Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Lende grabs top honors at 'Big Air'


Christian Lende soared to the advanced title at the Olen Nash Memorial Big Air Contest on Sunday.

The annual event for skiers and snowboarders at Three Guardsmen Mountain in British Columbia has become a tribute to its founder, Olen Nash of Haines, who died in a 1999 commercial fishing accident.

Big Air entrants compete in beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions and are judged on their air, style and landing.

Keegan Sundberg was the runner-up among advanced participants, followed by Darren Shields.

The top three in the intermediate class were Charlie Bower, Kadin Doddridge and Cameron Merklin-Bauer. Ben Erickson, a 7-year-old from the Anchorage area, took first-place honors for beginners. Koa Doddridge was second, and Dylan Chapell and Marirose Evenden tied for third.

The daring tricks drew dozens of onlookers at the Chilkat Pass.

A few of the prizes included heli-skiing tour packages and roundtrip airfare to Juneau.

Volunteers spent Saturday preparing the jump for Big Air. Luck Dunbar again served as coordinator.

Sunday’s weather was clear but considerably colder than in previous years.

The competition was launched in the mid-1900s and occasionally has been held downtown.


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