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[ January 25, 2010 - 11:01am ]
Nicolas Hale Woods
Due to heavy snow and high winds, the Freeride World Tour stop in Russia has been canceled and moved to Chamonix, France. Judge Tom Winter checks in from Krasnaya Polyana.

When a fast moving storm that dropped heavy snowfall and high winds, Nicolas Hale-Woods, head of the Nissan Freeride World Tour, was forced to cancel the Freeride World Tour stop here in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The Chamonix stop of the FWT is scheduled for Saturday, January 30th, and they will reschedule and relocate the Russian stop to take place the next possible day in Chamonix using the start list established in Sochi. 

[ January 23, 2010 - 10:08pm ]
Freeride World Tour, Russia
When you travel from the U.S. to Russia, the best way to get adapted to the new time zone might just be to ski all day and skip lunch and afternoon naps. Freeride World Tour judge Tom Winter checks in from Krasaya Polyana, Russia, the venue for the first competition on the big-mountain tour.

Jet lag is unavoidable for athletes who travel to Sochi for the Freeride World Tour’s Nissan Russian Adventure. In fact, it’s an unavoidable byproduct of the FWT’s global reach. After all, the events span the planet, and it’s a long way from Krasnaya Polyana to Squaw Valley. So, while this judge didn’t come all the way from Squaw, a good 30-plus hours of travel from Denver’s International Airport to the hotel nestled beneath the crags of Caucus Mountains, did take a toll.

[ January 22, 2010 - 4:04am ]
Megan and Black Diamond Starlet
Here's a sneak peak at a 2010-2011 women's ski from Black Diamond called the Starlet. We had a chance to test this women's early-rise, lightweight powder ski during an early morning backcountry tour in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon.

It’s 7 a.m. in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon and it’s still so dark I need to use a headlamp to stick my skins to my skis and click into my bindings. I’m in Utah for the winter Outdoor Retailer show, a gathering of gear manufacturers, retailers, and media meant to showcase outdoor gear that’ll be hitting retail shelves next fall. I’m doing a dawn patrol backcountry tour near Alta Ski Area with some friends to test out a new pair of Black Diamond women’s skis called the Starlet, which is 100 millimeters underfoot, the perfect all-mountain width that’s still plenty fat enough for powder.

[ January 21, 2010 - 10:25am ]
Candide at Bib Draw
Freeride World Tour judge Tom Winter gives us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the top athletes competing at this week's Freeride World Tour in Russia.

To understand how the Freeride World Tour differs from similar, competing events, it’s best to start out with the athletes. While other freeride tours have good skiers—excellent skiers, in fact—the FWT has the best. The start list here at Krasnaya Polyana is awash with the hottest ski and snowboard talent of this generation. How good are these guys? Let’s take a look at a few of the competitors here:

[ January 20, 2010 - 3:49pm ]
The top of Krasnaya Polyana.
The first missive from Freeride World Tour judge Tom Winter as the world's top skiers prepare to throw down at Russia's Krasnaya Polyana.

The first thing you notice when Austrian Airlines flight 615 comes streaking in above the Black Sea toward the airport of Sochi, Russia, are the palm trees. Palm trees! Is this really Russia? But the palm trees are real. Sochi is known for its balmy weather, and while the beaches are empty in January, they fill up in the summer with vacationers who flock to this Black Sea resort, a place that rightfully has a reputation as one of the country’s hottest spots to see and be seen.

[ January 15, 2010 - 6:29pm ]
The ultimate slip-'em-on-at-your-tailgate-while-cracking-a-beer-at-the-end-of-a-great-day-skiing shoes.
[ January 15, 2010 - 4:49pm ]
Plus, a hilarious video on that very subject: "paramarking."

There a lot of purist telemark skiers out there, the kind who drop their knee all the way to the ground no matter how tired their quads are or how hollow and log-riddled the powder. And I respect those people, but sometimes, even the best telemark skiers have to stand up tall and make alpine turns. And I'd say there's nothing wrong with that. Like earlier this week, when a few friends and I ventured into an out-the-gates chute at Colorado's A-Basin. We knew it was early-season conditions, but we wanted to poke around and see if we could find any powder stashes.

[ January 12, 2010 - 11:47pm ]
Winter on Winter, bars
Our online columnist, Tom Winter, explains why it's OK to frequent the same watering hole.

The scariest moment I ever had in skiing was when I finally caught up on a couple of years worth of tax returns and added up all of my receipts. Those receipts included everything I’d spent over a two-year period at a local bar in Vail. Let’s just say that the grand total for those years at that particular watering hole was a bit, well, breathtaking. Especially when I remembered that I’d been frequenting that particular establishment for nearly two decades.

[ January 9, 2010 - 8:25pm ]
Revelstoke Comp Start
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.

[ January 8, 2010 - 6:23pm ]
Revelstoke Comp Venue
The Canadian Freeskiing Championships are happening right now at Revelstoke, BC. Our blogger (who's recovering from a concussion) checks in on the results from the first qualifying day and updates us on the venues for today and the finals tomorrow.

I get off the one-month old shuttle service that runs me from BC’s Kelowna Airport into downtown Revelstoke and gaze up at Mount Mackenzie.