The battle for all-mountain mastery brings out the best Lake Tahoe-area athletes for a unique celebration.
Local North Tahoe-area skiers and snowboarders converged upon Squaw Valley, CA today for Red Bull Raid––the only freeride event in the United States that blends uphill ski mastery with big-mountain prowess. After a sunny day of all-mountain competition, skier Trevor Semmens, splitboarder Garrett Cygan, skier Camille Conrad, and splitboarder Jenna Shlachter were crowned contest winners.
The event invited local ski and snowboard talent to compete in a contest judged by uphill speed, endurance, and big mountain technical skill and style. Red Bull Raid brought the local snow community together and celebrated the people who made the 2020-2021 ski season possible. Red Bull and Squaw Valley made donations to local businesses of the winners’ choosing. Businesses and non-profits donated to include High Fives Foundation, Squaw Valley Freestyle Team, and Truckee Tahoe Humane Society.
The second iteration of the human-powered event saw 42 gritty competitors across ski and splitboard take on the lung-crushing timed ascent to C2 Ridge at Squaw Valley. A technical descent followed, where competitors earned points for difficulty, control, and style. The uphill and downhill sections were each worth a maximum of 100 points, with the fastest uphill competitors awarded 100 points for their finish and each subsequent uphill finisher awarded one point less.
“It feels great getting to compete again, this was my first competition since I was 13,” said women’s ski champion Conrad, who coaches youth ski racing at Squaw Valley. “It’s just awesome to be back on the snow again. I’m so grateful to be able to compete.”
Bernie Rosow, a winch cat operator from Mammoth Mountain, said: “This was the most mellow but crushing contest I’ve ever done. It was a no pressure, but an epic group of people who pushed me right before my 40th birthday.”
Judges Mike Laroche, Sammy Luebke, and Omar Otte were impressed by the committed approach that competitors brought to the event. Camille Conrad finished with 356 points, Trevor Semmens ended with 374 points, Jenna Shlachter finished with 339 points, and Garrett Cygan finished with 355 points.
“It’s super fun to get back on the competitive circuit,” said Semmens, the men’s ski champion, who coaches for the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team. “It was a burly field of competitors out here, a lot of really good riders, a couple of ex-Freeride World Tour riders, some really fast uphill skiers that were tough to keep up with.”
“My favorite part of the day was just the vibes with everybody here together, it’s been a year since we’ve been able to do this,” Shlachter, a local psychologist, said following the event. “I was so happy to be around all my friends.”