Photos by Andrew Strain.
Lutry, Switzerland – Monday, March 14, 2016 – It is truly every freerider’s dream to make the trip to Alaska’s snow-stacked peaks and ride some of the most beautiful, steep, and thrilling lines in the world. For the 33 remaining qualified riders on the Tour after the first cut in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria, this dream is about to become reality. The FWT returns to Haines, Alaska, after an incredible inaugural stop last year to host a competition like no other.
Haines has long been known as one of the foremost locations of heli-riding exploration and hosted some of the awe-inspiring displays of talent in the North American and international freeride scenes. A small coastal fishing village of just 1,300 residents, this quiet corner of American wildness is among the most inspiring and scenic of all ski destinations. 14 ski men, 7 snowboard men, 7 ski women, and 5 snowboard women will make the journey from Europe to soaring peaks of Alaska and compete on a remote competition face accessed only by helicopter. This elite assembly of top riders is not off the hook as they still must put forth their best effort to make the second and final cut which allows the top 12 ski men, top 6 snowboard men, top 6 ski women, and top 4 snowboard women to qualify for the final stop in at the Xtreme Verbier on April 2nd.
The competition window will stretch from March 17-25 to allow organizers and riders to operate in the highly variable, extreme maritime weather and remote Alaskan backcountry. Stay tuned to FWT Facebook and Twitter channels for the exact competition date and time. Despite being miles from the nearest town, all FWT fans can view the live webcast the day of the competition on freerideworldtour.com, dailymotion.com, or youtube.com. Follow your favorite riders and share their lines with the new live tagging system and make sure to set your alarms because Haines, Alaska is ten hours behind Central European Time.
Rider update! With so much happening the last few weeks on the FWT, here is the most updated information concerning the riders competing here in Haines:
The FWT has decided to invite Evelina Nilsson (SWE) after she was pushed out of qualification by Nadine Wallner (AUT)’s re-run in the Fieberbrunn, Austria competition. Nilsson will be the 8th skier woman in Haines, qualified for the 2017 season and is still a contender for this year’s title.
Alaskan shredder Ryland Bell (USA) has received a Local Wild Card and the FWT is still awaiting news from snowboarder Jonathan Penfield (USA) who is expected to make a last minute decision as to whether he will compete in Haines.
Riders not making an appearance in Haines include Silver Moser (ITA), who will not be competing due to an injury. Nadine Wallner (AUT) and Elodie Mouthon (FRA) have had scheduling issues so were not able to make the trip to Alaska. Last but not least, Sascha Hamm (GBR) is still out due to injuries sustained in the Fieberbrunn competition but is on the road to full recovery.
Men’s Start List
Women’s Start List
It is in this region of the North American continent, Haines – Alaska that the first ever freeride competitions emerged. Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the weather conditions are exceptional, making this destination one of the wildest freeride spots in the world. It is in this mysterious setting, eagerly awaited by all riders – supervised by the bald eagle, that the last qualifying stage before the great final in Verbier will take place.
FWT is partnering with SEABA, World Class Heli-Skiing Experience in Haines since 2002, to organize the event mountain logistics in this magical and challenging environment Seaba-heli.com.