Swatch Freeride World Tour kicks off at Revelstoke

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

The Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) by The North Face is kicking into high gear, kicking off the 2014 season on December 18 in Revelstoke, BC.  This is the first time that the FWT has been able to hold its first stop before christmas, but due to exceptional snow conditions in Revelstoke, the contest is being held earlier in December, giving athletes a chance to satisfy that itch to get back to competing.

“Revelstoke continues to be a favorite venue for athletes and fans alike. The colossal MacKenzie Peak, affectionately called “Mac Daddy”, provides riders with 1,644 vertical feet of steep committing terrain suitable only for the most skilled freeriders. The slope averages 38 degrees from start to finish with a wide variety of line choices enabling athletes to express their unique styles on the challenging face.”

Find out more about the FWT in the press release, below:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (November 26, 2013)- The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) 2014 season will commence on the magnificent mountains of Revelstoke, British Columbia, CAN, on December 18, 2013. In its second year as a globally unified tour, the 2014 season will feature seasoned FWT athletes competing against ambitious newcomers who have recently risen through the Freeride World Qualifier system. This year for the first time, the top three riders of the overall rankings at the end of the season will receive additional prize money of 5,000 USD for each world champion, 3,000 USD for second place and 2,000 USD for third place. Fans around the world can watch the action live onwww.freerideworldtour.com. The event webcast is scheduled to begin at 9 AM PST (6 PM CET) the day of competition.

“For the first time in history, Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face® will kick-off before Christmas. Thanks to Revelstoke’s unique snow conditions, we are able to satisfy the crowd and media hunger for snowsports at this time of the year… as well as our impatience to get on the snow!”, said FWT Europe General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods.

“The stunning beauty of Revelstoke is the perfect backdrop for Freeride World Tour webcasts,” FWT Americas General Manager Adam Comey added. “Multiple high quality camera angles will stream live online, and give viewers the sensation of actually being present at the event.”

The excitement for the first stop of the 2014 FWT is also felt among the athletes. “Mount MacKenzie is incredible. There is a huge amount of terrain in-play on the venue, so most riders get the chance at fresh tracks if they elect a good line,” said reigning FWT Men’s Ski Champion and 2013 Revelstoke winner Drew Tabke (USA). “The upper face is very steep. Taking the initial drop over the edge out of the starting gate is one of the most intense moments of the whole year.”

Jérémie Heitz (SUI) who got second in the 2013 Revelstoke skiers’ competition added:”Revelstoke is a very nice stop. The Mac Daddy is an impressive face to ride and I hope the snow conditions will be as good as the last year. I want to have a good start to the season and feel confident for the next stops.”

“From the footage I saw of last year, the Mac Daddy looks very steep, and from talking with fellow competitors, Shannan Yates and Laura Dewey, it sounds even steeper,” said rookie women’s snowboarder Kaitlin Elliot (USA). “I’m excited to scare myself a little bit, and transform that fear into positive energy to move quick and effortlessly down the mountain.”

The Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face begins with opening ceremonies Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 3:30PM PST on the Rockford Plaza at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. The first possible day of competition is Dec. 18 with a weather window scheduled through Dec. 23 to ensure the best possible venue conditions for athletes and spectators. The awards ceremony will take place following the competition at 5PM PST at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort Base Area.

“Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Revelstoke Accommodation are thrilled to be hosting the Freeride World Tour again this year. The tour shines a spotlight on the cool ski town of Revelstoke and showcases our epic terrain for all the world to see,” said Ashley Tait, Director of Sales and Marketing for the resort. “Our community has joined together once again to welcome the athletes, sponsors and media with a great festival of events that will be a great kick off for the ski season. Please come join us!”