Red Bull has announced plans to bring the beloved Red Bull Cold Rush event back for 2016. The event's return is slated for February 2 - 5, 2016 at Revelstoke Mountain Resort according to a November 24 press release. The 2016 event will mark the second attempt to host the event at Revelstoke, as the 2015 event was cancelled due to snowpack difficulties experienced throughout much of Western Canada during the 2015 winter. According to Revelstoke Mountaineer, Revelstoke has received over 320 cm of snow to date this winter—and the mountain isn't even scheduled to open until November 28.
The return to Revelstoke marks the contest's return to Canada. The inaugural Red Bull Cold Rush was hosted by Red Mountain in 2008, then Retallack in 2009 and 2010 before moving to Silverton, Colorado for 2011 and 2012. The event then went on hiatus until 2015.
Alongside the event's announcement, Red Bull has unveiled a stacked lineup of competitors including two-time event winner Sean Pettit and ten other Canadians filling out the lineup of 16 confirmed male athletes. On the women's side of things, six skiers have been confirmed including Canadian Tatum Monod.
New this year, Red Bull Cold Rush has introduced the People's Choice Award, to be voted on by fans during the week following the conclusion of the on-hill contest.
For more information, read the full release from Red Bull below:
After a three-year hiatus, Red Bull Cold Rush is back and set to be better than ever. Fusing the disciplines of backcountry slopestyle, big mountain, cliffs, and alpine ski touring, Red Bull Cold Rush will return to Canada from February 2-5, 2016 at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia. The event will see a handful of the world’s premier skiers invited to battle it out for a chunk of the $36,000 prize purse awarded in a peer-judged format to the most versatile, well-rounded athletes. This year, fans will also be brought into the action with an all new ‘People’s Choice Award’ that will be determined by online voting in the week following the contest.
Plans to bring back the event in 2015 were cut short by a less than ideal snow season that saw the first Red Bull Cold Rush since the 2012 contest in Colorado being put on hold. While relying on the weather can be frustrating, it also highlights the uniqueness of the event; a big mountain spectacle that truly depends on the good graces of nature. There are no carefully groomed runs, elaborate scaffolding, or cooling systems that would allow a more controlled contest to run in temperatures on the plus side of zero (Celsius). Instead, it is a contest of athlete versus nature in its purest form. With already over 320cm of snowfall in advance of Revelstoke’s November 28th opening day, Mother Nature looks set to deliver in 2016.
Along with a new location in Revelstoke, the event is being updated with fresh elements including innovative on-mountain features and a competition format that places a greater focus on alpine touring.
“Red Bull Cold Rush is the one and only top tier event that I, and all the other backcountry skiers, have to express our type of skills in a competition format. The fact that this amazing event is coming back to Canada just gets me all fired up! It’s where I spend my winter doing what I do, so I’ll be right at home this year,” says Sean Pettit, professional backcountry freeskier and two-time winner of Red Bull Cold Rush in 2010 and 2011.
Assembling the best of the best in freestyle skiing, the invitation-only event selects 16 men and 5 women from around the world to participate. The RSVPs were quick to come in, and the competitors have been confirmed. Introducing your 2016 Red Bull Cold Rush athletes so far:
This year, fans of Red Bull Cold Rush will have a chance to participate in the action for the first time through an all-new ‘People’s Choice Award’ category, allowing them to vote for their favourite rider online. Following the contest, fans will be able to check out video highlights from each athlete on RedBull.com to cast their vote from February 8 – 10 with winners announced on February 11th. More details on voting will be released in January 2016.
In addition to the new ‘People’s Choice Award’, Red Bull Cold Rush will continue its tradition as a peer-judged competition - after all, there’s nothing more important than impressing your friends. Spread across three days, the event focuses on four distinct ski disciplines including backcountry slopestyle, big mountain, cliffs, and alpine touring, in order to find the best all-around freeskier. When the contest wraps, athletes have a chance to sit together to review videos from the three days of competition and cast their votes and evaluate one another based on style, speed, and technique.