Sierra attempts to lift snowboard racing out of rut |

Sierra attempts to lift snowboard racing out of rut

Tribune staff report

Sierra-at-Tahoe plans to pull the snowboard season out of its early rut with a rut of its own.

The mountain’s operations crew will take one last look at the Lower Main run today to make sure it can hold an Alpine race course. If it can, the mountain will kick off the USASA snowboard season around Lake Tahoe with a giant slalom Saturday and a slalom Sunday.

“On Friday, our operations guys are going to take a real look at it,” said Sierra spokesman Ben McLeod. “Their concern is more with setting gates, and after a few racers how much of a rut there’s going to be, if it’ll get down to the dirt.”

If so, Sierra will reschedule the event for Jan. 15. But if not, the event will happen according to the original plan. The resort anticipates between 30 and 100 competitors.

Ed McClain, the head coach of the Heavenly Ski Foundation’s snowboard team, estimated 20-25 of his athletes would compete.

“We’re very excited to not have a canceled event,” he said. “It just means less make-up days. We’ve had great training up here at Heavenly.”

Racers who are not members of USASA need to purchase a $20 annual membership to compete. With membership, each event costs $15. Competitors also need to buy lift tickets, which Sierra will offer at a group discount. Helmets are required for both races. Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the Aspen Cafe.

Awards will follow the races at 4 p.m.

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