Freeride World Tour Announces Chamonix Event

Freeride World Tour Announces Chamonix Event

In a major coup, the premier big-mountain tour on the planet has announced the addition of Chamonix as a qualifying event for the Freeride World Tour. The Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc will be held in the legendary home of French alpinism and freeriding from February 15 to 19. The event joins an impressive stable of events that also includes The Salomon Extreme Freeriding Championships in Taos, New Mexico, the Winter Mysticxperience Monte Rosa in Italy and the Nendaz Freeride in Switzerland.

Athletes competing at these qualifying events earn point for the invitation-only Freeride World Tour which has four stops, the Nissan Russian Adventure (Sochi, Russia), Nissan Tram Face (Squaw Valley, USA), Nissan Freeride de Tignes (Tignes, France) and Nissan Xtreme (Verbier, Switzerland). Under the FWT point system, it is possible for athletes to earn FWT points at qualifying events, making stops like Chamonix even more compelling at the best big-mountain skiers in the world battle it out for overall standings at venues worldwide.

Chamonix’s terrain has drawn adventurous climbers and skiers for centuries. The town is arguably the premier mountaineering and big-mountain location in the world, with a rich and illustrious history, filled with some of the biggest names in mountain sports ever to climb a peak or drop a cliff. The area is world renowned for its freeride areas, and the resort’s return into the freeride competition realm has been long awaited for all those who love the sport. Predictably, the event has sold out.

Event organizers are currently considering two venues for the event, the “Pentes de l’Hôtel” in Brévent or the “Aiguille Pourrie” in Flégère

Situated in the Brévent sector of Chamonix in the ‘Aiguilles Rouges’ facing Mont Blanc, the ‘Pentes de l’Hôtel’ are a series of steep lines, that feature above treeline chutes, cliffs and exposure. The eastern facing slope is around 500 vertical meters, with very technical lines. The location is also an amazing venue due to the easy access for spectators, with prime sunbathing and spectating spots next to the event’s Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc village. In other words, it will be a killer party.

However, given the extreme, high alpine location of Chamonix, you always have to have a “Plan B.” Plan B in this case is the ‘Aiguille Pourrie’ in the Flégère sector of the resort. This area is slightly less technical, but still fairly extreme, as Chamonix has no lack of high-consequence terrain ideal for this type of event.

“We will decide which is the best option depending on the conditions at that time,” says Jerome Ruby, mountain guide and security manager for the event. “Both faces are really great and have lots of features for every riding style.”

“I have been waiting for this for a long time.” says Chamonix local Aurélien Ducroz who is currently in 2nd in Freeride World Rankings for 2009. “The ‘Pentes de l’Hôtel’ like the ‘Aiguille Pourrie’ are awesome to ski and have endless possibilities. This will be a spectacular competition. I will be in front of my home crowd and I am so excited.”

In Chamonix, Ducroz will go up against athletes like Sébastien Michaud, who finished 2nd in the overal Freeride World Ranking for 2008, as well as many unknown local skiers who call one of the planet’s most intense ski areas home.

For more information on the Freeride World Tour and Qualifying events, visit www.freerideworldtour.com

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