Fourteen of the finest backcountry riders in snowboarding are perched on the ridges of the Kootenays at Baldface Lodge this week for the second stop of the Natural Selection Tour. The TAE Natural Selection is a go from February 20-27th, with one contest day going down on the infamous Baldface run, Scary Cherry.
On March 16th at 9am EST/12pm PST, the contest will be broadcast “as live” on Naturalselectiontour.com, so stay tuned to watch everything that goes down. Until then, here’s an update from Baldface Lodge.
Here’s the line up for stop two of the NST:
Four women’s competitors have advanced from the Yeti Natural Selection at Jackson Hole: Hana Beaman (USA), Elena Hight (USA), Marion Haerty (FRA), Robin Van Gyn (CAN), and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL) has joined the fray post-Olympics due to her win at Jackson in 2021.
On the men’s side, Jared Elston (USA), Dustin Craven (CAN), Torstein Horgmo (NOR), Sage Kotsenburg (USA), Ben Ferguson (USA), Mikkel Bang (NOR), Blake Paul (USA) and Travis Rice (USA) have advanced from stop number one and Mark McMorris (CAN) has joined following the Winter Games, like Zoi due to his win at Jackson last year.
On Monday, the assembled crew did a course check and Tuesday was a finals prep day. In between time spent on hill, the opening ceremonies for stop two were held at the Nelson Curling Club and a seeding event with traditional lumberjack challenges was held to determine start order for finals day. Now the wait is on for all systems go to run the contest.
This year, the Tour has adopted a ranking system that is cumulative from all events. Here’s how it breaks down directly from Natural Selection:
New this year, the Natural Selection Tour will be using a Triple Crown-style format to determine the overall Tour Champion. In this format, each stop of the Tour will have equal weighting and a stand-alone winner. The points will be tallied by finish at each stop: first place = 1 point; second place = 2 points; third place = 3 points. The rider with the lowest score at the conclusion of the three stops will be the overall Natural Selection Tour Champion. So hypothetically, if a competitor places third in Jackson, first in BC, and fifth in AK that rider’s final combined score would be nine (3+1+5). If a tie happens, the Championship tie-breaker is based on which rider had the better finish in the final event in Alaska.