The world’s best freeriders are looking to make history on Squaw Valley USA’s most visible yet permanently closed peak during the Nissan Tram Face Competition on February 27, 2010. As the only North American stop on the international Freeride World Tour, Squaw Valley USA hosts the world’s best big mountain skiers as they prepare to tackle the infamous Tram Face. The pressure is rising with two out of four competitions already completed of the Freeride World Tour 2010. By the third tour stage, the leading candidates for the Freeride World Champion title will be looking to make a major impression on the face that has never officially been ridden before. Though the Nissan Tram Face is scheduled to take place Saturday, February 27, the weather window for the event spans from February 27 to March 5, 2010 to ensure ideal conditions.
Strictly illegal to ski, the Tram Face is being opened specifically for the Freeride World Tour (FWT) competition. Its steep and seemingly un-skiable pitch, permanent closure, and tantalizing location in perfect view from Squaw Valley’s Village and base area have made it a coveted descent among the strong local freeride community. Several of the top American riders are from Squaw Valley including Jermey Jones, J.T. Holmes, Tim Dutton, Cody Townsend, Elyse Saugstad and Will Brommelsiek, all of whom will be aiming for a victory on home snow as well as to score important points on the FWT ranking.
As would be expected of such a headlining event, the valley will erupt with street parties, live music, and other festivities all week long. With Tram Face completely visible from the parking lot, Monster is throwing a Tailgate party for spectators complete with emcee, music, product giveaways, and food and beer for purchase.
Wild card standings for the Nissan Tram Face competition include Olympic gold medallist in the women’s boardercross, Maelle Ricker (CAN), and legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones (USA), who will join the international elite of freeride skiers and snowboarders for this third competition of the four stages’ world tour.
Quotes from Competitors:
“I am looking forward to see the first descents that are going to be skied on Tram Face. The event has a potential to be the ultimate show for the public! We consider Tram Face the forbidden fruit and it will be nice to get a taste of it!” – JT Holmes (USA – local Squaw Valley rider 10th on the Freeride World Tour Ranking Men Ski)
“The level among the riders has increased constantly since the first edition of the Tour. It is no longer enough to be a great skier to take part of the Tour. Physical and mental preparation, thorough inspection of the competition face, and top gear, are all important elements that has helped develop freeriding to a professional sport, becoming more and more known by the broad public.” – Freeride World Champion 2009 Aurélien Ducroz of France.
“The reason I strived so much to get on the Freeride World Tour is because there is no Olympics in extreme skiing. [The Freeride World Tour] is the end of the line right there . . . so for me, being able to compete on the tour is amazing, it’s definitely where the top athletes are today and where it’s going on.” – Tim Dutton, Squaw Valley freerider taking on his childhood heroes on the esteemed Freeride World Tour beginning in Sogchi, Russia. Tim Dutton Freeride World tour interview and action footage is available (courtesy of Freeride World Tour) here.
Projected Nissan Tram Face Schedule*
Friday, February 26
3:00pm – Opening Ceremony in the Village with music followed by bib draw.
Saturday, February 27*
9:00am – Monster Tailgate Party kicks off complete with music, emcee, product demos and giveaways, and food and beer for purchase
10:00am – Competition starts
11:00am – Village street party kicks off with vendors including Scott, Thin Air Motor Sports, Monster Sampling Team and local Village tenants.
2:30pm – Awards Ceremony #1 in the Olympic Village Lodge (OVL) parking lot followed by autograph session
5:00pm – Village Awards Ceremony #2 followed by an autograph session
5:45pm (or dusk) – Slide show of best lines on the big screen
10:00pm – Freeride World Tour Party open to all at 22 Bistro. $5 cover for public.
*Dates will vary depending on weather patterns. The weather window spans from February 27-March 5.
Leaders of the Freeride World Tour Ranking 2010 after Two Completed Contests:
Men – Ski
1- Candide Thovex FRA
2 – Julien Lopez FRA
3- Kaj Zackrisson SWE
Women – Ski
1- Eva Walkner AUT tie with:
Janette Hargin SWE
3- Jess Mc Millan USA
Men – Snowboard
1- Mitch Toelderer AUT
2- Douds Charlet FRA
3- Xavier de Le Rue FRA
Women – Snowboard
1- Aline Bock GER
2 – Susan Mol USA
The 2010 Freeride World Tour’s four stages:
1. NISSAN RUSSIAN ADVENTURE BY SWATCH – SOCHI, RUSSIA
Date: January 21st 2010 – COMPLETED
2. NISSAN FREERIDE OF CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC – FRANCE
Date: January 30th 2010 – COMPLETED
3. NISSAN TRAM FACE – SQUAW VALLEY USA – UNITED STATES
Date: February 27th 2010
4. NISSAN XTREME BY SWATCH – VERBIER, SWITZERLAND
Date: March 20th 2010
About the Freeride World Tour:
The Freeride World Tour was launched in 2008 and after just two full seasons is already recognized by riders, the ski industry and the media as the pinnacle of the sport. In 2010, the best freeriders: men, women, skiers and snowboarders alike, will visit some of the world’s most renowned ski resorts in pursuit of the world title. The four-stop Freeride World Tour is supported by 18 Freeride World Qualifier events around the world where the same criteria for event organization, choice of locations, security, contest format, and judging is applied. www.freerideworldtour.com
More information on the Freeride World Tour and Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA is available on www.freerideworldtour.com. Events and operations are weather dependent. The most up-to-date resort conditions, operation schedules, events and live mountain cams are available on www.squaw.com.