When in British Columbia, ski powder, they say. Well, that’s exactly what the entire crew of Freeride World Tour athletes has been up to since late last week in Kicking Horse, exploring the best of what Golden, BC and the Purcell Mountains have to offer. After weathering some heavy snow for the weekend, the athletes lined up in the start gate for the second round of the FWT.
For the second year running, Kicking Horse’s Ozone Face hosted the Tour, and riders took creative new lines down it. Check out highlights and results below.
France’s Marion Haerty, the former world champion, stomped a fast and fluid run, including a super-technical rock choke to land her atop the podium. Japans Wakana Hama and Austria’s Manuela Mandl took second and third with big airs and strong riding.
"It's really nice to win here in Canada, I really feel like home here ! We had all the good conditions to ride well and have fun and that was just the case. I totally changed my line from last year, I wanted to follow the line of skiers, to go fast and big…and it worked!"- Marion Haerty
Arianna Tricomi sending a huge air. Jeremy Bernard photo.
After winning the Junior World Championships in Andorra last year, Alta-based skier Jackie Pollard showed that she has what it takes to hang with the best in the world. Her blistering run beat out stylish lines from the current champion, Italy’s Arianna Tricomi who took second, and USA’s Hazel Birnbaum who placed third.
“It’s a wonderful day, we are so happy to be there with all the ladies and everyone have such a good vibe here at the top, I just had fun ! My brother told me to just trust myself today and I listened to him and it worked out !” - Jackie Pollard
French wildcard and big mountain freeride legend Victor De Le Rue earned his first FWT victory with a massive 360 and loads of dreamy pow turns. Three-time world champion, USA’s Sammy Luebke, blasted a huge double air and highlighted his ability to ride the most exposed parts of venues to take second. USA’s Blake Hamm took third with a creative new line and several large airs.
"I was very happy to be able to observe the face with good weather. I had my line in mind but arrived at the top I jumped a cliff bigger than expected and with the speed I changed line at the last second. It was more consistent than expected but my run was quite fluid. I almost fell to the last cliff, but it hit. So I'm super stoke!”- Victor De Le Rue
Craig Murray sending it for the crowds. Dom Daher photo.
When Kiwi Craig Murray stopped mid-line during his run, most thought he was in trouble and calling off his line. As the camera zoomed in, it became clear he was simply hyping up the fans and judges for what he was about to do: linking a huge cornice, a 360, and one of the largest backflips in FWT history to take the win. Italy’s Markus Eder followed a similar line to Murray, highlighting his cat-like freestyle sense to take second place. Local legend and last year’s winner Logan Pehota stomped a highly technical line with some massive airtime and two 360s.
“I did a big flat 3 at the bottom air that I think people were stoked on and that felt really good so I’m happy with that. It went pretty much according to the plan and I was really happy about it. It’s been an amazing day here in Golden BC.” – Craig Murray