The return of Red Bull Cold Rush

The big mountain event is back, bringing the best in freeski action to Revelstoke, BC.
Josh Bibby at Red Bull Cold Rush in 2012. © Erik Seo / Red Bull Content Pool
By Geoff Padmore & Charlie Grinnell

After a two year hiatus, the biggest event in backcountry freeskiing returns to its roots. Fusing the disciplines of backcountry slopestyle, big mountain, cliffs and alpine ski touring, Red Bull Cold Rush will return to Canada on March 24-27, 2015 at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia. A handful of the world’s premier skiers will be officially invited to battle it out for a chunk of the $36,000 prize purse awarded to the most versatile, well-rounded freeskiers.

The return of Red Bull Cold Rush means a blend of fresh powder and fresh ideas. Along with the all-new location in Revelstoke, the event is also being updated with some new elements including brand new on-mountain features and a refreshed competition format that places a greater focus on alpine touring. But one thing remains the same: the peer-judged three-day competition will see athletes pushing one another to raise the bar of backcountry freeski progression.

Fabio Studor at Red Bull Cold Rush in 2012. © Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool

History of Red Bull Cold Rush

In an event that pits man against nature, nature always has the upper hand. Born and bred in Canada, the first ever Red Bull Cold Rush was set to take place in 2007 at Red Mountain in Rossland, BC, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Due to warm temperatures and a deep freeze that followed, the terrain was deemed unsafe to ski. When the event returned to the mountain in 2008, it was a skiers dream come true. Blue skies and deep snow greeted some of the best freeskiers in the world. Dave Treadway ended up at the top of the podium followed by Sean Pettit in 2nd and the late JP Auclair in 3rd.

In 2009 and 2010 the event moved to Retallack, BC, pushing riders further and into new and challenging territory. A year later, Red Bull Cold Rush moved south of the border for the first US event held at Silverton, Colorado where it remained for a second year into 2012.

Suzanne Graham at Red Bull Cold Rush in 2011. © Mike Arzt / Red Bull Content Pool

Peer Pressure: Event Format

Spread across three powder-laden days, the competition focuses on several distinct ski disciplines including backcountry slopestyle, big mountain, cliffs and alpine touring in order to find the most well-rounded freeskier. Each day of competition will focus on one specific discipline, with a new emphasis on the ski touring component that will see athletes traversing to different areas of the mountain in the shortest amount of time possible. Athletes will now be able to accumulate more points through the touring portion, helping to offset potentially lower scores in other disciplines that might not be their strong suit.

There’s nothing more important than impressing your friends, and that is exactly what the premier field of 15 men and 5 women will do throughout the peer-judged event as athletes aim to raise the bar of backcountry freestyle progression. Following each run, competitors will evaluate one another on performance basing scores on style, speed and technique.

Make sure to follow @RedBullCanada on Twitter and @RedBullCanada on Instagram to stay up to date with everything #ColdRush2015.

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