The annual Snowbowl Gelande Cup finished up in typical Gelande Cup style this weekend, with a man soaring more than a hundred feet through the air, naked.
The two-day event centered around drinking beer, having a good time and watching spandex-clad, and sometimes nude, competitors fly hundreds of feet through the air. The nine professional and four amateur jumpers launched themselves off of an alpine ski jump at speeds more than 50 mph. Competitors are judged off of distance, form, speed and style.
“Screaming earns you extra style points for sure,” said one judge after a competitor flew by shrieking.
“Anything that takes extra effort,” said another judge.
“They get a ton of extra points if they cup their balls,” another pitched in.
The only thing serious about the Gelande Cup is the $10,000 worth of prizes that go to the winners. Marsh Gooding took home first place in the professional category, an $8,000 prize and the honor of drinking out of the cherished Gelande Cup.
Marsh Gooding is no stranger to the first-place spot. This year marks his third win at the competition. The Steamboat, Colorado native travels out to Snowbowl every winter to compete in the event.
Gooding's longest jump was 198 feet with the next best distance coming from Missoula native Ryan Flink at 190 feet. The Pro results ranked Gooding in first with 665 points, followed by second place winner Erik Wilson at 631 points and third place winner Pat Arnone at 615 points. Missoula local Max Jacobs won the amateur competition with 491 points.
The Missoula women's rugby team, Betterside, measured the distance competitors landed at. The women laid down poles where competitors landed and relayed the measurement to judges standing at the top of the jump. The best skiers of the day jumped nearly 200 feet out.
The lodge deck was packed during the two-day event with a crowd of skiers, snowboarders and onlookers cheering loudly each time a jumper soared into view.
“This event is really awesome, it’s my first time coming but it’s a really cool experience. These guys are crazy,” University of Montana student Alex Joyce said.
The winner of the amateur competition, Max Jacobs, gave the crowd something to cheer about at the end of the competition as he streaked through the air, in more ways than one.