Riding up the 2600' vertical Motherlode chairlift to the top of the Red Mountain ski area early in the morning offers one of the greatest sights in all of skiing --- sunlight filtered by snow ghosts, statuesque green arbor arrows pointing to a flawless blue sky and miles of breathtaking beauty in all directions. That is what the one hundred competitors saw as they headed to the extreme venue known as Roberts Peak for the Molson Canadian Freeskiing Challenge on Jan. 15-19, 2003.
"Glorious weather for Friday's semi-finals, magnificent skies for Saturday's final and the awe inspiring challenge of Roberts Peak produced the best contest of my twelve year involvement in the freeskiing movement" said Event Director Captain Jack Carey. World class competitors from around the globe thrilled themselves and the raucous gallery as they ripped down cliffs, chutes, and pillow drops of the 1700'vertical abutment.
Moss Patterson of Whistler took third place ($1000) with a billy- goat attack of the top cliffs and a big back flip at the bottom. Eric Schmitz of Park City, Utah placed second ($3000) with daring, swooping turns through the steeps. Geoff Small of New Zealand launched huge entrances to the top cliffs and skied gnarly steep lines to win the first place trophy and $5000.
The women's field was just as tough and daring, skiing steep, treed faces and huge powdered cascades. Lynsey Dyer of Big Sky, Montana, in her first competition, won the ladies division ($3000) with elegant and powerful skiing. Marja Persson of Are, Sweden took second ($2000) with a daring shot down the fifty-five degree Center Chute. Kim McKnight of Whistler skied hard and fast into third place ($1000).
Head IFSA judge Michele Beaudry and his panel of four elite judges proclaimed the power turns and daring descents of the three day comp rivaled any competition in the world.
The generous sponsors, hard working staff, friendly locals, and grassroots skiing aura produced a skiing and festival experience that establishes the Molson Canadian Freeskiing Challenge at Red Mountain as one of the top skiing events in the world today. Chris Robinson's Pontiac World of Skiing will televise on the Outdoor Life Network. Check SkiTelevision.com for dates.
For more information on Red Mountain, visit their web site: http://www.ski-red.com/