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Following a two-year hiatus, Red Bull Cold Rush is returning to its roots in Canada. From February 2nd – 5th, skiing’s premiere backcountry event will take place in the Revelstoke backcountry, with a star-studded athlete list that can be found here. Read below for more details on the upcoming event, complete with a course preview…
The trend bodes well for Red Bull Cold Rush which will challenge athletes in just about every type of terrain RMR has to offer from big mountain, cliffs, and slopestyle to touring. With a blend of natural features and man-made elements integrated into the mountain’s profile, slopestyle skiers who are more accustomed to throwing big spins in the park will find themselves negotiating the steep alpine and cliff drops of Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s upper area on Mount Mackenzie. On the flip side, traditional big mountain participants will take on the massive kickers, step-ups, and custom built features created by an expert crew of builders led by Riley Leboe. To help balance the playing field, the 2016 event will integrate a grueling ski touring element that will allow athletes to potentially recoup points lost in disciplines that are not necessarily their strong suit.
For the first time in Red Bull Cold Rush history, fans will be able to get in on the action and cast their vote as part of the People’s Choice Award to determine their favourite athlete. Voting will open on February 8th with the winner announced on February 10th. Full details on how to participate can be found below.
Riley Leboe (Vernon, BC), one of 15 men competitng in this year’s competition, knows a thing or two about building jumps – he’s been doing it for as long as he can remember, starting by building jumps for his local mountain freestyle club before eventually going on to oversee the course design of the first three Red Bull Cold Rush events. This year, Leboe is back at the helm of a six-man crew tasked with the job of designing, building, and preparing the various venues for the multi-day contest which took five straight days to complete. With the new location at RMR, Leboe is excited to flex his creative muscles on a new mountain that offers him a lot of room to play. “Revelstoke’s terrain gives us so many options. There’s a combination of amazing resort terrain, heli access, and cat access – it’s the best combination you could ask for and covers such a large area,” says Leboe. With playfull terrain from cliffs to rolls and senders, Leboe believe RMR caters exactly to the Red Bull Cold Rush style of freeskiing.
Of the three main contest zones, it is the slopestyle arena that demands the majority of Leboe’s attention and time as his crew digs, moves, and builds by hand the enormous kickers that will be the centrepiece of the contest. “I worked on the Red Bull Cold Rush course in Retallack a few years ago where we used snowcats to push up massive jumps in the backcountry. But this year, the venue is too remote to get a snowcat into, so everything is built by hand. But doing so gives us more control of exactly where we want each feature,” says Leboe. The slopestyle zone features three step-downs and five massive jumps that each take an average of eight hours to build, complementing the other natural features like wind lips and step overs that competitors can integrate into their runs. One of the largest features will be a step-over, measured at roughly 80 ft. that Leboe predicts will be where the biggest tricks go down, believing that “with the length of the landing, athletes will easily be able to take the jump 100+ ft.”. From those features, competitors will be able to link together three to four jumps in their line, with multiple lines to choose from. The end goal for Leboe is to build each feature large enough to allow the most progressive tricks, such as double flips that will truly test competitors’ skill.
For the first time ever, fans of Red Bull Cold Rush will have a chance to participate in the action through an all-new ‘People’s Choice Award’ category, allowing them to vote for their favorite all-around performance/athlete online. Following the contest, fans will be able to check out video highlights from each athlete at the RedBull.com Snow Facebook Page and cast their vote starting February 8th at 9:00am PST/12:00pm EST. The ‘People’s Choice Award’ will be decided by the athlete with the most shares on their RedBull.com Snow Facebook Page video post by February 10th at 6:00pm PST/9:00pm EST. The winners will be announced the following day on February 11th.
EVENT FORMAT & SCORING
There’s nothing more important than impressing your friends, and that is exactly what the premier field of 15 men and 5 women will do throughout the peer-judged contert. Each day of the competition focuses on a specific discipline including backcountry slopestyle, big mountain, cliffs, and alpine touring and will be filmed and documented. On the final day (February 5th), athletes will gather at the Roxy Theatre in Revelstoke to review the combined footage and score one another. Both male and female competitors will be scored together based on a total possible individual score of 150 points which is broken down by discipline: 50 points Big Mountain, 50 points Cliffs, 25 points Slopestyle, and 25 points Summit Assault (Touring). From the full list of competitors, the highest scoring male and highest scoring female will be awarded winners.
For the latest news and updates on Red Bull Cold Rush, visit redbull.ca/coldrush.