The SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 continues its tour this month with an event set to unfold on the epic peaks of Kirkwood, California. The fourth stop of the global big mountain tour is slated for February 27. A roster of world-class athletes will assemble atop Kirkwood at the resort’s big mountain venue, known as The Cirque. Athletes are set to arrive on Monday, February 25th opening ceremonies to be held on the 26th. Once again, fans around the world will be able to tune in live via online webcast to catch all the big mountain action!
There is of course a competition window that extends from February 27 – March 3rd, just in case adverse weather conditions present themselves. From the looks of things, Kirkwood’s slopes should be prepped and ready for competition.
“It comes as no surprise that Kirkwood has been having a very snowy first half of the season. Conditions are setting up the mountain to have prime coverage needed for this event,” observed FWT Americas Competition Director Bryan Barlow.
The North American freeride venue should prove to be one of the most challenging venues on the tour. The Cirque features extremely steep terrain with a number of exposed elements. Access is closed to the general public, so it should prove to be an exciting opportunity to see the Freeride World Tour athletes shred some exclusive lines.
“With unmatched inbounds terrain and some of the deepest snow in the country, Kirkwoodis an appropriate choice as the only U.S. stop for the Freeride World Tour,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s general manager. “This event really solidifies our position as one of the premier big mountains in the country, and I personally can’t wait to see these athletes tackle The Cirque.”
So far, we’ve witnessed some amazing riding during the first three stops of this season’s tour. The roster includes 36 skiers and 14 snowboarders on the men’s side, with 14 skiers and seven snowboarders on the women’s side. Once the dust clears after the Kirkwood stop, the first cuts will be made for the SWATCH Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland. Next will be a fifth FWT stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria where the top three results out of five events for men and top three results out of four events for women will be used to qualify athletes for Verbier.
“I’m simply stoked for the competition to be at Kirkwood!” said Lake Tahoe local and 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Champion Josh Daiek. “It has some of the most fun terrain and is one of the best competition venues in the world.”
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