Story: McKenna Peterson / Photos: Ryan Walters
After a full week of standing by to stand by, the weather lifted and the first ever stop of the “true” Freeride World Tour took place in Revelstoke, BC. The much anticipated event went off without a hitch despite the -20 C temps and threatening fog. The men dropped first. Handling high speed sluff and inconsistent snow, they tore apart every aspect of Mac Daddy face. Tahoe local, Ralph Backstrom, proved once again why he is the reining FWT overall champ by taking the top spot with a fast and aesthetically pleasing run down the left side of Mac Face. Ralph was joined on the podium by French riders Ludovic Guillot-Diat and Aurelien Routens, taking second and third place respectively.
With 8,000 big ones awarded to the best single run, the entire men’s ski field threw down with consequential lines and huge airs. Long time competitor and Washington local, Drew Tabke, confidently executed the most creative line choice of the day. Drew skied a “movie style” run, linking up huge airs and fast turns down the true fall line of Mac Daddy. Even before it was announced, the spectators knew that Tabke had the top run of the day. Jeremy Heitz from Switzerland took the second place spot with a fast and technical double drop on the exposed skiers right side of the venue. The flying Frenchman, Julien Lopez, rounded out the podium with a solid run down the more playful skiers left side of Mac face.
The women took a stab at a sluffed out, bomb hole ridden Mac Daddy late in the afternoon. With no more direct sunlight on the face, the snow set up and the women found themselves competing in less than ideal conditions. Although unfortunate that the women had to compete in such conditions, the fact that the ladies still confidently went after big, exposed lines shows why they truly are the best in the world. Utah’s Shannon Yates executed a graceful and fluid run to grasp first place for the female snowboarders. Shannon was followed by Margot Rozies and Elodie Mouthon respectively in second and third, both from France.
The lady skiers admirably went for broke and, unfortunately, less than half of the field made it down without a tumble. Sweden’s Christine Hargin and Austria’s Nadine Wallner were the last two competitors to drop into Mac Daddy face. They both showcased their skill by skiing exposed lines and strength by stomping big airs. Hargin placed first with Wallner coming in second. Australia’s Natalie Segal came in third with a hard charging line that included a few playful pillow drops.
The athletes are jumping across the pond for the next two stops of the FWT in Courmayeur Mont Blanc and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Keep checking into www.freerideworldtour.com for news updates and live feed broadcasts of the next events. It is just going to keep getting bigger and better. Good luck to all of the athletes as the tour continues.
You must be logged in to post a comment.