The Mammoth Mountain Invitational was a weekend extravaganza of epic proportions. Hollywood celebrities mixed with U.S. Ski Team stars helped raise money for good causes. This year’s ski fest was all about more. There were more teams racing and there was a whole lore more money raised. In all, one-third of a million bucks, a fat 330k was raised for the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation. Wow. A big congrats to all involved.
The Ski Channel was there covering it all. Here’s a brief rundown for those who were not able to attend and for some that did attend but perhaps can’t remember it all. As it was a weekend extravaganza!
What are they wearing? The U.S. Ski Team’s Keely Kelleher and Laurenne Ross racing in spandex and sports bras, fired up the entire crowd with their unique choice in ski outerwear and their infectious personalities.
If a tree falls in the forest… Stacey Cook saved the day after the race sheet, which had all the times of the Invitational competitors on it, was grabbed by a gust of wind. If that sheet had been swallowed up by the weather, could we even say that there’d been a race? Would we have been able to report that Miss Cook, herself won the Championship Round with a total time of 38.04? The U.S. Ski Team speed skier crossed the line, scooped up the race sheet, ensuring that the recorded times would find their rightful place in the historical record and all glory was hers.
What to do with the extra lbs? This year’s invitational was a foody’s dream. From the buffets to Saturday night’s banquet, it was impossible not go Pac Man and munch everything in sight. Nice touches included a glass champagne for the ride up the gondola. First class all the way to the top!
Bryon Friedman & Erik Schlopy are most admirable dudes. Friedman and Schlopy have huge skills on skis, but they have even larger skills of the heart. In 2005, the two founded the World Cup Dreams Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping National Alpine Ski Team members. Through fundraising efforts, including an auction at the Mammoth Mountain Invitational, World Cup Dreams obtained disability insurance for all members of the National Alpine Ski Team in the event of a season or career-ending injury. An amazing accomplishment by both Freidman and Schlopy, two ex-U.S. Ski Team members who are no longer racing, but winning in life.
Two Hollywood exports play at Mammoth. Melissa Rivers was getting down at Hyde, the new Mammoth Mountain night time hot spot. The owners of Hyde Hollywood made the Village at Mammoth the landing spot for their new Hyde. Making it Hollywood-squared, TV celeb Melissa Rivers was chattin’ it up with The Ski Channel, waxing about the great time she was having at the Mammoth Mountain Invitational.
Errol Kerr’s hair is awesome. The Jamaican Ski Team’s Errol Kerr, fresh off his Winter Olympics performance in skier cross, took time out to show all the amazing formations in which his hair can be molded. Kerr, always the keeper and sender of good vibes, teamed up with Mr. Mammoth Himself, CEO and great guy Rusty Gregory.
Greg Bretz is a hometown hero. The surprise qualifier of the four-member halfpipe team at the Winter Olympics showed the hometown love, racing with his father. Another Mammoth legend, Nimbus ski film star Chris Benchetler found no cliffs to huck, but did show off his big mountain skills in the confines of a gated course.
There you have it, the second annual Mammoth Mountain Invitational. With more teams and with 18″ of fresh white stuff, more snow! We lived it, we filmed it, and now we can brag about it. Great times, incredible food, new friends, old friends, and a thousand reasons to look forward to next year’s third annual!