Snowboarding: Kass charged over trail stunt

Gary Husband
Gary Husband
Wanaka police confirmed yesterday American snowboarder Danny Kass has been charged with endangering public safety after an incident this week at the Cardrona skifield.

Kass (26), who will appear in the Queenstown District Court on Monday, allegedly drove his van up the main McDougalls trail about 9.30am on Monday, The Mountain Scene reported yesterday.

Kass has a high profile in the United States, winning back-to-back silver medals in the snowboard halfpipe at the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games.

He has been staying in Wanaka this month and competed in the New Zealand Snowboard Open last week, finishing ninth in the slopestyle and 31st in the halfpipe event.

Kass has not yet been included in the US team for the Winter Games snowboarding events at Cardrona next week.

Cardrona field manager Gary Husband told the Otago Daily Times Kass had not been served with a trespass notice, but said "he won't be back" at the skifield.

He declined to comment further.

Constable Mike Johnston, of Wanaka, said Kass had spoken to Cardrona staff about having his conspicuously-painted van towed to the halfpipe for a promotional photo shoot, The Mountain Scene reported.

Kass allegedly drove the vehicle up a crowded main trail.

The vehicle got stuck and, because snow conditions were soft, it could have rolled over and slid down the skifield, Const Johnston said.

US Ski and Snowboard Association communications manager Tom Kelly could not be contacted yesterday.

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