23rd Crested Butte Extremes is Next Week | FWQ Stop #2

23rd Crested Butte Extremes is Next Week | FWQ Stop #2

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23rd Crested Butte Extremes is Next Week | FWQ Stop #2

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TJ David sending at CB.

The Crested Butte Extremes comp is turning 23 years old next week. This historic Michael Jordan birthday signifies the continuation of the original badass freeride comp. Long an independent event hosted by the mountain and the funky town of Crested Butte the Extremes joined the Freeskiing World Tour about 6 years ago and then rolled into the Freeride World Qualifier Tour when two tours combined about 2 years ago.

A strongly polarizing event, CB is known for very steep terrain heavily sprinkled with rocks and trees. Some athletes absolutely love the technical lines that are frequently low on snow and high on risk. However, many rider are turned off by the lack of snow coverage, open terrain, and clean run outs. I used to be in the later group, but have had a change of heart and now fall more in line with the former group.  The venues at CB really do separate the people who truly shred from those who just slide around on snow and make it look good for a camera:)

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Snow conditions for the event next week are looking to be the best in years. It is likely that the rough and tough Crested Butte ski patrol will try to get competitors into the Big Hourglass for the finals this year. The terrain in Big Hourglass has video game quality features and is so steep and rocky that it has only been used a handful of times in the previous 22 years of events at CB. The last time it was used Colorado native Cliff Bennett smoked the field by laying down an impressive run using the Bed Bath and Beyond zone at the top and basically straightlining the lower half of the venue while managing to avoid a cat track that ate up loads of other athletes.

It is likely that day 1 of the event will be held on either the on either the Dead End/Body Bag area or Phoenix/Spellbound. Phoenix/Spellbound offers two distinct options for riders, a large open bowl with loads of features that is uncharacteristically low on trees for CB, or an insanely steep, rocky, tree filled  zone known as High Life. High Life is really difficult to put together, but when it goes well scores can score. This is an area where local knowledge can make the difference between greasing a run, or getting lost and/or stuck in the maze of pillows and evergreens that choke this hollywood style zone.  Dead End/Body Bag features more of the same techie style lines with some large airs possible at the bottom of Dead End. Competitors who choose the Body Bag side will need quick feet and nerves of steel to navigate the tight staircase of rock and stump drops which can be topped off with the infamous Body Bag Double at the bottom. This feature is literally make or break, if you stick it you are in for a serious score bump….if not there are loads of trees in the runout that are just waiting to punish you. These venues are serious and need to be respected more than most other on the FWQ or event the FWT for that matter.

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The crowd at CB is traditionally very loud, rowdy and supportive!

Whatever the venues are chosen it is going to be a hell of a show this year based on snow fall alone. The mountain is reporting “34 in the last 7 days and over 16” in the past 24 hours. That is more that CB gets in a whole year sometime:) Snow should continue to stack up for the next few days and we may be looking at a full blown powder comp this year. Live online coverage of the final day might be going down. We will post an update with a link to the feed if that is a go sometime soon. Good luck to all the athletes this year. Lets all have a good time, be safe and send it!

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Lcc’s Dave “Digger” George gave it hell at CB a year or two back!

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http://www.skicb.com/

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