This week began the last stop of the Freeskiing World Tour in Kirkwood, CA. Usually Kirkwood is the second to last stop before Snowbird but it was postponed this year due to a tough year of snow. The Qualifying day begins on the Lookout vista venue, which is pictured in this article, and then the next two days take place in the infamous Cirque. Those who qualify in the Lookout Vista run, which is a thirty percent cut of 50 or so people, get to qualify for the Cirque venue.
This is my third year in a row competing in this event, and every year I learn more and more about how to strategically compete to make the judges like your run. A big part of winning this event is just being able to ski strong, fast, and technical lines. It is emphasized that big cliffs do not always win because they want to keep everyone safe and skiing within their limits, but there is no doubt it helps to win to go big, along with a few flips and spins in between.
The conditions were a lot better than expected with a small 1 inch fresh layer of snow to cover up some of the exposure was nice to keep things really smooth. Also, with the low snowpack there were a lot more features that were exposed that are not normally there creating more unique lines and options.
This year in the qualifier I got 21st, and I needed to be in 17th to make it to the next round. I was super bummed because it takes so much effort and time and perfect execution to finally find a run and I skiid it really well, but there are several things I would have changed about my run that would have definitely qualified me.
Even though I didn’t qualify it was still definitely one of the most fun competitions I have ever competed in. The reason was because I had such a large group of friends competing with me that it was a super fun and supportive environment which is what competetive freeskiing is all about. 6 of my friends made it to the Semi-finals, and 2 more are in the actual finals tomorrow! So good luck Sean Collin and Davis Souza tomorrow in the finals!!