Freeride World Tour: Tram Face a no-go for Day 1
OLYMPIC VALLEY Its a good thing Squaw Valley has multiple venues worthy of hosting a big-mountain competition.Event officials on Thursday officially moved the second stop of the Freeride World Tour, the Nissan Tram Face, from the infamous Tram Face itself to Silverado at least for Day 1 of the competition. They also bumped it up from Saturday to today in hopes of beating a forecasted weekend storm to the punch.Out of fear that the only window in the five- to six-day (grace) period might be Friday, they decided to go ahead and schedule Day 1 for Friday, said Squaw Valley spokesperson Savannah Cowley.The Silverado venue will use the terrain from Bungee Bowl to Kimos Paw, which includes cliff bands on China Wall.Cowley said if the storm this weekend delivers enough snow to fill in Tram Face the ominous rock face overlooking the Village at Squaw Valley a second day of competition will be held there early next week.But we need a safe venue, she said.The National Weather Service calls for sunny skies and breezy conditions in Olympic Valley on Friday, with a chance of snow Saturday through Sunday night. Snow and snow showers are likely from Monday through Thursday. Truckee big-mountain snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones, whos scheduled to compete, was part of a crew that scouted out alternate locations for the event on Tuesday, Cowley said, including Silverado and National Geographic Bowl located in out-of-bounds territory behind Granite Chief. Assisting Jones were Squaw Valley Ski Patrol members, World Freeride Tour event officials, including the director, and avalanche forecasters, Cowley said.Conditions will be reassessed as the storm develops to determine whether a second day of competition will be held.Depending on weather, there could only be one day, Cowley said.Athletes must wait with fingers crossed for the opportunity to ski Tram Face, which has remained closed since Squaw Valley opened in 1949. If a second day of the Freeride World Tour event is held on Tram Face, it wont be on the main face, said Squaw Valley skier Cody Townsend, whos among the favorites to win the mens contest.The main gnarly face is more like extreme skiing, Townsend said Tuesday, before learning of the change. Its actually to the lookers right of Tower 1 and the whole shoulder all the way down … Its a really good face. Theres tons of features, its steep, theres good landings, and you can piece together so many creative lines on it.Townsend, who finished fifth in last years World Freeride Tour, said he ranks the Tram Face as one of the best pitches in the United States for such an event.Squaw Valley skier Elyse Saugstad, Townsends girlfriend of four years and a fellow competitor on the tour, is equally excited about the competition, especially with her parents flying in from Alaska to watch her perform on her home mountain.Most definitely. Im so excited, said Saugstad, who won last years World Freeride Tour … Its going to be pretty cool to have everybody come here and ski at our resort.Other Squaw locals competing are Jamie Burge and Jackie Passo on the womens side, and J.T. Holmes in the mens competition. Scott Gaffney and Shane McConkey, also Squaw locals who know a thing or two about big-mountain skiing, will serve as judges.
The competition is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and end at approximately 2 p.m. There will be skier and spectator access through Gate 7 via Landbridge (the groomed trail) and Gate 8 via Broken Arrow (hike). Chairlift access will be available out of Silverado. Check http://www.freerideworldtour.com or http://www.squaw.com for more information.
Friday Village Expo andamp; Street Fair, 3-8:30 p.m. in the Village Matt Reardon live in the Village, 3-4 p.m., 5:30-8 p.m. Free live music at Auld Dubliner with SUBJEKTOCHANGE, 9 p.m.Saturday Tram Face Street Party Jeff Jones in the Village, 2-5pm Village Expo andamp; Street Fair, 3-8:30pm Matt Reardon andamp; Fortress live in the Olympic Village Lodge (OVL), 8pm Free live music at the Auld Dubliner by NEVA BAND, 9pm
Ski Men:1. Sverre Liliequist (SWE)2. Aerelien Ducroz (FRA)3. Thibaud Duchosal (FRA)Snowboard Men:1. Cyril Neri (SUI)2. Xavier De Le Rue (FRA)3. Alex Coudray (SUI)Ski Women:1. Jess McMillan (USA)2. Ane Enderud (NOR)3. Marja Persson (SWE)Snowboard Women:1. Aline Bock (GER)2. Charlotte Hagen (NOR)3. Nathalie Zenklusen (SUI)
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