The North Face announces schedule for 2013/14 Park & Pipe Open Series

Comments by Donny O'Neill/

On Wednesday, The North Face will officially announce the schedule for the 2013/14 TNF Park & Pipe Open Series (PPOS), a three-stop tour with contests at Copper Mountain, CO; Whistler Blackcomb, BC; and Stratton Mountain Resort, VT. The PPOS is one of the only open-format freeskiing series in North America, meaning pros and amateurs alike will compete alongside one another to up their rankings.

Blunck_TNFPPOS

Aaron Blunck in the pipe at the Copper Mountain, CO stop of the 2012/13 PPOS.

The first stop will feature a halfpipe event at Copper Mountain from December 6-8, 2013, and will be the last chance qualifier for the U.S. Grand Prix—the Olympic qualification series for the United States. Next up, Whistler Blackcomb will feature halfpipe and slopestyle skiing from January 14-18, 2014, followed by a slopestyle competition and rail jam at Stratton on February 22, 2014. All three events are part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Tour, and will count towards final AFP rankings. Athlete registration for all three stops opens November 5, 2013 at 10 a.m. MST.

Press Release, Salt Lake City, UT, September 25, 2013:

On the eve of a historic year for freeskiing, The North Face is pleased to announce the fourth season of The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS). The series will feature three stops during the 2013-14 winter including halfpipe at Copper Mountain, CO (Dec. 4-8), halfpipe and slopestyle at Whistler Blackcomb, BC (Jan. 14-18), and Stratton Mountain Resort (Feb. 22), which will feature a slopestyle competition and rail jam.

“As the sport of Freeskiing embarks on its journey to the world’s stage at the Winter Olympics, The North Face is proud to offer this open-format event to the freeskiing community, and excited to see the sport growing and moving forward,” said The North Face Vice President, Global Marketing Aaron Carpenter.

Founded in 2010, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS) features slopestyle and halfpipe skiing competitions. As one of the only open-format event series in North America, amateurs have the opportunity to compete alongside top pros and advance their athlete rankings.

All three PPOS events are part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) competition schedule. The Copper Mountain stop will also serve as a last chance qualifier into the U.S. Grand Prix series, which is the Olympic qualification series for freeskiing athletes in the U.S., and will ultimately select the athletes who will compete for the U.S. Olympic Freeskiing team at the Sochi Winter Olympics in February. The Sochi Olympics will be the first winter Games to include freeskiing halfpipe and slopestyle. The Copper Mountain stop will also be a NorAm Cup event. Athlete registration for all three PPOS stops will open November 5 at 10 a.m. MST on www.thenorthfaceppos.com.

“The energy surrounding this coming event season is outstanding,” said Event Director Barb Hamblett of Mountain Sports International. “We are very excited to provide athletes the opportunity to participate in this premium open series at such a pivotal time for the sport.”

Slopestyle skiing takes place in a venue comprised of man-made features such as rails, boxes and jumps contained on a single slope. Halfpipe skiing takes place in a halfpipe similar to those used for halfpipe snowboarding. Skiers accelerate through the pipe to gain increased height jumping out of the halfpipe while simultaneously executing challenging grabs, spins, flips and other maneuvers. Skiers string together a series of aerials from the halfpipe in a single run. Judging is based on overall impression, including content, difficulty of run, style and use of park or pipe. The PPOS will work in conjunction with the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) on competition judging with Mike Atkinson serving as head judge for the series.

2013-14 PPOS Series Schedule:

1. Copper Mountain, CO (FIS Sanctioned) — December 6-8, 2013
2. Whistler Blackcomb, BC — January 14-18, 2014
3. Stratton Resort, VT — February 22, 2014