The final event of the 2023 Freeride World Tour (FWT), the Yeti Xtreme Verbier, has been cancelled amid ongoing snow and wind. Heavy snowfalls over the last 48 hours—including wind gusts of 135 km/h—have generated extremely hazardous conditions on the Bec des Rosses, making the venue unsafe for riding and leaving organizers with no option other than to cancel the iconic event.


All lifts to the venue have been closed since Saturday, owing to the unremitting wind and avalanche danger, which was four out of five. Mountain guides, together with the Freeride World Tour founder and commissioner, assessed the situation from a helicopter yesterday, but safety teams were only able to access the venue this morning.

Photo by Dom Daher / Freeride World Tour

Unfortunately, during the safety works this morning multiple layers of snow released to form large, widespread avalanches, leaving terrain that is unrideable to even the most seasoned big mountain specialist. Today was the only viable option for competition and, with more clouds and snow forecast for the afternoon and the rest of the week, the Bec will continue to be too dangerous for FWT athletes, preventing the event from running.

Photo by Dom Daher / Freeride World Tour

“Following this morning’s bombing on the Bec des Rosses, several large avalanches came down. The venue is therefore unusable for safety reasons, meaning the YETI Xtreme Verbier 2023 is canceled, and the world champion titles will be awarded according to the rankings after four events. We did everything possible with the challenging conditions, but Mother Nature has the final say, which we must respect.” —Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT CEO

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

This marks only the second time in FWT history that the Xtreme Verbier has been cancelled, the other being in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The FWT rules in this scenario state that whoever is the rankings leader going into the event prevails, meaning the 2023 FWT World Champions are as follows…

Maxime Chabloz (2nd), Valentin Rainer (1st), Andrew Pollard (3rd)
Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

“Unbelievable to win the title. I was prepared for a competition today, but Mother Nature was kind of on my side, I would say. I would have still wished to do a run here at Verbier, but we will next year! It was a really good season; everything from the first stop onwards was awesome—a dream season for sure.

Molly Armanino (2nd), Justine Dufour-Lapointe (1st), Megane Betend (3rd)
Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

“I am speechless. Honestly, I did not realize this would happen today, but now I am World Champion. I have been working so hard the last few months, but now I am feeling so proud of all the hard work and self-belief. To finish the season with this title means the world to me. This was my dream coming into freeride, but I never thought it would be possible this fast. I am so happy I made the switch to freeriding and the wonderful world of the FWT, and I am excited to what’s next—this is just the beginning.”

Jonathan Penfield (2nd), Ludovic Guillot-Diat (1st), Liam Rivera (3rd)
Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

“It’s a strange day and sad for all the riders, but we are in the mountains so it’s like this sometimes. I am very happy to have the title and, with four podiums this season, I was looking forward to adding a fifth today!”

Anna Orlova (2nd), Katie Anderson (1st), Estelle Rizzolio (3rd)
Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

(Who was already crowned in Fieberbrunn, Austria)
“A little bit bittersweet today, I wish we could’ve gone ahead but the mountain had other plans. I am really proud of everyone who rode this year, and I am super happy and excited to win the title—last year I never thought I would be standing here.”  

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

This is another reminder that the all-powerful Mother Nature always holds the cards, and the competition must yield in order to keep the athletes safe. This season, however, will be celebrated and long remembered for many reasons, including breakthrough performances from the next generation of FWT athletes. Congratulations to the 2023 FWT World Champions—the first time each has claimed this prestigious title—and a special shout out to all the riders who have entertained onlookers all season with their progressive freeriding.

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

As the 2023 FWT draws to a close, the focus shifts to 2024, the roster of which will soon take shape when the final events of the FWT Challenger series conclude. Find out the full roster soon at freerideworldtour.com, and be sure to follow the FWT’s social channels (@freerideworldtour) for all the latest news as it drops.

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