The most legendary freeride competition in the world, the Xtreme Verbier, is less than a week away! The event will take place between March 26 and April 3rd, and serves as the Grand Finale of the 2022 edition of the Freeride World Tour (FWT). The roster features experienced pros, breakout stars. and exciting, just-announced wildcards. These athletes will face off on the Tour’s most demanding venue, Verbier’s famed Bec Des Rosses. With vertiginous steeps exceeding 50 degrees, a vertical drop of around 2,000 feet / 600 metres, and a labyrinth of technical terrain, it is a fitting venue for the climax of the FWT.
The 2022 Xtreme Verbier will close out the first year of FWT’s updated World Tour format, which will lend even more excitement to the already electric atmosphere. The final ranking will be determined by the riders’ top three of five results, allowing riders to drop their two lowest results. Additionally, the results at Verbier award higher points towards the Tour’s overall ranking than the initial three Tour stops, making it possible for riders who trail in the current standings to upset the current leaders with a big result.
Joining the talented roster of qualified riders will be a select group of highly-experienced wildcards. Reine Barkered (SWE), one of the most successful skiers on the Bec des Rosses of all time, uncharacteristically fell below the cut following the third event of 2022 at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, B.C. Luckily for FWT fans, Barkered, also known as the Mayor of Stomptown, will be in Verbier competing as a wildcard. Explosive Spanish skier Aymar Navarro (ESP) who also fell below the cut, has also been invited to compete in Verbier. And joining the Snowboard Men is two-time World Champion Victor De Le Rue (FRA).
Current tour leaders have delivered unforgettable performances at the first four stops of the tour.Ski Men rookie Maxime Chabloz (SUI) has consistently landed clean runs with a winning combination of freestyle and classic big mountain freeride, but depending on the results in Verbier, at least four other riders could pass Chabloz and emerge as World Champion. Women’s Ski leader Jess Hotter (NZL) has pulled off an impressive return to competition following a knee injury last year, and currently holds a commanding lead. Blake Moller (USA), who finished 2nd overall in 2021, currently leads the Snowboard Men, but he is closely followed by Camille Armand (FRA). ExperiencedSnowboard Women rider Erika Vikander (USA) leads her category, but Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA), currently in second place, remains within striking distance.
Riders qualified for the Xtreme Verbier are already qualified for the 2023 FWT. Joining them will be riders who earned their spot via the 2022 Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ). Following the Xtreme Verbier, one event will remain in each of the two global regions to determine which FWQ riders earn their spot on the FWT next year. These final FWQ events take place in Kirkwood, California on March 31st - April 1st and Obergurgl, Austria on April 1st - 5th.
There are lots of ways to get involved in freeride in the leadup to Verbier: Listen to the just-released Episode 7 of the Freeride World Tour Podcast; check out Fun Bet, a fantasy sports-style interactive platform where fans from around the world can bet on athletes’ performance in the upcoming competition; and follow along on FWT’s Instagram and Facebook for current updates and behind-the-scenes content. And for the always-thrilling live Xtreme Verbier broadcast, be sure to tune in at the home of freeride, freerideworldtour.com.