Red Bull is taking over Silverton Mountain in Colorado again with another showcase of extreme skiing. Cold Rush is a 3-day backcountry freeskiing competition that is completely judged by peers.
17 men and 5 women will be fighting for the title of the best all-around backcountry skier, testing their talent in the Big Mountain, Slopestyle, and Cliffs disciplines.
Storm Peak will be site of the Big Mountain competition. This north-facing beast of a mountain is the highest ski area in North America at 13,487’ and gets loads of snow from passing storms, which fills the rocky chutes and couloirs to the top.
The Cliffs venue is in Silverton Mountain’s Zone 7, a freeskier’s paradise surrounded by 70’ cliffs funneling down from an alpine cirque with 13,000’ peaks. It’s a incredible sight even before it’s skiers. The cliff zone’s snow is fresh, having been sheltered by its position lower on the mountain. With a landing zone a big as this one, athletes will have plenty of space for their biggest tricks with fewer concerns for consequences. One more feature that sets the stage is set for innovation. Thank you, Red Bull.
Hop off the chairlift at the appropriately named “Mandatory Air” run for the Slopestyle venue. A wide-open, north facing bowl piled on with powder and natural features to create huge hits, “Mando” is perfect for the type of tricks and talent that will be here for this event. It’s a large area that is set up for multiple jumps and transfers in an alpine bowl above the tree line. Grande and Pequeño, the chutes where the event will be held, are steep enough that they don’t see the sun until March. It’s this element that keeps the snow cold and light. And perfect for Cold Rush.
“Since the event is taking place at Silverton Mountain again, I needed to make sure the event was unique in some way. We don’t build any features on-slope for the Big Mountain or Cliffs events, so the Slopestyle discipline is the one venue I could switch up this year,” says Pep Fujas, lead course designer and competitor in Red Bull Cold Rush. “I want to make the course bigger and better, so we’re playing off the local mining heritage and building a custom rail feature, adding some jumps, and creating two distinct lines with three features each.”
Fujas’ Slopestyle course was created with the guidance of its course supervisor, Dale Womack. He led a team of builders from The Public Works and a group of Silverton locals in the construction of the course. It’s going to be an epic ride. The right line starts with a step-down over a cliff, followed by a true table-style jump measuring 60-feet to the knuckle but can be sent as far as 100-feet, and finishing up with a 70-foot step-down. The first hurdle on the left line is a 20-foot long custom rail feature, followed by a 50-foot step-down over a cornice. It comes to an end with a hip jump that can be aired out between 20-80 feet.
Here is the of competitors stepping up to the challenge:
Fans in the U.S. can catch Cold Rush on NBC on March 24th at 1pm EST/10am PST. As part of the Red Bull Signature Series, it will be an event that pushes the boundaries of the backcountry. With a history of innovative stunts in snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing and BMX events, the Series is sure to deliver. For more information, go to redbullsignatureseries.com.