The world’s greatest big mountain freeskiers came together at Kirkwood Mountain Resort this past weekend for the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. Kirkwood served as host for the World Freeskiing Championships and final stop of the season. Athletes battled it out across the slopes to earn the FWT title as well as the McConkey Cup.
The stage was set on the looker’s left-hand side of the “forbidden Cirque”. The area consists of a 1500-foot run in Kirkwood’s backcountry; the zone is typically closed to skiers and snowboarders as it is absolutely littered with rock features and exposure due to the low snow levels.
“It was a different venue than we are used to, because of the lack of snow, yet performances from our athletes were exceptional,” said Competition Director Ron Pankey.
The ladies division was jam-packed with action and suspense. The battle for the McConkey Cup came down to Crystal Wright and Angel Collinson’s final run of the season. Wright threw down a run that earned a huge score of 34.23 on the last day. The Jackson Hole native used her combined two-day score of 63.90 to clinch both the event win and the overall 2012-tour championship!
“Winning both today was surreal,” said Wright. “Angel and I had so much fun pushing each other all season. The girl’s game is being upped every year and it is so great to be a part of this tour.”
Wright was followed by The North Face athlete, Angel Collinson who took home second place for both awards, to wrap up the 2012 season in second place overall. Collinson, hailing from Snowbird, Utah utilized quick thinking to lay down a solid line choice, earning 61.27 over the course of both days. She was followed by Australia’s Natalie Segal who rallied back from seventh place to take third for the day’s competition with a score of 60.93. Ashley Maxfield of Jay Peak finished third overall this season.
On the men’s side of the competition, Kirkwood’s very own Josh Daiek finished up the season in sensational fashion to take the World Freeskiing Championships with a 72.83 on his home-turf. Daiek seized the overall title and his first McConkey Cup.
“Daiek hit two of the biggest cliffs of the day, setting himself apart from the pack,” judge Skogen Sprang said of the winner. “He came out of the gate super fast, throwing down a super smooth run.”
Joining Daiek on the podium was Sean Collin of Squaw Valley who earned second with a 70.67, and Jake Sakson from Aspen Snowmass who finished in third with a score of 69.77.
Sakson had been taking point through much of the day’s competition. He busted out two massive 360s that earned him the final backcountry.com Sick Bird belt buckle of the year to compliment his third place championship finish. The award honors the athlete with the most spirit, style and wow-factor.
Further accolades were bestowed upon Dylan Siggers through The North Face Young Gun Overall award. This is the 18-year-old Canadian placed second at the Moonlight Basin Qualifier event. It was an impressive achievement for the young rider hailing from Fernie and a telling performance for his first year on the 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. Through the award, Siggers earned entry to the 2013 FWT and a head-to-toe kit, compliments of The North Face.
And so ends another season of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. Wrapping its 15th year in operation, the FWT is the largest and longest running big mountain freeskiing competition series in the world.
The 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is presented by: Subaru, The North Face, Sierra Nevada, Black Diamond, Clif Bar, Powder, Comcast Sportsnet, Backcountry.com, Ski Channel and Replay XD. For more information, visit www.freeskiingworldtour.com