Day one from The North Face Masters at Kirkwood
Day one form The North Face Masters went off on one of the more popular faces at Kirkwood, Lookout Vista, as 16 women and 56 men battled it out for a qualifying spot in the finals. It was a tough day as competitors not only battled the course but overcast skys, high winds, low light and choppy snow conditions.
Even with the recent storm rolling through earlier this week, the conditions were a little tracked out, and the warm weather made it tough to keep speed. Non-the-less the field of riders took to the Kirkwood face with determination and skill as they put down some insane runs.
Kicking day one off were the women. The ladies proved that they could handle the tough conditions and low light with powerful smooth runs from top to bottom. From Galen Bridgwater’s huge lower lookers right high speed cliff drop to Iris Lazzareschi’s fast, smooth top to bottom run that would land her in 3rd, the women put on one hell of a show.
It would be Tiffany Noel who would take the first place qualifying spot for the women as her fluidity, speed and technical line would impress the judges. “I’m super stoked on my run. I had a solid entry and kept it moving through the top section.” Says Noel. “Vista is always challenging because it’s short, but I’m a Tahoe local so that always helps.”
After the ladies put down their runs 56 men would put it all on the line for a chance to ride the Cirque, a face closed to the public all year. Highlights from the men would include Sammy Luebke’s fast, powerful run that include 2 huge cliff drops, John Rodosky’s back flip off a lower wind lip and Kyle Clancy’s bomb drop 450 off the top cornice.
But it would be Fernie, BC’s Jamie Rizzuto that would take the top qualifying spot for the second stop in a row. Qualifying first at Crystal earlier this year, Jamie followed up with a charging, original run down the lookers left side of The Vista. A huge cliff drop at the top followed by an impressive double cliff drop line that only two other riders attempted was impressive. Lastly, Jamie put down one of the smoothest methods of the day at the bottom of the cliff line.
“I’m pretty fucking excited right now. I wanted to put my run down and I did. Going third I played the waiting game and here I am.” Comments Rizzuto. “The snow was really sticky and sketchy. I was honestly two inches from clipping the cliff at the top that I easily cleared yesterday. But today was twice as slow which made it that much tougher.”
Tomorrow will be a weather day as a system is due to roll through and drop over a foot of fresh on the closed Cirque venue. Stay tuned as we will be updating you from the field on Sunday.
Also, stay tuned to our Instagram feed (snowboardmag) for behind the scenes photos from the second stop of The North Face Masters at Kirkwood.