Sean Pettit shows his slopestyle skills at the 2012 Red Bull Cold Rush in Silverton

Sean Pettit shows his slopestyle skills at the 2012 Red Bull Cold Rush in Silverton

Red Bull Cold Rush postponed until late March

The Red Bull Cold Rush, which was scheduled for next week, has been postponed until late March due to poor snow conditions.

The Red Bull Cold Rush, which was scheduled for next week, has been postponed until late March due to poor snow conditions.

In a news release, Red Bull announced the freeskiing competition has been re-scheduled for March 23–26. It was set to take place next week, from Feb. 3–6.

“Recent warming has impacted our venues in remote areas of the mountain over the last few days. Safety for athletes and delivering a premium, progressive ski contest are our ultimate goals for Red Bull Cold Rush. Unfortunately, current conditions will not allow for either,” stated Scott Jewett, the national event manager for Red Bull.

The Cold Rush is a three-day, four-event freeskiing competition that incorporates big mountain skiing, slopestyle and ski touring.

This is the second year in a row a freeskiing competition has been postponed in Revelstoke. Last year, the Freeride World Tour postponed its event from December to March because of poor snow conditions early in the season. When they returned, the event had to be cancelled because of high avalanche danger.

The following is the preview article that appears in the Jan. 28 edition of the Times Review. Of course, the dates for each event will change.

Red Bull Cold Rush set to take over Revelstoke Mountain Resort

By Cam Kaegi, Special to the Times Review

Just when it looked like competitive freeskiing had left Revelstoke for good, it’s returned — along with a whole new level of notoriety.

The Red Bull Cold Rush, one of the premier competitions in the freeskiing world, will fill the void left by the Freeride World Tour (FWT) after the Revelstoke stop was cut from this year’s tour schedule.

While the FWT involved only big mountain skiing and snowboarding, Red Bull Cold Rush incorporates four disciplines of freeskiing (no snowboarding) into a three day contest. It’s the top tier multi-tool of freeski competitions, and after a two year hiatus it has returned with a vengeance, right in our backyard.

The disciplines of Cold Rush are big mountain, cliffs, backcountry slopestyle, and ski touring.

On February 3, the commotion begins with the big mountain portion of the competition. This will test the ability of athletes to find a challenging, yet fluid line down the mountain, similar to the criteria of the FWT. It will be held on the ‘Spilt Milk’ venue, just outside of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort boundary in Greely Bowl. Spectating will be possible from within the RMR boundary.

The cliff day will be next, held on the backside of Kokanee Bowl ridge. This discipline will see skiers dropping cliffs of their choice; balancing airtime, difficulty and style in the process. Performing tricks off the imposing drops will surely increase score. Given the remote location beyond the RMR boundary in hazardous avalanche terrain, spectating is strongly discouraged.

The final day of competition will comprise the backcountry slopestyle, held in the ‘Almost Heli’ area of Montana Bowl, inside the RMR cat-skiing terrain. This discipline will showcase the jumping and tricking abilities of athletes as they navigate a slope complete with eight or nine jumps of varying shapes and sizes. The course was designed and built by competitor Riley Leboe, and is touted by Red Bull “as bigger and better” compared to previous courses.

“The jumps are absolutely massive,” said Tatum Monod, one of five female athletes invited and the only Canadian among them. “It’s an opportunity to push myself and my skiing and have a lot of fun with a good crew.”

Since the slopestyle venue lies beyond the RMR boundary, spectating is not encouraged at this time.

The ski touring portion of the event will be held in the afternoon of one of the competition days, location TBA. Though ski touring was a part of the inaugural Cold Rush, it has not appeared in the contest since. It’s been reinstated this year in tune with the rising popularity of recreational ski touring, and as a competitive equalizer. Since the chosen athletes come from different skiing backgrounds, some bring greater tricking ability to the competition and some greater ski touring experience. Given this discrepancy, the slopestyle and ski touring categories will be weighted with equal points.

Reigning Cold Rush champion Dane Tudor agrees with its return: “I’m really stoked they brought back the touring side, it really helps equalize the playing field for those of us who don’t jump too often.”

The fourth day will serve as a weather day in case conditions are unsuitable for competition during any of the previous days. If one thing can be counted on, it’s that Mother Nature will do as she pleases. As seen last year, the FWT had to be cancelled due to unsafe conditions on the east face of Mt. Mackenzie. And the first ever Cold Rush at Red Mountain had to be substituted with a ‘Chinese downhill’ race when it rained to mountain top and promptly froze. One can only hope for Mother Nature’s good will next week.

Once all is said and shredded, the video and awards night will take place at the Roxy Theatre on February 5 or 6, depending on whether or not the weather day is used. The results will be determined by the athletes themselves, by ranking runs based on style, speed and technique. The peer-evaluated judging format is another aspect of Cold Rush that sets it apart from other contests, giving athletes a direct say in the outcome.

There will be no online live feed of the event since it’s all being filmed as part of The Red Bull Signature Series, a NBC TV show set for release in December.

RMR general manager Rob Elliot encourages spectating of the big mountain portion but was un-decided on the slopestyle: “I think we’ll line up a viewing area in the cat terrain, some vantage point that may work, that’s the tentative plan.”

Despite the challenges of spectatorship, RMR should serve the needs of Cold Rush well.

As local pro skier/competitor Chris Rubens put it, “That was always the aim of Cold Rush, to find the best all-around skier, and I think Revelstoke really fits that goal”.

Here is the roster of athletes that will be taking part:

Bene Mayr (GER)

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA)

Sean Pettit (CAN)

Dane Tudor (CAN)

Sammy Carlson (USA)

Chris Rubens (CAN)

Kye Petersen (CAN)

Riley Leboe (CAN)

Callum Pettit (CAN)

Wiley Miller (CAN)

Logan Pehota (CAN)

Richard Permin (FRA)

Johnny Collinson (USA)

Stan Rey (SUI)

Joe Schuster (CAN)

Tatum Monod (CAN)

Michelle Parker (USA)

Ingrid Backstrom (USA)

Grete Eliassen (USA)

Suz Graham (USA)