The first stop on the newly reorganized Freeride World Tour hits a snag as Mother Nature continues to be stingy.
Kirkwood is off the grid in more ways than one. The whole place runs on generators. Lift lines are six people deep on a powder day. Sierra storms fill the ski-porn-worthy terrain, closing roads and shutting down lifts for days. But with inbounds runs slanted up to 42 degrees, the most reliable snow in the area, and chutes that make big-mountain skiers queasy, it’s hard to believe the resort stays so low-key. Thank the hourlong drive from South Lake Tahoe’s packed casinos and resorts, which ensures Kirkwood remains unsullied by the masses. Just the way skiers there like it.
Taos reported 36 inches of snow just in time for the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships, a big-mountain competition taking place this weekend. Friday's comp was held on West Basin, a zone full of steep rocky chutes and huge airs. Only one dilemma: Sit in the sun, soak up the vibe, and watch back flip after front flip or go shred the 36 inches of fresh? Difficult decisions down here in Taos.
Back Again for Year 4
Deep snow and a change to the judging rules kept things interesting at the Revelstoke stop of the FWT.