After being canceled last year, Red Bull Raid returns to Squaw
After being forced to cancel last year’s event do to COVID-19, the Red Bull Raid is set to touch down at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows on Friday, April 2.
A test of winter athletes that combines uphill skills with big mountain skiing, the Red Bull Raid is returning after its inaugural event in 2019, and will feature 60 local athletes battling it out for titles in skiing and splitboard across men and women’s divisions.
Officials have confirmed the event for Friday at Squaw Valley’s CII Ridge. Athletes will be divided into two heats. The first racers in each division to ascend to the top of CII Ridge will receive 100 points. Each racer after that will receive an incremental deduction of one point. The descent will be scored by a panel of three judges, who will be looking at athletes’ style, line, and control.
After the first two heats, the remaining athletes will tackle the course again to determine this year’s champions.
The event was opened to local competitors in skiing and splitboard, and also features Red Bull athletes like John Collinson, Michelle Parker, and JT Holmes, who wowed crowds in 2019 by launching roughly 40 feet off Squaw’s China Wall.
“Nobody had ever participated in an event quite like this,” said Holmes. “Essentially, if you’re out of shape and couldn’t be in the top four or five on the way up, you would have needed to do some incredible skiing to secure a top podium spot. It’s a combination of being extremely fit and being able to rip on the way down.”
Registration is closed for all disciplines, except women’s splitboard, which has a waitlist open for Friday’s competition.
Red Bull Raid, according to officials, is the only freeride event in the country that combines uphill ski mountaineering with big mountain skiing.
“The event celebrates the mountain town locals who made it all possible; the essential workers in the resort and food and beverage and various other industries across Tahoe who allowed the 2020-2021 ski season to take place in spite of massive headwinds,” said Red Bull Raid organizers in a news release.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643.
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UPDATE at 10:55 a.m. Monday, April 19