^Daron Rahlves, JT Holmes discussing their run at the Red Bull Raid 2019. Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Daron Rahlves is amongst the names of elite skiers and riders formed by the slopes of the Sierras. His name is practically synonymous with Palisades Tahoe, so who better to be the face of Red Bull Raid hosted by the resort?

I had the chance to have a quick chat with Rahlves about the competition, but I couldn’t help but slip in a couple of stupid questions.

It’s not often that I get to spend time with Olympians and World Cup winners. I just had to ask him the dumb things that were on my brain at the time.

Sorry, not sorry…

I should also mention that these are just the highlights from our conversation. Stay tuned for more to come with Rahlves.

I’m attending Red Bull Raid on Friday, March 18th at Palisades Tahoe, and I plan to have a nice in-person chat with the guy.

I can’t wait!

Question: What have you been up to lately?

DR: “I’m very fortunate to be skiing and sharing my passion. It’s fulfilling to work with people and brands who are as passionate in skiing aspects of lifestyle, culture, fun, performance and safety.

My season is a mix of guest coaching for Team Palisades Tahoe and Far West Division, American Downhiller Podcasts, participating in fundraising and corporate events, NASTAR Pacesetting, and attending TJFS Freeride comps.

On the race side- Far West and World Cup Ski Races. I’m also working on new equipment for my brands, Race Liaison for Giro, and building a team from juniors to National Team athletes.

I do a lot of ski touring with friends and Zoe our Husky. Most recently I fulfilled a dream on a 3 day heli trip to Haines, AK with my 14 year old son to experience AK. It was a short, but sweet trip with friends and my buddy Reggie Crist, owner of Stellar Adventure Travel. Between all that I love cranking out laps at my home resort, Palisades Tahoe.”

^Daron Rahlves and JT Holmes at Red Bull Raid 2019 Credit: Grant Gunderson /Red Bull Content Pool

Question: What’s your involvement with Red Bull Raid?

DR: “I was part of the Red Bull team who brainstormed the idea of this backcountry style competition and it’s a competition I compete in. I’m involved with the logistics and operations of the event with Palisades Tahoe and Red Bull representing the athlete’s perspective.”

Question: What sets Red Bull Raid apart from other ski competitions?

DR: “It’s a killer combo. The comp blends a human-powered uphill race with a worthy freeride comp line on the downhill. There is no other ski/snowboard competition of this combo held anywhere else.

Red Bull Raid is the ultimate sufferfest. It demands skills to be efficient, creativity on line selection, skiing ability, strength, and keeping it fun.”

Johnny Collinson Red Bull Raid 2021. Credit: Christian Pondella/Red Bull 

Question: Can you breakdown how the scoring works?

DR: “Each round can score a max of 200 points. 100 for the uphill and 100 for the downhill. Uphill is scored by athlete’s placing at the top. The 1st in each division to cross the line is awarded 100 points, then 2nd gets 99 points, 3rd gets 98 points, and so forth.

The skiing portion is scored by a panel of three judges in three categories. Style- 40 points max, Line-30 points max, Control-30 points max. The average of the three judge’s scores determine the overall score for that run.

Both climbs and big mountain runs are added up for the athlete’s event score.”

Question: What’s the most important part of your strategy? The uphill or downhill?

DR: “A solid pace uphill to have strength for skiing. The downhill is the bigger place to stack points.”

^Red Bull Raid 2021. Credit: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool

Dumb Question: Bibs or pants? Why?

DR: “Bibs. Feel good, keep back warm, can carry more, don’t sag and the only way to go on pow days.”

Dumb Question: Are you a gloves or mittens guy, why?

DR: D Money Reusch Lobster if it’s cold, but it won’t be on comp day so gloves for the Raid.

Dumb Question: Are there more wheels or doors in the world? Explain your answer.

DR: Doors of opportunity!

Thanks to Daron for taking the time to chat with me.

I know I’m an annoying east coast boy that’s obsessed with all of the weird parts of skiing. I appreciated him humoring me for a bit.

Stay tuned here at Unofficial Networks for coverage of the event! We’ll be posting live videos to our socials, and more.

Featured Image Credit: Grant Gunderson / Red Bull Content Pool