By Desiree Baldwin
48STRAIGHT—a 48 hour celebration of, “everything we love about ski towns,” was founded and conceived by Sun Valley local Kipp Nelson. The tour is on its second season and running strong with the addition of snowboarding. The final stop of the tour here in Sun Valley has proven to be a fun combination of constant live music on the closed down main street (which always makes for a good time), with bonfires lining the streets and this normally sleepy town turning into a full blown, all night rager. This year’s three-stop event is a consolidation of the Jeep King of the Mountain Series, which is best known for its boardercross competition, and “The Ski Tour,” a ski and snowboard tour that combines skiercross, boardercross, and halfpipe competitions with an on-snow music festival. This new mash up is being dubbed 48STRAIGHT because of the two-day, all day, all night, party atmosphere. The final Jeep King of the Mountain boardercross took main stage at this weekend’s competition in Sun Valley. I was able to cheer on local favorites Graham Watanabe of Hailey, Idaho (former Jeep King of the Mountain Champion who recently won his second career World Cup title) and Ketchum, Idaho’s Yancy Caldwell as they charged the hairball course right alongside boardercross legend and overall King of the Mountain champion, Shaun Palmer. Local rider Dillon Whitmer missed the finals by less than a couple hundredths of a second, but held his own against some of the world’s best boardercross riders. Amidst all the oooohs and ahhhs coming from the many locals skipping work to attend the event on Friday, Nate Holland came out on top in the men’s division, followed closely by Shaun Palmer and Pat Holland.
In the women’s competition, spectators where stunned when the defending Jeep King of the Mountain champion, Lindsey Jacobellis took a serious spill early in the competition. Chythlook-Sifsof, the 19-year-old who is already a member of the U.S. Snowboarding team, battled it out with teammate Marni Yamada along with Lynn Ott and 2007 X Games gold medalist Joanie Anderson. In the championship heat, Chythlook-Sifsof started behind the pack but quickly caught up and made her final nail biting push. In a bunny hop finish that looked more like a potato sack race than a snowboard competition, she cleared the finish line and took home the championship title and keys to a brand new Jeep. Boardercross winners earned the keys to a new Jeep and the pipe riders took home some cold hard cash from the 250,000 purse. Coverage of the action from the tour’s most recent stop in Sun Valley will be televised on March 29 and 30 on CBS Sports. You can also check out videos and first account photo journals on the official event website, http://www.jeepsports.com.
Overall Boardercross Results
Overall Men’s Boardercross Champion – Shaun Palmer
Overall Women’s Boardercross Champion – Callan Chythlook-Sifsof
Sun Valley Men’s Boardercross Results:
1. Nate Holland, Squaw Valley, CA
2. Shaun Palmer, South Lake Tahoe, CA
3. Pat Holland, Tahoe City, CA
4. Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, MI
5. Graham Watanabe, Park City, UT
Sun Valley Women’s Boardercross Results:
1. Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, Girdwood, AK
2. Lynn Neil, Stateline, N.Y.
3. Joanie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, CA
4. Dena Waller, South Lake Tahoe, CA
5. Lynn Ott, Bend, OR