Sierra-at-Tahoe Equinox Spring Festival continues with Buckle Up Big Air competition |

Sierra-at-Tahoe Equinox Spring Festival continues with Buckle Up Big Air competition

Sebastian Foltz
A skier airs off of a large jump feature at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort during a past Buckle Up Big Air competition. The event returns to the resort Saturday, March 26.
Courtesy / Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort |

TWIN BRIDGES, Calif. — With spring in the air and bluebird skies in the forecast, local skiers and snowboarders will be going big in the terrain parks at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort this weekend. The ski area will host its 10th annual Buckle Up Big Air competition as part of the mountain’s Equinox Spring Festival.

“It’s a who’s who of local riders and local talent,” resort marketing director Steven Hemphill said. “Some of our athletes — past and present — make it a point to come out each year.”

The event was created in honor of Greg Taylor Smith, a former Sierra team rider who died in a car accident; he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

“He really loved slopestyle. It was his livelihood,” resort spokeswoman Thea Hardy said. “The event is to raise awareness about safety in vehicles.”

A portion of proceeds from the competition benefit the Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation, a fund for up-and-coming skiers, snowboarders and youth programing.

The slopestyle event will take place Saturday, March 26, with open registration from 7:30-9:30 a.m. followed by the competition.

“Sun, high fives and good times. That’s what it’s all about,” Hemphill said, describing the amateur event open to all ages. “It’s a very laid-back contest, more of a jam session.”

The event is open to the public with viewing opportunities from the Sierra base area and on mountain. Resort officials built park features for the competition this week next to the mountain’s halfpipe.

“We want people to come out and enjoy riding with their friends. That was one of Greg’s staples,” Hemphill said of the inspiration for the competition.

Top finishers will split a $1,200 cash purse and other prizes. Amateur division registration will be $20; the Open Class registration is $35.

The resort will host the central California based rock/reggae/funk band Fish Out of Water as part of the after-party and awards ceremony in the afternoon following the competition.

The resort’s Equinox Spring Festival will continue through spring with additional events and live music. The mountain will host the 20th annual Boarding for Breast Cancer celebration and music festival Saturday, April 2, as part of ongoing spring events. A portion of the day’s lift ticket costs will go toward the charity.

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