2013 Winter X Games slopestyle elimination

All photos Chris Wellhausen

There were a few upsets and surprises during Winter X Games 2013 slopestyle elimination at Buttermilk, Colorado today but Mark McMorris continued his trend toward slope domination, qualifying first. While many riders struggled with speed issues on the jumps, which were more poppy and closer together this year, Mark put down a clean first run out of the two given for qualifying. He started it off with a cab 270 on the down bar, switch front lip on the close-out, front blunt 270 on the stair rail, finishing off the upper section with a boardslide gap boardslide to fakie. On the jump line he rolled into a cab double cork to frontside 1080 double cork followed by a double wildcat to backside 1080 double cork.

Pipe and slopestyle destroyer Peetu Piiroinen qualified second and 18-year old Quebecer Max Parrot came in third fresh off a win at the O'neil Evolution in Davos, Switzerland.

As the field of 16 riders was whittled down to the eight who will compete in slopestyle finals on Saturday, Shaun White held on to seventh position. So Shaun will still have a chance to ride against Mark who called out his slopestyle game in a video recently.

“He doesn’t dominate slopestyle at all," said Mark. "He doesn’t ride rails. He doesn’t watch snowboarding, I don’t think. It’s kinda weird if you get scored high and you’re not grabbing your board, even? That’s a little crazy.”

Could a little of the beef stem from the fact that Shaun beat Mark in slope at the Winter X Games Tignes in March 2012?

Watch what Mark had to say in the lead up to the the 2013 Aspen X Games below.

Among those who didn't make the cut were Torstein Horgmo who failed to qualify for the first time since he's competed in the event. Slope has been a bit of  a tough one for Torstein since his 2008 win. Although he’s killed the big air events he hasn’t been on an X Games slopestyle podium since then.

Seb Toots who won slope in 2011 also didn't qualify and neither did Sage Kotsenburg who got silver in last year's X Games slopestyle. Another favorite, Halldor Helgason was about three-quarters of the way through an amazing second run, which included a double barrel roll, but fell on the landing of the third jump.

Stay tuned for coverage of the street and big air events tomorrow.

Elimination Results And Scores

1. Mark McMorris: 88.66

2. Peetu Piiroinen: 81.33

3. Max Parrot: 75.66

4. Seppe Smits: 72.00

5. Chas Guldemond: 70.00

6. Aleksander Oestreng: 68.66

7. Shaun White: 67.33

8. Gjermund Braaten: 62.00

9. Roope Tonteri: 46.66

10. Sebastien Toutant: 43.66

11. Stale Sandbench: 33.33

12. Halldor Helgason: 20.00

13. Torstein Horgmo: 19.66

13. Sage Kotsenburg: 19.66

14. Ulrik Badertscher: 14.00

15. Eric Willett: 10.00