Freeride World Tour 2015 Finals

Freeride World Tour 2015 Finals

Overall Results Another year of high-octane riding has come to an end. The 20th anniversary of the Xtreme Verbier and the final stop of this year’s Freeride World Tour was blessed with bluebird conditions. After the last-minute comp in Alaska, the riders had been arriving in the past few days, slightly jet-lagged, but pumped for today’s event. It hasn’t been an easy year for this year’s comp, with conditions being tricky to say the least at several of the venues, but after today’s results, the finale came to a successful and satisfactory finish.

Interview with Sam Smoothy before the final stop of the Freeride World Tour

Interview with Sam Smoothy before the final stop of the Freeride World Tour

So it is Xtreme Verbier’s 20th anniversary: is it going to make you approach it differently? No not really, I don’t think you can change your response because an event has been around for a long time. I’ll just do the same thing I always do and ski as hard as I can. How did the introduction of the Alaska stop affect this year’s comp? Has it changed Verbier for you in anyway? No it’s just another thing to think about, another comp to wrap your head around. It doesn’t change the Verbier stop in any way for me.

“One of the best lines of my life”

“One of the best lines of my life”

Sam Smoothy finishes his best Freeride World Tour line ever and bags 1st place If you didn’t see it at the time, and haven’t come across it online since, then take a moment to experience the awesomness that is Sam Smoothy’s run at the Freeride World Tour stop over the weekend. Executed to near perfection, this gnarly line was awarded a whopping 91.25 points and acclaim from the freeride community, as well as first place for our Kiwi athlete. At the bottom of the run, Sam exclaimed that it was “one of the best lines of my life”…

FWT 15 – First Stop Chamonix, Kicks off in Style

FWT 15 – First Stop Chamonix, Kicks off in Style

Another captivating tour stop with jaw dropping and mind blowing performances from the riders in Chamonix. The Competition opened at the Brévant ski area in Chamonix, the world freeride capital with backdrop of the Mont Blanc (4810 m). Kicking off on Friday with riders completing the face inspection; riders were excited and defined the terrain as “playful”. Fifty-nine of the world’s best freeriders between skiers and snowboarders competed at this first stop of the tour, on a dense powder snow pulling tricks off the features.

FWT: Sam Smoothy smashes the pack in Fieberbrunn

FWT: Sam Smoothy smashes the pack in Fieberbrunn

After facing delays and a change of venue due to challenging snowpack in Fieberbrunn Kitzbuheler Alpen, the third race finally took place on Monday in Kappl, Austria. The North face athlete, Sam Smoothy took first place after a hard-charging, high-energy run, which flirted with flair and style as he managed both a double and triple cliff drop. All in all, his impressive demonstration resulted in a strong score of 86.50 in the Men’s Ski cateogry, which has now placed him 2nd in the overall ranking.

TimeLine s03e02 – Mission Antarctic

TimeLine s03e02 – Mission Antarctic

The boat “The Golden Fleece” has been the base camp during Mission Antarctic. The crew discovered it when they met up with Captain Jerome Poncet in the Falkland Islands. Here is a guided tour given by The North Face athlete Xavier de Le Rue and Lucas Debari of their confined and temporary...
Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face – The Epic Finals At Xtreme Verbier

Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face – The Epic Finals At Xtreme Verbier

The Freeride World Tour 2013 has reached an end and feelings about it can only be described as mixed. Mixed because on the one hand, it is over and we have to wait another year for the next one. On the other hand, TWO The North Face athletes are standing tall on the podium, crowned Freeride world champions in Ski and Snowboard. It has also been an incredible Tour, which is another reason to jubilate. The men’s contest of the last stop of the tour, Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland, which has now run for 17 consecutive years, was slightly delayed due to cloudy conditions. Once the clouds lifted though, the first one down the infamous Bec des Rosses face was hard-charging Ralph Backstrom (USA), leading the cavalcade for the snowboard category. Team snowboarder Ralph was third in the overall tour before Verbier, but scored an extremely high 93.67 points for his fluid, yet aggressive run down the face, coupled with several big airs. Ralph was closely pursued by Aurélien Routens (FRA), who’s Big Mountain style took him to second place. Defending world champion Jonathan Charlet (FRA), meanwhile, came in third. Ralph consequently came first at both Xtreme Verbier and in the overall tour, clinching the World Champion title. When asked how he felt, he explained that: “I’m pretty emotional. I’ve had a lot of years trying to get this. I’ve been second a few times and really happy to finally take down the whole tour!“ Team athlete Xavier de le Rue deserves a shout-out, as well, for his impressive run. Despite some difficulties in the upper portion including a...
FWT Fieberbrunn Stop –  Pre-Competition Interview with Drew Tabke

FWT Fieberbrunn Stop – Pre-Competition Interview with Drew Tabke

How has the Fieberbrunn day change affected you – will it change your performance or approach? No no, the change of schedule isn’t going to affect me personally, this is what freeride is all about, its adjusting to mountain conditions. This is why TNF is a cool partner, because it’s that whole essence, because even if you try and create a controlled environment, you are till in the mountains having an authentic experience. You need to be ready for any changes, and also it shows you what riders are better at adjusting. What keeps you going? Is there a goal you are aiming for or is it just for the thrill? My goal is personally to come to the venue, inspect the mountain, choose a line, and then have a perfect run. So many things have to happen: good conditions, so it takes a lot of luck with mother nature. And then you have to have a good run order so that you have fresh tracks, and then you have to perform to the best of your potential. Winning FWT and competitions is a goal for me, but having those perfect runs is really the best kind of satisfaction for me What is your last thought when you start and what is your first one when you finish? It is not natural to have a last thought, because you risk being taken over by fear,. You think, “I’m not sure if I wanna do this”, “what the f*ck am I doing”. But with practice and focus you learn to take control of those fears, now my last thought before...

FWT 2013 Kirkwood Highlights and Podium

The fourth stop of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 (FWT) concluded on January 28th on The Cirque at Kirkwood Mountain Resort under warm and sunny skies with variable snow conditions. The Competition kick off with women’s snowboarding. Margot Rozies from Pyrénées, France , wins of the Kirkwood stop with a fast and fluid run. The podium fill up with another French snowboarder from Annecy, France, Elodie Mouthon and the third place to Shannan Yates, American from Utha. Continuing with Women’s skiers, the first place goes to Jackie Paaso , USA improving her overall ranking on the tour. In second place there is Pia Nic Gundersen of Ånstadblåheia, Norway with technical and polished turns. Finishing out the top female skiers of the day was Ashley Maxfield of Jay Peak, Vermont. The competition gets his pick with Men’s Ski, and at the end of the day Lars Chickering-Ayers earned the first place. “I wasn’t really planning to win here,” remarked an elated Chickering-Ayers. “I just came out to spend time with family and have fun. I have skied these types conditions in competition in the past and knew how to deal with them. The skiing was my favorite part of the day.” The podium concludes with Julien Lopez of La Plagne, France and thrid place for Charlie Lyons, New Zealand. The weather got worst for snowboarders, but they were able to complete the competition as the afternoon ggot better conditions. The American Bell Ryland claimed the Kirkwood title, followed by Luebke Sammy and the Swiss Bardoux...
Freeride World Tour 2013 Podium- Markus Rewrites the rules in Courmayeur

Freeride World Tour 2013 Podium- Markus Rewrites the rules in Courmayeur

Out of 15 skiers, the only Italian was the one that stood tall on the Italian podium in Courmayeur, this week. The North Face® athlete Markus Eder, competing for the first time in the Freeride World Tour, came in at 1st place for the Courmayeur Men’s ski contest yesterday. Aurélien Routens hooked the snowboard 1st, whilst another TNF athlete, John Rodosky came in at second place in this category. The 600 metre north face of “Tête d’Arp” served all styles as the first section’s steep 45° face was more suited to big mountain riding, whilst the lower section offered a more playful terrain to them. This was the first time the face was used in competition and a first for the riders. Markus Eder impressed the judges with his initial big-mountain charge, followed by an array of tricks, including a back-flip, LS 360 and even riding switch, for the second part of the run. He deservedly scored 89.67 points with his performance, coming 1st in the Ski category. John Rodosky came second in the men’s snowboard category, with an imaginative run using several backcountry freestyle tricks to complete it. He was, however, short of the 83.67 points that brought Aurélien Routens into first place for this category. Overall, Jérémy Heitz is leading the Men’s ski category, having come second in Courmayeur and Revelstoke. Aurélien Routens leads the snowboard category with his win in Courmayeur, and coming in third in Revelstoke. Excitement is now building as we approach the third stop, in Chamonix, France next week, where the male riders will also be joined by the women skiers and snowboarders....
Ski Mountaineering in New Zealand with The North Face Athlete Emilio Previtali

Ski Mountaineering in New Zealand with The North Face Athlete Emilio Previtali

The North Face athlete Emilio Previtali is back from New Zeland aftern an amazing skimountaneering trip at Antipodes. “It was an amazing trip. Snow is different in the antipodes: every time you set out, you better consider all types of conditions you have ever encountered in your skiing life. […]”

Freeride World Tour – Courmayeur Contest Delayed

Freeride World Tour – Courmayeur Contest Delayed

Courmayeur Mont Blanc, the second stop of the 2013 Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face will not happen on Saturday 19th. The contest is postponed due to weather conditions. The new schedule is not yet confirmed. Stay tuned for...