Red Bull Cascade Highlights, Results and More From the Freeski Madness at Solitude, Utah

Red Bull Cascade Highlights, Results and More From the Freeski Madness at Solitude, Utah

Featured Image: Kyle Lieberman | Skier: Svea Irving

Red Bull Cascade is aging like fine wine, and that’s the double truth! This past weekend, we were lucky enough to bear witness to the third iteration of what might be the most creative, entertaining competition in freeskiing. The sprawling course included terrain to test all types of riders. From massive natural features to rainbow rails, side hits to park jumps; this was the ultimate freeski paradise. Before we dive into the specifics, let’s get the run down on what this beast truly was and how it came about.

For the first time ever, Red Bull Cascade posted up at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah’s famous Big Cottonwood Canyon. The idea came from Bobby Brown, the iconic freestyle skier who has multiple X Games gold medals under his belt, as well as being the first skier ever to land a triple cork 1440. But in recent years, he has been pursuing goals in the backcountry. It seemed as though his contest days were behind him, but that was far from the truth. In reality, Brown, like many, had been noticing the growing gap between the competition scene and the culture of freeskiing. With more riders heading into the backcountry and searching for creative ways to continue pushing their riding, it was time for a new form of competition. Uniting with legendary park shaper Charles Beckinsale, the two set out a few years ago to try and bring about a new competition that could truly push skiers from all across the freeride and freestyle spectrum, giving those riders a chance to showcase unique styles that are not always rewarded in traditional events.

This year, Red Bull Cascade took on a different look. The riders were divided into teams of four, with each team having to stack points as a unit and show off their combined vision. Facing off in a bracket-style throw-down, the elite men and women had to combine their strengths.

SKIER: Gus Kenworthy | PHOTO: Kyle Lieberman

The event took weeks to build but ultimately led up to three days on the hill: one practice day and two competition days. Each run was judged on a points system based on Creativity, Speed, Choice of Line, Difficulty and Energy (Style/Flair). The goal was to rack up the most points on the “CSCDE” system, with a total of 50 points possible per run.

In classic Utah fashion, storms rolled in and brought a fresh blanket to the hill. With over 500″ so far this season, Solitude was already equipped to build out such a massive course. However, the mixed weather gave riders a fair shot in different conditions, something that is vital for a cross-discipline competition like this. For example, a halfpipe skier like Birk Irving might have a better line mapped out on firm conditions, but a freeride skier like Blake Wilson might find more ways to boost their score in fresh snow. With each rider being the cream of the crop, this wasn’t going to make a massive difference, but it’s still always fun to see how conditions change a skier’s approach. But after two full days of battle, it was Team Mando who took the top spot, consisting of Bobby Brown, Colby Stevenson, Svea Irving and Jedson, AKA Jed Blue Waters.

Final Team Results

🥇 Team Mando

  • Bobby Brown
  • Colby Stevenson
  • Svea Irving
  • Jed Blue Waters

🥈Team Center Punch

  • Jay Riccomini
  • Cody LaPlante
  • Ben Smith
  • Birk Irving

🥉 Team Overshoot

  • Marin Hamill
  • Aaron Blunck
  • Konnor Ralph
  • Tanner Blakely
The final podium in full glory. | PHOTO: Kyle Lieberman

“These past few days of the contest have seen some of the most creative skiing of the season. We were thrilled to be back with our second edition of the event this year, and Birk and Svea truly put down runs that complemented their styles and took advantage of the course design.” – Bobby Brown

We can only hope that more competitions like Cascade continue in the future, with financial incentives trickling down to riders. The more eyeballs that come to events like these, the more sponsors will be inclined to participate, and the more skiing will be able to progress outside of the current boxes. Creativity and innovation are hard to foster, but it’s the only way our beloved sport and culture will carry on. Cheers to Bobby Brown, Charles Beckinsale and every hand at Solitude, Red Bull and beyond who brought the event to life!

Stay tuned to the FREESKIER social media channels for more recaps, including full top-to-bottom runs.

Photo Gallery

Photography: Kyle Lieberman, Courtesy of Red Bull

SKIER: Konnor Ralph
SKIER: Ben Smith
SKIER: Svea Irving
Jed Blue Waters, Bobby Brown and Gus Kenworthy
SKIER: Birk Irving
SKIER: Bobby Brown
SKIER: Blake Wilson
Spectators receiving the true prize; free Red Bull
SKIER: Birk Irving

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