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Freeskiing World Tour: Revelstoke Day 2

Freeskiing World Tour: Revelstoke Day 2

[ January 9, 2010 - 8:25pm ]
Revelstoke Comp Start
Dek: 
Today's scheduled finals of the Canadian Freeskiing Championships have been postponed until tomorrow due to high winds and poor visibility. Weather permitting tomorrow, the top-performing athletes will be taken by helicopter to the top of Revelstoke's Mount Mackenzie. Our blogger, Paul Sliker, checks in despite still being loopy from suffering from a concussion the day before the competition.

We woke up to a couple inches of snow this morning in downtown Revelstoke, the site of this week’s Canadian Freeskiing Championships, the second stop on this year’s Freeskiing World Tour. Though any snowfall is good news for a big-mountain comp, the significant fog covering the upper parts of the mountain is not. The conditions have made it sketchy for a helicopter to operate safely at high altitudes and the visibility will be near to none from a spectator’s point of view. In a big-mountain comp, judges must be positioned well beneath the venue so that they can view each athlete’s run in its entirety. Due to these weather circumstances, the finals have been postponed and moved to tomorrow in hopes that visibility will be clear and snow cover will improve.

On Friday, athletes faced off against each other on the North Bowl, an area with a much steeper face and more varied terrain than the qualifier venue. Competitors were pointing down through body-wide chutes between large cliffs and boulders from the top of the venue, sending them fast into fall lines with 20- to 30-foot features in either direction beneath them. The ridge was spacious and navigable, allowing athletes to pick many different lines according to their styles and strengths.

All the local Revelstoke competitors who advanced through the qualifier were knocked out, including Eric Young, who scored the highest that day. Chopo Diaz picked the most dynamic line out of the group of athletes, and sits comfortably in first place going into tomorrow’s final. The Chilean already has one big-mountain title under his belt this year, taking the Freeskiing World Tour’s first stop, the South American Freeskiing Championships in his home country. Yesterday he charged fast without hesitation and stomped a couple big, daring airs despite the hard-packed conditions.

Joining Diaz in the top five slots in tomorrow’s final will be Ryan Sullivan, Arne Backstrom, Caleb Mullen, and Julien Lopez. For the women, British Columbia native Janina Kuzma and Jackson Hole’s Jess McMillan and Jacqui Edgerly earned themselves the top three spots, respectively.

The finals venue for tomorrow is still dependent on visibility. As of now, the plan is to transport the finalists to the top of Mount Mackenzie and have them square off on the Mac face. If that goes down, it truly will be a spectacle, setting up for possibly one of the best venues of the competitive big-mountain season. The terrain hasn’t been skied yet this season and is wind protected, leaving them untouched fresh powder—something often not found in most big-mountain events.

As for me, I’m still feeling a bit loopy after my head bang. This morning I tried to snap into my bindings backwards—looks like I won’t be sending any airs.  —Paul Sliker

To view the live webcast, visit www.freeskiingworldtour.com and click on the “Live” link at the top of the page.


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