The Stoke is High at Snowbird
Competition Scheduled for Sunday March 2, 2014
All Words and Photos: Diane Harrington
The 4th stop of the Swatch Freeride World Tour is scheduled for 10:30am MST Sunday March 2nd at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. The Freeride World Tour features prequalified snowboarding and skiing athletes from across the globe. This one-run exhibition will take place on the North face of Baldy at Snowbird just as soon as the stormy weather breaks up and conditions are good enough for the athletes to compete and for the judges and spectators to watch. Locals and competitors are stoked for the primo conditions. The fact that Snowbird kept the venue closed for the competitors, the vast array of local and international talent , and all the new fresh snow will contribute to making this Freeride World Tour stop the best big-mountain competition ever at Snowbird.
This event was originally scheduled to be held at Kirkwood in California, but due to poor snow conditions in Californa the venue was moved to Snowbird. Thankfully Snowbird closed North Baldy to the general public in order to create a venue without a bunch of traverses and bomb holes. Baldy is now wind buffed and full of fresh snow, so these athletes can really throw down some sick tricks and big cliff drops. Although some pass holders and guests complained about the closures, the benefits of having this world-class event far outweigh the complaints. The athletes signed posters for the next generation of shredders, and guests have been able to meet the best athletes in their favorite sport, and Snowbird is getting global exposure. This is the first world event Snowbird has hosted and spectators are more excited than ever.
The hometown crowd will be out in full force cheering for the local riders. All four American snowboarder women are from Snowbird. Shannan Yates-Cochrane is the current tour points leader. She has won the first two events for the ladies snowboarders already. Laura Dewey has been out every day shredding and she actually did her last inspection on Baldy on her skis even though she will be competing in the snowboard division. Kaitlin Elliott celebrated her birthday this week and she is also looking for a win at home. And finally the crowd will be looking for Laura Hadar to throw down some freestlye tricks on some big-mountain features.
On the men’s snowboarding side Snowbird rider Ryan Hudson was just awarded the wild card last night. Ryan is very excited to represent in front of his long time friends and supporters. He posted this on his Facebook page last night”FWT Wild Card? Say whaaaaaaa!?!?” Jackson Hole snowboarder John Rodosky also spends a ton of time at Snowbird and will definitely be getting some big cheers from the crowd. He is always one to watch with his sweet airs and backflips.
Oakley White-Allen is the Snowbird one of the local favored to win. Alta local Sage-Cattabriga Alosa was awarded a wildcard spot in the event, which means he gets to compete even though he is not a skier on the tour. Also out of Alta/Snowbird is Ashley Maxfield.
In closing, come watch the ski/snowboard event of the year live at Snowbird. You can watch the 2014 Snowbird Freeride World Tour from the bottom of the venue or there will be a jumbo TV on the deck. Not in Utah? No worries watch the live webcast on the internet.
Watch live on www.freerideworldtour.com starting at 1030am MST and check back here on unofficialnetworks for results and photos.