Sierra-at-Tahoe hosting Freeride World Tour qualifying competition | SierraSun.com

Sierra-at-Tahoe hosting Freeride World Tour qualifying competition

Sebastian Foltz
sfoltz@tahoedailytribune.com

Skiing off a cliff and throwing a 360 might not be in the average skier's repertoire, but in the world of freeride competition, it's just the beginning.

Made famous by the Freeride World Tour and other extreme skiing/snowboarding events, freeride or big-mountain competitions involve being judged for skiing down a technical backcountry-style line that often includes cliff bands, gullies and other rock formations. Competitors are judged on speed, line choice, style and creativity.

That world will make a stop at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort this week for the International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association's first Sierra-at-Tahoe Huck Cup, a two-star qualifying event for the Freeride World Tour.

"The snow has come. We're doing this event. I'm really excited," said Tom Winter, America's manager for the Freeride World Tour. "They'll put on a good show."

The inaugural competition will take place in Sierra-at-Tahoe's gate-accessed Huckleberry Canyon backcountry. Organizers said it will be the first time they've had any competition on that terrain.

"This is an awesome venue for this kind of stuff," Winter added. "It has a wide variety of lines, easy access and fantastic opportunities for spectators to watch all the action."

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Roughly 80 men and women are expected to compete for a $5,000 cash purse and the chance to qualify for a competition the following week in Taos, N.M.

"This is how you start to move up the ladder and get to the World Tour," Winter said.

The competition kicks off Friday and runs through Saturday, with a weather day Sunday if needed.

Additional information is available at http://www.sierraattahoe.com and http://www.freeskiers.org/events.