz-based and family run company — was a two-time defending champion in the youth category, but Pioneer rider Dustin Orr prevailed, according to Project Snowskate. Adrian Rassmussen took second.

Snowskating is a snowboard-skateboard hybrid sport.

Next up, Spiers, an eighth-grader, plans to defend his third-place finish in the Minus 7 Melee at Donner Ski Ranch this weekend.
— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article referred to Melissa as Aidan’s mother. She is in fact his step-mom. This version has been updated with the correct information.

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