The first stop of the US Grand Prix kicks off Friday, December 10, at Mammoth Mountain with the halfpipe qualifiers. Forty-four women and 66 men are competing today in a best of two runs format. Those hoping to qualify for the final include, Todd Richards, Keir Dillon, John Sommers, Luke Wynen, the Anderson brothers, Shaun White, Bryan Iguchi, Abe Teter, Max Ploetznater, and Erik Leines.

The pipe itself looks great. It was shaped with the Super Dragon, the same machine used to build the pipe at Breckenridge last weekend, so the transitions are big and meaty. There were some complaints however. Shaun White had some trouble at the top. “Up near the top there are some kinks in the transition and then in the middle there1s some over-vert sections,” he said after his second qualifying run.

Mammoth local Billy Anderson was trying to get some practice in during the qualifying rounds. “I just don1t practice enough,” he said. “Yesterday it was snowing and I’ve been sick. This is the biggest the transitions been here at Mammoth. A little more time and everyone will be ripping.”Todd Richards was leading the field after two runs of the heat one qualifier.

The US Grand Prix continues with the halfpipe finals on Saturday, the Dorritos Quarterpipe competition Saturday night and the Super G on Sunday.

There is still time to get in the car and head for Mammoth. The mountain has some of the best snow in California and it1s been snowing off and on for the past two days.

Stay tuned for more from Mammoth Mountain.