I’ve stayed at ski lodges, hotels, B&Bs and motels on my travels but this was the first time I had the pleasure of staying at a real mansion on one of my trips. The Wilberton Inn is the largest private estate in Manchester Village, situated on 23 acres. The inn was filled with antiques and art work with numerous sculptures inside and on the grounds. The Wilburton Inn offers spectacular scenery, the special ambiance of a Victorian manor house, all the amenities of a luxury hotel with the charm of a bed and breakfast. Albert Levis M.D., a Greek-born psychiatrist purchased the inn in 1987 and serves as the inn’s host. If you would like to treat yourself to a little elegance, I suggest you try the Wilberton Inn and live like a Lord or Lady of yore for a pittance. With rates starting at $125 per room, a stay at this mansion is a REAL bargain. Rates include breakfast in the diningroom and afternoon refreshments. If you are skiing Bromley, Stratton, or Magic this would be an excellent choice where your could treat yourself like royalty. For reservations call: (800) 648-4944 and tell them you read about them in the Ski Bum News.

US Open 2010
I arrived at Stratton and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The preliminaries of the slopestyle competition were going on, so I had a chance to take a few runs before the finals. I keep forgetting how big Stratton is. The runs were long and the ones that were steep and bumped-up were very challenging.

Mikkel Bang (NOR) and Sina Candrian (SUI) each took home $20,000 and top slopestyle honors at this event. I watched as riders came down the course and hit the jumps and features. They did flips, Cabs, frontside and backside 720s, 900s, and 1080s, taking off and/or landing “fakie” then hitting a rail or a tabletop then another jump, with some riders launching themselves off the cannon feature. This is a HECK of an event with some of the best snowboarders in the world competing for the prize money. If you’ve never seen a Slopestyle event, put the US Open on your short list!

Mikkel Bang won his first US Open slopestyle on his first run when he became the man to beat. He topped that run with his second run, that included a Cab 1080, switch backside 1260 indy and a frontside 1080 on the jumps. The battle for 2nd and 3rd place podium spots went down to the final run of the competition when Ulrik Badertscher landed 2nd place with a backside 900, Cab 900 nosegrab and a backside 1080 late cork finishing with a 50/50 to a double front flip off the canon feature. He also won the AMP Energy Best Trick award with this sick trick. Sebastien Toutant (CAN) placed 3rd with his mind-boggling run.

In the women’s competition, Sina Candrian (SUI) grabbed the lead and held onto it and then topped her own score on her third run with a Cab 540, frontside 720 and a backside 360 on the jumps. Shelly Gotlieb (NZL) was 2nd with a run featuring a Cab 540, backflip and a backside 720. Former US Open slopestyle champion, Jamie Anderson (USA) placed 3rd and Lisa Wiik (NOR) won the AMP Energy Best Trick for her backside 720 indy.

Rail Jam
That evening, they held the “Black & Night Jam”, followed by Rahzel and JS-1 playing a free concert.

In the US Open’s fourth ever rail jam, 25 men and 10 women had 90 minutes to get in as many runs as possible. Multiple riders dropped at once, hitting a variety of boxes, rails, mini-quarterpipes, gaps and a lift tower feature that provided riders with an opportunity to get multiple hits on each run.

The first place prize was $10,000 and Charles Reid (CAN) and Jamie Anderson (USA) were the big winners. Tim Humphreys (USA) cane in 2nd for the men and took home $5,000. Shaun Murphy (USA) was 3rd and pocketed $2,500. With AMP Energy Best Trick awarded to Luke Haddock for the men with a Fast plant on the quarterpipe

Close behind Jamie Anderson was Sarka Pancochova (CZE) who grabbed $5,000 for 2nd and Chanelle Sladics (USA) came in 3rd and put $2,500 in her purse. The lady AMP Energy Best Trick was done by Sarka Pancochova with a Backside 540 over the lift tower feature.

Kazuhiro Kokubo and Kelly Clark won the 2010 US Open halfpipe, with thousands of fans enjoying some of the most progressive riding I’ve ever seen. This was Kelly Clark’s fourth win. She is now the only woman in US Open history to win that many titles. Three major titles were awarded, including a new Volvo to top US Open male and female overall riders Ulrik Badertscher (NOR) and Jamie Anderson (USA). Peetu Piironen (FIN) was on the podium three times, taking home a total of $103,250. He won the $3000 Kodak Best Trick award for a Cab 1080 double cork, the $50,000 men’s Burton Global Open Series (BGOS) title, the $50,000 men’s Swatch TTR World Tour Championship title, plus $250 for his 12th place halfpipe finish. Enni Rukaj√§rvi (FIN) won the women’s 2010 BGOS championship title and $50,000. For the first time, BGOS riders took home $30,000 for 2nd place and $20,000 for 3rd place.

The women’s halfpipe contest was dominated by the USA. Kelly Clark nailed her fourth US Open halfpipe title with an unbeatable 94.17 on her first run that included a huge frontside air, a backside 540 mute grab, a frontside 720, and a Cab 720 mute, finishing with a frontside corked 900 that won the $3,000 Totino’s Highest Air Award. In 2nd place was Kaitlyn Farrington (USA) with a run that included back-to-back 720s. Ellery Hollingsworth (USA) was 3rd and she also earned the Kodak Best Trick for her Michalchuk.

Double corks abounded with the leaders throwing down double corks in every run for the men. Kazuhiro Kokubo (JPN) was the winner with a run that included a frontside 900 melon, his crowd-favorite McTwist Chicken Wing trick followed by three 1080s. Louie Vito (USA) nailed 2nd by executing three double corks in his first run edging out Iouri Podladtchikov (SUI) who came in 3rd with a run that included a backside 1260 double cork in the middle of his run. The 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Scotty Lago (USA) won the Totino’s Highest Air award.

This was one of the greatest halfpipe competitions that I’ve ever seen. The riders all pushed the envelope and delighted the crowd with their aerial maneuvers.

The next day, the juniors took on the adult-sized halfpipe where boys and girls 13-years-old and under competed in the US Open Junior Jam.