FWT 2013: Ralph Backstrom checks in from stop 2 at Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc, Italy

Comments by Ralph Backstrom/

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Courmayeur is a unique stop with the town visible from the top of the venue.

Today marks the first possible competition day of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face in Courmayeur, Italy, on the south side of Mont Blanc. It’s lightly snowing and looks to continue to do so for a couple days.

See Also: Ralph Backstrom and Shannan Yates win stop one of the World Freeride Tour at Revelstoke

Competitors got a good look at the venue yesterday from both the judges’ perspective as well as from the top. The face is roughly 2000 vertical feet, making it one of the longer venues on the tour. It’s pretty steep up top, with a few prominent couloirs and numerous features, and mellows out a quarter of the way down. The snow is pretty sugary up top, and many competitors, myself included, are a bit nervous about the sharks lurking below the surface.

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A look down the face of Tête d’Arp, the venue for the second stop of the FWT.

The weather looks to clear early next week, so stay tuned for competition details.

Update: The competition will go live Tuesday, January 22. Watch stop two of the Freeride World Tour live at snowboardmag.com/live.

Check out the latest updates from stop two:
Welcome to Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc for stop two of the Freeride World Tour
First contact with Tête d’Arp, the 2000 vertical-foot competition venue