Practice on Thursday, January 28th was just like any other day. Racers practiced on dual-slalom gates, preparing for the weekend's race at Bryce. But it soon became apparent that gates were being pulled early.

"I was really sad to see the Wintergreen guys pulling the gates," third-year skier Aiden said. "I thought I had a couple more runs I could squeeze in."

The controversial order to pull the gates apparently came from high up the ski chain of command. Captain Michael declined to comment for this story.

Some racers expressed concerns that the early gate-pulling unfairly impacted late-car skiers and riders.

"I was about to show the kids from down South how to ski on ice," first-year Ali told reporters. "But then I had to help carry the gates down the hill instead."

The gates in question. Foreground, left: fourth-year skier Nick.

Through representation, President Peter explained that conditions can become dangerous later in the evening. Some late-car riders questioned the decision nonetheless. "I haven't even gotten warmed up yet," said one disappointed racer.

More pictures from practice.