Snow conditions in the Northern Hemisphere have been variable across the board this season. Big storms followed by dry spells seem to be a consistent theme, and while places like Japan and interior British Columbia have seen an overall solid winter, not everywhere has been so lucky. Even competitions as big as the Freeride World Tour (FWT) aren’t immune from the side effects of increasingly inconsistent snow. The FWT announced on January 20 that the first stop of the 2024 tour is officially canceled due to poor snow conditions.
The event was supposed to be held in Baqueria Beret, Spain, and while the past few years have seen less than favorable snow at this iconic stop, the base needed to host a freeride comp was there. The face was filled in with a variety of lines for the rides. This year that is just not the case. The competition face, known as The Baciver, is just not ready to be skied at such a high level. With temperatures expected to stay high in the coming days, the crew was forced to call it.
“We are sad to have to cancel the FWT Baqueira Beret Pro, especially as events here over the last two years have delivered such great starts to the FWT season,” said FWT Founder Nicolas Hale-Woods. “As always, weather and snow conditions dictate our decisions, which is a part of the outdoor sports world. Although this is disappointing, we can’t wait to return here next year in January!”
The Baqueira Beret stop will not be replaced with another competition, which means riders will now have one less chance to tally up enough points before The Cut eliminates competitors from the FWT finals in Verbier. While this is incredibly unfortunate, it is a natural part of our sport to have variable conditions, and it’s always better to air on the side of safety for riders and comp staffers. With the climate around the globe becoming more unpredictable by the year, it’s a very real possibility that cancelations like this become more consistent. The next FWT 2024 stop is currently a go for February 1-7 in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra.
From the FWT Team:
BAQUEIRA BERET, Spain – January 20, 2024: The FWT is disappointed to announce that the first event of the season—the Baqueira Beret Pro–has been canceled due to snow conditions. Despite recent snowfalls and good conditions on-piste, there is insufficient snowpack off-piste to safely conduct a freeride competition. Conditions in the backcountry will likely deteriorate further, given the warm weather forecast in the coming week, with no precipitation expected.
Organizers have chosen to cancel the event to ensure the safety of all riders, which always remains at the forefront of every decision made at the FWT. The Baqueira Beret Pro will not be replaced with another event, meaning that if all upcoming stops take place, the best two results out of three will count towards points to make The Cut, which guarantees qualification to the FWT Finals. The FWT Ordino Arcalís Pro is still projected to proceed, and the FWT safety team will continue to assess conditions, with ample time – 19 days – before the competition weather window ends.
Click here to head to the Freeride World Tour website for current information regarding stops, riders and more.