PURGATORY - Take a line of steep bumps. Throw in a couple of big (BIG) jumps. Add some fresh powder to soften the
moguls and the landing zones.
Then line up two dozen top junior freestyle skiers at the top of course. And prepare to launch.
The Durango Freestyle Team and Durango Mountain Resort teamed to host the annual Animas Surgical Hospital Southwest
Freestyle Open at Purgatory last weekend.
Junior skiers from Durango, Telluride and Breckenridge challenged the bumpy course on the lower headwall of Ray's
Ridge at the base of Lift 8 at Purgatory.
It was a good weekend for everyone," said Kirk Rawles, head coach of Durango Freestyle.
The course on Ray's Ridge was great. It's got such a nice pitch. The location (near Lift 8) makes for a great
venue," Rawles said after the skiers competed in single mogul competitions Saturday and Sunday.
A scheduled dual moguls competition Sunday afternoon was scrapped because of heavy snowfall and restricted
Jenna Mulligan had a great weekend," Rawles said. It was a good, consistent weekend for her."
Durango's Mulligan won the girls mogul competition both days, earning a $250 scholarship for Junior Olympics.
Mulligan competed in the J1 division for ages 17 and older.
Ryan Parkinson of Telluride won the boys $250 scholarship for Junior Olympics. Parkinson, a J2 skier (ages 15-16), won Sunday's mogul event. He also was the highest placing J2 skier Saturday with his Telluride coach, Caleb Martin, taking Sunday's overall first place.
In winning the girls events, Mulligan topped Telluride standout Keaton McCargo, who was fourth in the National Junior
Olympics last year (J3 division, ages 13-14).
The wins over McCargo and the field should improve Mulligan's national ranking among USSA freestylers, Rawles said.
He added she may climb into the top 15 or top 10 as a result of the weekend.
I think this is a big boost for Jenna," Rawles said. She's one of the best skiers in the country."
Ellen Southworth of Durango Freestyle was the top J2 girl (ages 15-16). She was fourth on Saturday and Sunday.
Teammate Jamie Wanzek, also a J2, was second to Southworth both days.
Natalie Lyon led the J3 division for Durango Freestyle. Lyon was sixth overall Sunday after taking ninth overall
Sadie Smith was Durango's top J4 skier (ages 11-12).
Other Durango competitors included Natalie Youssef, Hannah Smith and Sabine Lindler.
For the boys, Nolan Stowers led the way for Durango Freestyle. He was the top Durango J4 skier (ages 11-12) Nathan
Youssef led Durango's J3 (ages 13-14) skiers.
Other Durango competitors included George McQuinn, Stephan Davoust, Kelsey Jordan, Nathan Stilwell, James Shahan, Shane Ellis, Brodie Hall and Ty MacGuffie.
MacGuffie was coming off a J3 (ages 13-14) victory in the recent Crested Butte Slopestyle event.
Hank Stowers of Durango Freestyle finished sixth overall at the Crested Butte event.
Durango Freestyle will host another event in the Southwest Freestyle Tour the weekend of Feb. 20-21.
Weather and snow conditions permitting, the mogul event will be held at Purgatory or possible at Chapman Hill in