The energy was electric at the top of Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s (RMR) “Separate Reality” this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday about 50 youth aged nine to 18 from around the province were out at RMR competing for freeride supremacy.
The Junior Freeride Open was sanctioned by the International Freeride Ski and Snowboard Association (IFSA), which was started in 1996 by pro skier Shane McConkey to provide a governing body for the developing sport. Today it is the primary governing, judging, and ranking body for big mountain ski and snowboarding in North America.
Freeride skiing takes place on ungroomed terrain where athletes are judged according to their speed, line choice, control, fluidity, technique, air, style and energy.
The IFSA junior freeride regional event was judged by Jeff Holden, Rene Crawshaw, Luke Nelson, Brian Coles, and Reid Stanker, who summed the total of the competitors two runs.
Kelowna-based freeride coach Claire Cipeletti, who stood at the top cheering and pumping up Gabriella Guarducci, said it was really fun to see the kids pushing and challenging each other. She said she loves coming to RMR because the resort always rolls out the red carpet for the kids.
“It’s been really great to see the kids enjoying themselves this weekend,” said Cipeletti. “And amazing to be here.”
The resort hosted the two-day competition on “Seperate Reality.”
The first day of the IFSA Freeride World Tour qualifier took place on the same terrain earlier this year. That means that athletes as young as nine years old this weekend were competing on the same slope as those over 18 and hoping to turn professional.
The final scores represented the sum of both runs, and the young athletes competed in three separate and gender specific categories.
Those were: under 12, 12 – 14, and 15 – 18.
Whistler locals Kayla Constantini and Dane Jewett placed first in the female and male under 12 category.
Rossland based Erin Flood and Nelsonite Ryan Kelly finished first in the female and male 12 – 14 category.
Aoife Ganoon out of Whistler, and Simon Hillis out of Rossland, took home first place in the female and male 15 – 18 category.
Revelstokian Ryland Grim and Foster Katchen both competed in the 15 – 18 and 12 – 13 categories.
Grim placed 9th in the 15 – 18 category. Katchen finished 13th in the 12 – 14.
It was Katchen’s third time competing and first time making it to the finals.
Grim was trying to boost his score from previous freeski events over the season to make it to the NORAM finals in Utah. He placed third in Kicking Horse and eighth at Whitewater earlier in the year.