Skies unload for Wolf Creek Fun Race

Photos by Patrick Shea Reiko Tanaka Piekarski traveled from Chapel Hill, N.C. and jumped in the Fun Race at Wolf Creek Ski Area on Jan. 6, winning the women’s 31–35 division with a time of 43.72.

WOLF CREEK SKI AREA— Skiers and snowboarders raced through tricky conditions at Wolf Creek Ski Area on Jan. 6 while the mountain received 11 inches of fresh snow. The second leg of the Fun Race Series fielded 20 racers, and the oldest competitor recorded the fastest time.
Winning the 71-plus division and topping all times, Buzz Burke from Pagosa Springs navigated the course in 31.36. Jeb Thompson, also from Pagosa Springs, recorded 33.47 on his second run to top the boys 15–17 class. South Fork’s Corbin Horrocks took one run, enough for the fastest time for boys 9–11 (33.70) and third-fastest for the day. Also from South Fork, Augie Sparrow won the men’s 36–40 group a whisker behind Horrocks (33.85).
The course challenged racers with limited visibility and slippery surprises. Many competitors improved for their second tour through the gates once they got a feel for conditions. Others elected to race only once.

Race results
Girls 6–8
Isabelle Ratcliff (Pagosa Springs): 44.44, 40.36
Boys 9–11
Corbin Horrocks (South Fork): 33.70
Girls 9–11
Karine Brown (Pagosa Springs): 1:04.38, 1:03.79
Boys 12–14
Roland Kool (Pagosa Springs): 37.17, 35.96
Boys 15–17
Jeb Thompson (Pagosa Springs): 34.21, 33.47
Nurivan Gomez (Austin, Texas): 42.07, 53.95
Girls 15–17
Hoku Caroselli (Pagosa Springs): 35.80, 46.13
Boys 18–20
Natiel Gomez (Austin, TX): 40.30, 38.73
Women’s 31–35
Reiko Tanaka Piekarski (Chapel Hill, NC): 43.72
Men’s 36–40
Augie Sparrow (South Fork): 33.85
Aaron Horrocks (South Fork): 40.90, 42.24
Men’s 41–50
Patrick Abair (Shallow Water, TX): 48.33
Mark Loy (Del Norte): 1:14.84
Women’s 41–50
Nikki Horrocks (South Fork): 43.82, 41.25
Jennifer Brown (Pagosa Springs): 58.21, 50.07
Men’s 51–60
Gerard Henken (Pagosa Springs): 40.34, 37.42
Scott Crandall (Plano, Texas): 47.69, 49.48
Robert Brown (Pagosa Springs): 1:05.66
Women’s 51–60
Becky Henken (Pagosa Springs): 50.73
Men’s 71-plus
WINNING TIME Buzz Burke (Pagosa Springs): 31.36

The third race in the series is scheduled for Jan. 27, but it’s only one of 11 total competitions on the mountain for the rest of this season. The Holiday Series includes six races as well.
Fun Series racers can register between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. in the Raven’s Nest at the top of the Raven Chairlift. First runs begin at 11 a.m., and competitors can also sign up at the race start after 11 a.m. Anyone with a ski ticket can enter for free, perhaps winning a medal during the awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m.
With all the lifts and terrain open, Wolf Creek Ski Area is offering even more runs within the boundaries this year. The new Charity Jane Express chairlift unlocks glades and runs that, in the past, required a little hiking following the fun descent. A bonus for snowboarders, the new lift also features a safety bar without footrests.


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