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After a day of weather delays, the finals of the Canadian Freeskiing Championships finally took place yesterday on Revelstoke’s Mount Mackenzie. A helicopter lifted the competitors to the top of the peak, where they charged big-mountain lines to impressive the spectators and judges. Tahoe’s Arne Backstrom (younger brother of big-mountain pro Ingrid Backstrom) and Jackson Hole’s Jessica McMillan (a top scorer on last year’s Freeride World Tour) took first for the men and women. In the men’s field, France’s Julian Lopez and Canadian Luke Nelson rounded out the top three. For the women, American Jacqui Edgerly, winner of the South American Freeskiing Championships in La Parva in September, and Angel Collinson, of Snowbird, places second and third, respectively.
We spoke to McMillan about how the comp went down. “The last day of the competition was a roller coaster of a day. It was blue as we watched patrol control the face, but as they reached the bottom of the venue, so did the clouds,” McMillan said. “The clouds moved in and out all day preventing the heli from landing at the top of the landing zone. At 1:30 the venue was changed. The girls were loaded into the heli and then unloaded as the pilot decided to try one last time to land at the top LZ. Next thing I knew I was as the heli landing zone at the top of Mac face. It happened so fast. All of a sudden I was stepping in. My goal this year is to challenge myself. I lined up a double from the bottom, skied to it, and discovered it wasn’t a double. Luckily, I inspected an escape route. The snow was incredible and the face was one of the best venues I have ever competed on. The women put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Revelstoke truly made it happen.”
For complete results, photos, and more video coverage of the event, check out www.freeskiingworldtour.com.