The Freeride World Tour’s second stop of 2020 is set to take place today at Kicking Horse, B.C. The ski area, like most of interior British Columbia, has seen a combination of intense snowfall and periods of high winds, which, combined with a steep competition venue, has made for high avalanche danger and a few days of competition delays.
But, using a generous amount of explosives, the ski patrol has been able to get the avalanche danger under control and the competition has been confirmed for February 7, 2020.
FWT Insider Kicking Horse Episode 3
As far as the competition goes, Kicking Horse has proven to be a venue that suits the underdogs in the field. On the men’s side last season, Craig Murray of New Zealand, upstaged pros including Tanner Hall, Reine Barkered, and the eventual FWT19 overall champ Markus Eder on a section of the face where all four skiers went huge, but Murray had both the most technical tricks and the cleanest landings.
FWT Insider Kicking Horse Episode 2
At the same time, Canadian Logan Pehota has been given a Wild Card for the 2020 stop. Pehota won the event in 2018 by sending the biggest cliff on the primary face of the competition venue, and finished second in 2019 with a similar line. The venue tends to reward those who send it big, so it could be anyone’s day today at Kicking Horse.
On the women’s side, it’s natural to expect the skiers who are most seasoned on big mountain terrain to shine above the riders with freestyle roots. Verbier, Switzerland rider Elisabeth Gerritzen tasted the air at the top of the podium at the final stop of Verbier last year and will want to see the view from the same elevation in Canada, but American Jaqueline Pollard won the Kicking Horse stop last season and will have an equal chance at holding on to the crown this year.
FWT Insider Kicking Horse Episode 1
At the first stop of FWT20 in Hakuba, Japan, the women proved they can hold their own when it comes to showing off freestyle tricks in big mountain terrain, a combination that will surely impress the judges in Canada as well. Because of this, there’s a good chance FWT20 Hakuba winner Hedvig Wessel and reigning FWT overall champion Arianna Tricomi will go either upside down or spin at Kicking Horse. If they land their tricks cleanly, they could dominate the field. If they don’t land their signature flips or spins, however, then the freeride specialists could have their day in the spotlight.
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