Last weekend the Freeride World Tour landed in Fieberbrunn, Austria, and Ski Club was at the finish line to watch the most talented freeride athletes make the mountain their stage
Fieberbrunn was stop number three, slap bang in the middle of the tour, meaning that the riders had warmed up in the previous two resorts. In Hakuba and Kicking Horse they tackled friendlier faces with more freestyle focus, but Austria’s ‘hold the line’ theme and the sheer Wildseeloder face brought an ominous edge to the competition: playtime was over.
What is the Freeride World Tour?
Since 1996 skiers and snowboarders have competed to find the best line on mountain faces across the world. Freeride refers to skiing off piste on mixed and challenging terrain. Athletes from various backgrounds like racing, freestyle and mogul skiing bring their individual talents to the big mountain, and when I say big, I mean massive. Performance is judged on line, air and style, fluidity, control and technique. The catch? Athletes are not allowed to ride the face before the contest day. Instead, they must visually study the natural features of the mountain ahead of the competition and plan their line before actually taking it on.