Duncan Adams' goal for Winter X

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Duncan Adams competing at Winter X Aspen in 2011.

Duncan Adams avoids measuring success based purely on results. Despite not having double flips in his repertoire, the Breckenridge-based freeskier finished on the podium at the first two halfpipe contests of the season. If you ask him, Adams will probably tell you he's more of a big-mountain skier than a pipe skier (he does both, and does both well). With a lackluster snowfall in Colorado this winter, his focus has been in the halfpipe, and he's getting ready to debut an entirely new run at Winter X Games 2012 this week in Aspen.

You took third at both the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain and the Dew Tour's Nike Open at Breckenridge. How do those strong early finishes set the tone for the season?
It felt good to start the season that way. I didn't really expect it. They weren't the gnarliest runs ever. I just tried to do them as clean and as well as I could. It was a rad way to start the season. It's definitely a confidence booster, especially because I've got some tricks that I haven't thrown yet. Hopefully, once those get thrown into the mix, it'll be even better. So I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season.

In terms of tricks, what do you have up your sleeve for Winter X Games?
I'm kind of keeping that on the down-low right now. I don't want to claim anything until it's perfected and ready for the contest. There should be some new tricks; that's all I want to say. The X Games is the contest to bring new tricks out. So that's the goal, definitely.

You're a skier who generally doesn't like to put numerical goals out there, but what are you hoping for Winter X Games?
I've got a run that I've got in my head right now. Just to land that and piece the run together, that's my top goal. So the goal is to land some runs and feel good about the way I'm skiing. I don't want to focus on a certain result because there are too many variables.

So, if you land the run you're talking about, do you expect a podium finish?
I've got high expectations for it. I'm not going to lie.

You definitely have your own way of doing things in the pipe. How do you manage podium results without any double flips, and how has your style been received by the judges?
I guess it's just a matter of trying to be different. I think there are some cool double flips going on right now. But I'm just trying to be technical in other ways. There are other ways to be technical in the pipe without flipping and spinning a lot. Judging-wise, it doesn't get scored as well. But I think the judges have been warming up to my runs a little more this year, and I think I'm skiing better also. It's not about skiing for the judges' reactions necessarily. I try to do my own thing and they've been liking it. I definitely try and grab as long as I can and be super controlled to make everything as smooth as possible. I do a lot of switch stuff, too, which makes it more technical and, honestly, makes it more fun for me.

You've competing in big-mountain contests and filmed in the backcountry as well. With the lousy early-season snow conditions in Colorado, have you been spending more time in the pipe this year than usual?
Yeah, definitely. I've been skiing a lot more halfpipe than I ever have before. In past years, I'll ski (the halfpipe) in the early season and then go to the contests and not really ski it in between. This year, with the lack of snow, I've been experimenting a little bit more, seeing how things go and spending more time actually practicing the halfpipe because there isn't much else to do.

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