Subaru Freeride Tour: Next Stop Telluride

Subaru Freeride Tour: Next Stop Telluride

Telluride’s Black Iron Bowl offers some of the rowdiest and most playful in-bounds terrain in the country. And this weekend, March 21st to 23rd, the country’s best adult and junior big mountain skiers and boarders are coming to play—or more accurately, to compete.subaru freeride series

Telluride is the third stop on the Subaru Freeride Competitive Tour that began in Crystal Mountain, Washington, in early February, and continued to Crested Butte, Colorado in mid-February. After Telluride, the tour moves to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in CA, before the final event in Big Sky, Montana in early April.

Competitors in the Subaru Freeride Tour are looking to accumulate points to earn a spot on the Swatch Freeride World Tour and compete at the highest level of the sport in iconic big mountain resorts such as Chamonix, France, Verbier, Switzerland, and Revelstoke, Canada.

Telluride hosted a stop on the Freeride Tour in 2009 and according to Telluride Ski Resort’s Manager of Sponsorships and Events, Heidi Lauterbach, the resort is glad to have it back.

“When the guys [event promoters] were out here scoping out the terrain, they were like Telluride could be a World Tour spot,” Lauterbach said. “It’s incredible that the terrain that some of the competitors are competing on is in bounds, and is also open to the public to ski.”

Subaru Freeride Series event director Bryan Barlow agrees. “Telluride is known for its incredible big mountain terrain and culture making it the perfect fit for this series,” he said.

Although Black Iron Bowl is open to the public, Lauterbach clarified that it will not be during the competition this weekend. Spectators are encouraged to watch the event from the bottom and can get there via the High Traverse at the bottom of Genevieve.

Lauterbach said Telluride Ski Resort and event organizer, Mountain Sports International, expect 120 adult competitors to compete in the qualifying rounds Friday, then the top finishers will advance to Saturday’s final round. Sunday, around 40 junior competitors (age 12-18), will have a chance to vie for the junior title.

Although the freeride events are the signature happenings of the weekend, look for other events associated with the competition in the Mountain Village including exhibits and activities focusing on educating snow enthusiasts of all abilities about the sport and evolution of freeride. Entertainment also includes special performances by Steele Pulse, March 20 at the Telluride Conference Center, and Michael Franti & Spearhead, March 23 and 24 at the Sheridan Opera House (sold out).

“Freeriders of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy the event by spectating, participating in the festival or attending two amazing musical performances,” Barlow said.

Look for Telluride local adult competitors Abbot Smith, Casey Reeva, Julia Nave, and Hannah Smith. Gregory Hope and Walter Kvale are currently on the competition’s waitlist.

George Rodney, 2012

George Rodney, 2012

For more, listen to my interview with George Rodney, 2012 Junior Free Skiing Champion and 3rd place winner and’s SickBird winner from last month’s Crested Butte Subaru Freeride Competition.

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