It’s been a rough year for the Freeride World Tour (FWT). 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. The Snowbird stop was 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. Now, the originally postponed Revelstoke stop the was rescheduled for March has been canceled due to high avalanche danger.
This means that Verbier is the next and final stop on the FWT and that comp will occur on March 22nd.
FWT Press Release:
REVELSTOKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA – March 11, 2014 – Due to high avalanche danger on the Mac Daddy backcountry venue, organizers of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face (FWT) have decided to cancel the competition scheduled to take place outside of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Forecasts do not suggest weather patterns will create suitable competition conditions within the designated weather window, March 10-15. As a result the competition will not be moved to an alternate venue or date. Great spring skiing conditions exist in the resort boundary but do not meet terrain criteria for Freeride World Tour venues.
The fifth stop cancellation has caused a slight adjustment to the Verbier qualification structure. For women, the top two of three event results will determine qualification. For men, the best three of four results will be used to determine qualification. Organizers have also decided to split the total $63,500-prize purse evenly between all riders who had planned to compete at the event.
“Revelstoke Mountain Resort supports the decision by the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face event organizers to cancel the event,” reported Ashley Tait, Director of Sales and Marketing at the resort. “While the in-bound skiing at the resort is excellent, the existing avalanche conditions are wide-spread across the backcountry in western North America. Safety for the athletes and staff involved in the event continue to be a top priority.”
The FWT will continue to the Xtreme Verbier final championships in Switzerland on March 22 where the 2014 champions will be crowned.
“Our staff and management are committed to doing everything possible to put on world-class freeride competitions,” explained FWT Americas Event Director Bryan Barlow. “However, this is an example of how tough decisions must be made in favor of athlete and staff safety. Fans, staff, and athletes all love the venue at Revelstoke. We look forward to many future competitions here.”
This is the latest in a slew of last minute decisions involving the venue that have affected the FWT competition. Last week, an avalanche on Mount Baldy postponed the fourth stop of the FWT at Snowbird and forced the competition to move to Silver Fox. Earlier in the season, another slide moved the Fieberbrunn stop of the FWT to nearby Kappl in Austria.
For more information on the Freeride World Tour and Freeride World Qualifier events, please visit FreerideWorldTour.com.