Orage Masters 9 begins today; here’s the who, what, when, where

Comments by Henrik Lampert/

I’m currently at 30,000 feet, aboard Southwest flight 3865, en route from Denver to Spokane, WA along with fellow Freeskier staffers, Shane Dowaliby and Zach Berman. In Spokane, a rental car is awaiting. From there, approx four hours to the north: British Columbia’s own Retallack Lodge, home to the ninth iteration of the famed Orage Masters, which kicks off this evening and rolls straight through March 28. For this Freeskier trio, this marks our second consecutive year of attendance at the famed “anti-comp,” and as we make our way north two things are certain: this year is going to be different, and it’s going to be totally, insanely, amazingly fun.

As per usual with the Masters, the one rule is this: there are no rules. In this spirit, the team at Orage are mixing things up this go-round, straying from the standard contest equation; in years past, we’ve seen eight teams comprised of four skiers each, facing off in an all-out slopestyle extravaganza. This time: 10 skiers will be split into two teams of five, and for the first time ever, the Masters will take place in a backcountry setting. The athlete roster is stacked and the event schedule is oh-so-fitting. Here, we give a quick taste of what’s to come, plus, who to watch for.

Orage-Masters-At-Retallack

Throwing down this week: Tatum Monod, Lexi Dupont, Banks Gilberti, Parker White, Duncan Adams, Wiley Miller, Chris Logan, Alexis Godbout, Tanner Rainville and Joe Schuster. How’s that for an all-star line up? Tonight, the two teams will be decided via a knife throwing contest led by Monod and Dupont. Word on the street is that each lady will burst balloons to see which of the various gentlemen will join their respective squad.

From there, we dive head first into the games. On the docket: pillow lines, more knife throwing, Chinese downhill, backcountry booters, figure 818′s, Nageln and so much more. Both on-hill and off, the competitive vibes will be flaring non-stop. Throughout the week, personal challenges will be raging as well: each personal challenge provides an opportunity to steal points from the other team. More on that below. The full schedule of events is as follows:

Orage Masters 9, Schedule of Events:

March 25

Team and costume selection
Après ski challenge

March 26

The throwdown at Hollywood Ridge
Chinese downhill presented by Hitcase
Masters of steel knife throwing contest
Après ski challenge
Ball hockey tournament presented by Red Bull

March 27

Figure 818 contest
Ski porn galore
GT jump off at the sledder’s cabin
Chinese downhill presented by Hitcase
Nageln
Night cap and poem with Karl the Gnarl
Après ski challenge
Jenga

March 28

Backcountry booter shootout
Just for the love of it fun run Friday
Chinese downhill presented by Hitcase
Après at Hume Hotel, Nelson, BC (Open to the public)
Orage Masters Awards Ceremony, plus Savage Blade album release party feat. DJ Burn & The Living Legends, The Spirit Bar (Open to the public)

*Schedule is subject to change

As always, on the line here at the the Masters are the ultimate bragging rights and the coveted white dinner jackets. $10,000 in cash certainly doesn’t hurt, either. The two teams will battle in 20+ events, and for each one, “flamingo points” are up for grabs; there are 89 flamingo points (between 1-10 points allotted for each event) to be awarded in total, a nod to the year 1989, in which the Orage brand was founded. Cash prizes are also awarded for many of the contests: e.g. win Chinese downhill, earn $300.

With an athlete roster comprised of some of skiing’s smoothest, most heavy-hitting backcountry skiers, it’s sure to be another extraordinary showcasing of stuntin’ and downright antics. Given the awesomeness that’s sure to ensue, you won’t want to miss a beat, and that’s where we come in.

For the next four days, we’ll be doing our darnedest to keep you posted on the happenings: we’ll be providing regular updates to the website, along with our social outlets: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’re looking to keep tabs throughout the week, be sure to follow along with the #OrageMasters hashtag.

We’ll be counting on you to provide some feedback, as well, in the form of voting. For example, the Hollywood Ridge session, referenced above: 10 athletes, 10 lines, 10 clips. The video with the most votes gets the flamingos. Another example: on March 30, voting will open for the People’s Choice award; there’s $1,000 cash and fresh Orage threads on the line for the “best moment” of Orage Masters IX. Of course, you already voted on who you wanted to see compete here at the Rumble at Retallack and you also voted on the team costumes (the outcome will be revealed later today). Bottom line: there are many ways for you to get involved, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. That said, we’ll do another shameless plug for the #OrageMasters hashtag—follow that s#it.

In addition to relying on the public for some of the judging duties, other events will be time based, accuracy based, beauty based, goal based and style based. As Orage mentioned to the athletes this year, “your full range of skills will be tested.”

And with that, we’ve begun our descent into GEG. Next up: rent car, stock up at liquor store, ask Siri for directions to the lodge and cruise. Hopefully they’ll let us cross the border; Dowaliby is a sweetheart, but Berman on the other hand… that smirk always seems to imply he’s up to no good.

Stay tuned, folks. The Orage Masters is back.