The fourth stop of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® 2013 (FWT) concluded today on The Cirque at Kirkwood Mountain Resort under warm and sunny skies with variable snow conditions. Lars Chickering-Ayers (USA) took the win in the male skiers’ field, Ryland Bell (USA) won the male snowboarders’ competition. Jacklyn Paaso (USA) took first place in the female skiers’, while Margot Rozies (FRA) came first in the female snowboarders’.
The highly competitive men’s ski field was chomping at the bit to demonstrate their skills on The Cirque’s many features and steeps. At the end of the day, it was Lars Chickering-Ayers out of Mad River Glen, Vermont (USA) who claimed the Kirkwood title. Chickering-Ayers smoothly navigated a very rocky section at the top of the venue and charged through an incredibly technical chute on the bottom looker’s right side.
“I wasn’t really planning to win here,” remarked an elated Chickering-Ayers. “I just came out to spend time with family and have fun. I have skied these types conditions in competition in the past and knew how to deal with them. The skiing was my favorite part of the day.”
Julien Lopez of La Plagne (FRA) took the men’s ski 2nd place spot by skiing a fluid run, which linked a number of creative airs featuring a giant back flip. Charlie Lyons (NZL) landed the third podium position with a playful run consisting of a big air off the top and several significant airs throughout the venue.
With this second place finish, Lopez is now ranked 3rd in the overall tour rankings behind overall leader Drew Tabke (USA), who got 13th today, and Jérémie Heitz (SUI), who took 4th place.
Topping the field for women’s ski competitors was Squaw Valley, California local and crowd favourite, Jackie Paaso (USA). She skied a very smart and controlled run linking a number of airs through technical sections of the venue.
“I have had a number of crashes this season and really needed a win. It feels great to come out on top,” exclaimed Paaso. “I took my run down a notch this time because I needed to stay on my feet. Making it to the finish line was the best part for me.”
Rounding out the women’s podium in 2nd place was Pia Nic Gundersen of Ånstadblåheia (NOR) who carved technical, polished turns through a tight tree section and managed to stay on her feet through a series of airs. Finishing out the top female skiers of the day was Ashley Maxfield of Jay Peak, Vermont (USA) who hit a nice air off the top ridge and continued to lace a number of features together for the 3rd place.
Nadine Wallner (AUT) is now leading the overall ranking ahead of Pia Nic Gundersen (AUT) and Christine Hargin (NOR).
The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® continues its competition schedule in Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal (AUT) on March 9, and concludes in Verbier (SUI) on March 23.
Archive video of the event action is located on FreerideWorldTour.com. Fans may select to view the entire event or just watch their favorite riders’ runs via the Mobile Rider video player.
The full Results: