Lars Chickering-Ayers has arguably been the best and most fun skier to watch on the Freeskiing World Tour for the last few seasons. I have spent many moments wondering just how he held onto that turn while going 70+mph though swarms of rocks after strait-lining the Popbottle at Kirkwood in 2010, or how he stomped that 50 footer over the trees at Jackson a few years ago, or how he and his brother Silas and their late friend Ryan Hawks could all live in a van together for months on end without ever getting in a fight. Lars has made it public that he will not be competing on the FWT this season after finishing in 2nd place overall in 2011. I for one will really miss seeing him at the events both on and off the hill. Lars Chickering-Ayers to Skip the Rest of the 2012 Freeskiing World Tour | Unofficial Networks

Lars Chickering-Ayers to Skip the Rest of the 2012 Freeskiing World Tour

Lars Chickering-Ayers to Skip the Rest of the 2012 Freeskiing World Tour

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Lars Chickering-Ayers to Skip the Rest of the 2012 Freeskiing World Tour

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Lars Chickering-Ayers

Lars Stoked after crushing another CB Comp line. Photo: Dana Allen

Lars Chickering-Ayers has arguably been the best and most fun skier to watch on the Freeskiing World Tour for the last few seasons. I have spent many moments wondering just how he held onto that turn while going 70+mph though swarms of rocks after strait-lining the Popbottle at Kirkwood in 2010,  how he stomped that 50 footer over the trees at Jackson a few years ago, and how he and his brother Silas and their late friend Ryan Hawks could all live in a van together for months on end without ever getting in a fight.  Lars has made it public that he will not be competing on the FWT this season after finishing in 2nd place overall in 2011. He has established himself as a tour veteran with loads of top 10 finishes and a Sick Bird Buckle all prior to his 25th birthday.  I for one will really miss seeing him at the events both on and off the hill.

Lars Chickering-Ayers and Ryan Hawks

Lars cooking inside his van "The General" with the late Ryan Hawks in Revelstoke 2011. Photo: Frank Shine

Lars’ reasons for not competing are likely many. The official one he give is “This year, I really want to explore new places and mountains and document our travels.” He is also working on a new touring binding system that he began developing with Ryan Hawks a few years ago. The system is called the Cast and it allows you to switch out your toe piece for with a Dynafit toe-piece for touring. I am not sure exactly how it all works, but it is being tested by Lars and many of his friends this season to work out the kinks. Knowing him it will be bomber when he is all done tweeking it. Lars is hoping to have the Cast on the market for next season.

Ryan Hawks Hug

Ryan Hawks hugs it out with Lars after his winning run at Revelstoke 2011.

Another reason for taking some time off is that Lars will be working with the Flyin’ Ryan Ambassador program, a youth freeride coaching program set up in Hawks’ memory. He and Hawks were long time friends from back in Vermont and the loss of Ryan has been especially hard on both Lars and his bother Silas. Lars is a soft spoken guy who loves the mountains more than just about anyone alive and I am sure he will share his passion, knowledge and skills with the up and coming rippers so that they can be as fun loving and technically sound as he is.

Have a great Winter Lars. I hope to see you out in the road somewhere!

Check out the full story in the ESPN article.

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