Clearly winning two silver medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics wasn’t enough for superstar ski racer Julia Mancuso. She has decided to travel to Verbier, Switzerland to compete in the Verbier Xtreme, the fourth and final stop on the Freeride World Tour, a big-mountain competition that has traveled from Russia to Chamonix to Squaw Valley. The venue is the legendary Bec de Rosses, a 2,000-foot face with steep chutes, mandatory airs and high-risk exposure.
This is Julia’s first ever big-mountain competition. “Competing in the Verbier Xtreme is something that I’ve been wanting to do since I came to Verbier to participate in another event a couple of years ago,” Mancuso says. “The Bec des Rosses is challenging. Last year when I was visiting in Verbier I knew it was something I wanted to conquer. I’ve never done a freeride competition but when I saw that the Xtreme was scheduled after our World Cup tour ended, I thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s another way I can challenge my own skiing and free skiing has always been a passion of mine.
“Growing up in Squaw (Valley, Calif.), I have had so many inspirational skiers to look up to. Of course JT Holmes and Cody Townsend have helped me push my limits, and I am really in awe of everyone out there living their passion and skiing for the love of the sport,” Mancuso added.