8-Foot-Deep Avalanche @ Snowbird Postpones Freeride World Tour

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snowbird huge avalanche
Historic 20-year, 8-foot-deep avalanche on Lower Baldy at Snowbird, UT on March 2nd, 2014.

The Freeride World Tour (FWT) can’t catch a break this year.  The Revelstoke, B.C. stop was postponed 3 months in December due to high avy danger and low snow.  The Fieberbrunn, Austria stop was moved last minute to Kappl, Austria due to extreme avalanche danger.  The Kirkwood, CA stop was moved to Snowbird, Utah due to lack of snow.  Now, the Snowbird stop has been postponed due to an 8-foot-deep avalanche that destroyed the competition venue on March 3rd, the day they were going to compete on it…

“With all the pieces in place for a powder-choked comp day this past Sunday on Snowbird’s North Baldy venue, ski patrol control work the morning of the event triggered an eight-foot-deep slab avalanche on faceted snow left from September that ran 1,000 feet to the flats. According to Snowbird snow safety professionals, it was a historic slide, one of the biggest avalanches in that location in 20-plus years.” – Drew Tabke, the 2013 FWT Champ/Powder Magazine

The huge 1,000 foot long avalanche in Baldy at Snowbird on March 3rd, 2014
The huge 1,000 foot long avalanche in Lower Baldy at Snowbird on March 2nd, 2014

Right now, the FWT’s plan is to run the comp on Silver Fox.  Silver Fox is where the Freeskiing World Tour used to run its day 1 events.  It’s a mellow zone for these guys, but FWT Champ Drew Tabke makes a great point here:

“The ASP surfing world tour doesn’t run every event at Teahupoo [the heaviest wave on Earth]. For every bone-crunching, house-sized Tahitian barrel, just as many waist-high crumbly beachbreaks offer as venues during the season. This is a more realistic representation of the pursuit of waveriding, and in the end the best surfer still wins. The Freeride World Tour needs to follow this paradigm.” – Drew Tabke, the 2013 FWT Champ/Powder Magazine

The Silver Fox venue underneath the tram. PHOTO: FreerideWorldTour.com
The Silver Fox venue underneath the tram. PHOTO: FreerideWorldTour.com

Yes, Silver Fox has already been skied by the public.  Yes, Silver Fox is mellower than most FWT venues.  No, they don’t have much of a choice with venue’s right now.  And yes, these guys and gals will still put on a helluva show on Silver Fox.

 Organizers have confirmed the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort will take place Wednesday, March 5, 2014. After a large snow slide on North Baldy delayed the competition previously scheduled for Sunday, Silver Fox has been named the new competition venue. Silver Fox has served as a venue for many past freeride competitions at the Resort. The slope faces northeast and often holds some of the most enjoyable snow on the mountain. Forecasts suggest 8-12 inches of snow could fall between now and the competition. – FWT

 


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