Tailgate Alaska + Flow World Freeride Championship Qualifiers 4/9/12
10 Apr, 2012
The best freeriders took to the mountain yesterday for a chance to qualify for the Flow World Freeride Championship Qualifiers in a midst of steeps, rocks, drops and powder. Instead of riding the mountains around them, everyone gathered at Bro Bowl to watch the qualifiers go down with over 20 athletes taking two runs to try to garner a place in the finals. The crowd watched along a safe zone at the base of the mountain with front row seating, beers and the best views.
Thanks to Nate from 907 snowcat, I ended up getting a ride up to the event just after it began. It allowed me to have a quiet nap in the sunshine while everyone else was shuttled up in the morning.
The terrain offered up a huge variety for riders, anything from straight powder runs to cornice drops to bands of rocks. The snow safety team was on hand and ready for avalanches during each run. Competitors were pretty good with the sluff that came down and the only major incident was Sarka’s avalanche runout.
To get an idea of how big the riders went. Here’s Flow rider Sarka Pancochova who is tiny in size but rides huge on the mountain. She dropped the cornice, triggered a slide and managed to get out of it towards the bottom. It was gnarly to watch. She made it out fine.
Gabe Smith making smooth turns down the final runout
I missed Scotty Lago’s huge method off the cornice but even the tracks he left were impressive. On his second run, he straightlined down the entire mountain. Yeah that’s nuts.
I met Micah here at Tailgate and his awesome attitude is unbeatable. We spoke of the line he was thinking but when he finally pulled it off, it was even better. He seriously dropped a 60 foot rock band that earned him a #8 finish and heli time tomorrow.
Nice huge spray on snow from a competitor
Nathalie getting in a drop towards the end of her run
Celia Miller dropping in and staying clear of the rock bands.
Yoko proved that women can ride some gnarly lines and took a new route through the sketchy rock band and rode it out like a champ. She ended up in #2 for the women qualifiers.
Midway through the runs, Marshall from GoPro took to the slopes on his skis and pulled the chute to fly over the rocks and land by the crowd. It was quite the event to see it in person.
Andy Bergin-sperry coming in from his run
Mark Carter getting air over the rocks
Probably the best non-snowboarding action was the snowmobile making it’s own run down a mountain. A guy lost control of his sled on the upper portion of a slope across from the contest and everyone watched the sled flip over and over and over down the mountain.
Mark and Micah stoked on Micah’s run
Bomb Snow Magazine getting the shot
Flow team riders Celia and Sarka have been a blast to hang out this week and both threw down on their runs.
After the contest ended, it was time to head down to basecamp and get in my run for the day through the halfpipe section from Bro Bowl. We ended up with a couple of us lapping through and riding down together. Fun to get in that final run of the day.