On its fourth stop for the season, the SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 (FWT) continues its run of exciting global big mountain freeride competition stateside at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, CA from Feb. 27-March 3. Kirkwood's big mountain venue, The Cirque, is the ideal location for the fourth stop of the 2013 FWT.
The Cirque is comprised of exposed, steep and raw terrain, which is permanently closed to the general public, allowing for a unique and exciting North American freeride venue. "With unmatched inbounds terrain and some of the deepest snow in the country, Kirkwood is an appropriate choice as the only U.S. stop for the Freeride World Tour," said Casey Blann, Kirkwood's general manager.
The 2013 FWT started with a roster of 36 prequalified male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and seven female snowboarders and features five stops for male skiers and snowboarders, and four stops for female skiers and snowboarders before a cut will be made for the SWATCH Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland. After the fifth stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria, the top three results out of five events for men and the top three results out of four events for women will be used to qualify riders for Verbier and the 2014 FWT.
The Freeride World Tour is the premier big mountain Freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport's top athletes competing on the biggest mountain resort venues. Riders compete one at a time and receive an overall score from a judging panel based on numerous categories including line difficulty, control, fluidity, technique and style.
The event features natural terrain features found on the most exciting format possible. A start gate is positioned at the summit with a finish gate at the bottom. The best complete runs win. The sport is similar in context to big-wave surfing with skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and couloirs. Competition runs are enhanced with progressive big jumps and mach-speed turns at an aggressive pace.
Tahoe area local and 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Champion Josh Daiek is looking forward to competing at his home mountain this season. "I'm simply stoked for the competition to be at Kirkwood!" said Daiek. "It has some of the most fun terrain and is one of the best competition venues in the world."
This is some of the most really exciting big mountain skiing competition you'll ever see - check out this preview video of the event and follow The Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face on Facebook and on Twitter #FWT13. The competition can be witnessed from anywhere in the world via live webcast available the day of competition.
Part of the Cirque at Kirkwood Mountain Resort Copyright Mike Doyle