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Freeride World Tour Goes Off In Revelstoke

Mackenzie Face by B. LongSki and snowboard athletes put on a show on Mackenzine Face at Revelstoke Mountain Resort during stop No. 1 of the Freeride World Tour. Photo by B. Long.

Words by Greg Fitzsimmons

The first stop of the newly structured Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face went down last Friday in a serious way. After waiting four days on a weather hold because of slow-moving storm that dropped 3 feet of snow on Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s 1,600-foot “Mac Daddy” face, 60-plus athletes from all over the world competed in men’s and women’s skiing and snowboarding.

With it all said and done, TGR’s Ralph Backstrom made a statement in men’s snowboarding, perennial podium-finisher Drew Tabke posted the day’s highest score en route to winning the men’s skiing title, Sweden’s Christine Hargin built on the momentum from last year’s overall FWT title with a win in women’s skiing, and Snowbird-based ripper Shannon Yates took home the hardware in women’s snowboarding.

It was clear from the first few men’s snowboarders to drop in on “Mac Daddy” that the conditions were no joke. Rider-triggered sluff exposed pepper on the skier’s right and skier’s left sides of the venue. But, creative competitors were able to find blower snow in zones unaffected by the slide activity.

Ralph Backstrom in Revelstoke by B. LongRalph Backstrom rages down "Mac Daddy" face on his way to win the first stop of the Freeride World Tour. Photo by B. Long.

Backstrom’s line perfectly exemplifies the creative approach to riding that had fans of Johnny Collinson spins a 360 at the FWT photo by J.ANTONIUKJohnny Collinson spins a 360 at Revelstoke. Photo by J.ANTONIUK.

Aside from the top three men (Tabke, Heitz, and Lopex, respectively), Johnny Collinson’s line had everyone buzzing—in Revy and online. Collinson found a massive air on the skier’s right side of “Mac Daddy” and spun a sleepy three off of the downward takeoff. Despite augering in the landing, Collinson’s blend of big-mountain and freestyle skiing warrants mention.

On the women’s side, the female skiers and riders inherited a beat-up, sluffed-out, and debris-riddled venue after the men hammered “Mac Daddy.” The scores on the women’s side reflected the difficult conditions, with four of the 10 female skiers earning 40+ points. Defending FWT Champion, Christine Hargin, of Sweden, earned the win with a 65, followed by Norwegian Nadine Wallner and Aussie Nat Segal, respectively.

Shannon Yates stomped two airs and stayed on her feet to win the women’s snowboarding title, with French riders Margot Rozies in second and Elodie Mouthon in third.

Now, athletes are headed to the Alps for the second and third stops of the Freeride World Tour, with stops on the Italian and French sides of the Mont Blanc in Courmayeur and Chamonix. Italy’s Courmayeur hosts the second comp of the year on January 19th. Mens ski podium FWT by R.SIHLISMen's ski podium. Photo by R. SIHLIS.

Men's Ski Results

1. Drew Tabke, 91.00

2. Jeremie Heitz, 79.67

3. Julien Lopez, 73.00
4. Laurent Gauthier, 72.00

5. Charlie Lyons, 70.33

6. Griffin Post, 68.33

7. Sam Smoothy, 66.33

8. Nicolas Salencon, 62.33

9. Markus Eder, 59.00

10. Wille Lindberg, 56.33

Mens snowboard podium at the FWT revelstoke Mens ski podium FWT by R.SIHLISMen's snowboard podium. Photo by R. SIHLIS.

Men's Snowboard Results

1. Ralph Backstrom, 89.33

2. Ludovic Guillot-Diat, 79.33

3. Aurelien Routens, 74.33

4. Tim Carlson, 70.33

5. Emilien Badoux, 63.67

6. Matt Annetts, 59.00

7. Joel Rouge, 54.67

8. John Rodosky, 53.67

9. Irian Van Helfteren, 44.67

10. Sammy Luebke, 41.67

Women's Ski Podium at FWT Revelstoke by B. LongWomen's ski podium. Photo by B. Long.

Women's Ski Results

1. Christine Hargin, 65.00

2. Nadine Wallner, 58.00

3. Natalie Segal, 53.33
4. Pia Nic Gundersen, 40.33

5. Ashley Maxfield, 12.00

Women's Snowboard Podium FWT Revelstoke by R. SIHLISWomen's snowboard podium. Photo by R. SIHLIS.

Women's Snowboard Results

1. Shannan Yates, 63.33

2. Margot Rozies, 58.00

3. Elodie Mouthon, 54.67

4. Casey Lucas, 50.33

5. Iris Lazzereschi, 43.00

6. Aline Bock, 40.67

7. Laura Dewey, 35.67

8. Anouck Mouthon, 33.33

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About The Author

TGR Contributor Greg Fitzsimmons

Greg grew up surfing Santa Cruz and skiing Tahoe as much as possible. After college, Fitzsimmons landed a gig at Francis Ford Coppola's literary magazine and got hooked on publishing. Fitzsimmons now tries to make rent in Aspen as a freelance writer.

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