Returning to its Canadian roots following a two-year hiatus, Red Bull Cold Rush will hit Revelstoke Mountain Resort for the first time. The brand new playing field features one of the most all-encompassing contest sites in freestyle skiing, offering an amphitheatre of powder that hosts 4 distinct contest venues each catering to one of the specific contest disciplines.
Tasked with the job of preparing the venue is veteran builder/freestyle skier Riley Leboe who has been building jumps for as long as he can remember.
It started with building jumps for training and trying new tricks at my local mountain with our freestyle club. From there it grew, spending time pushing up massive jumps in the backcountry with a cat that would take a few days to build.
Responsible for overseeing course design on the first three Red Bull Cold Rush events, Leboe is excited about the opportunity to flex his creative muscle in Revelstoke, a mountain that gives him a lot of options to work with.
Of the four contest zones, it is the slopestyle venue that Leboe gets most excited about which will feature roughly 8 or 9 jump and step-downs where skiers will have a choice to hit three features at the top of the venue, mid-mountain or at the bottom.
Athletes are going to have to nail 3 jumps in each line… it’s hard enough stomping 1 jump first try in the backcountry, so stomping 3 huge tricks out here is really going to show the level that freeskiing is at.
Beyond the built up kickers, the slopestyle course also comes equipped with some challenging natural terrain like wind lips and a step over that competitors can take advantage of, allowing the to pick their own unique lines on the slope.
Putting this all together takes a six-man crew one full week on the slope, constructing the features entirely by hand. Being a backcountry event, safety is of the highest concern to Leboe who works directly with Revelstoke’s ski patrol and avalanche team who handle bombing slopes, ski cutting and snow tests in the more exposed cliff and big mountain competition venues.
As a competitor in the event himself, Leboe is the perfect candidate to oversee the design of the course, ensuring it is up to the safety and skill expectations of his fellow athletes. But he isn’t merely building his own personal dream park, as he relies on the close input of other competitors. Athletes Dane Tudor, Chris Rubens and Tatum Monod have already made a trip to visit Leboe on the build site.
Athletes will be pushed well beyond their comfort zone in a contest that seeks to reward the most versatile all-around skier. Slopestyle skiers most comfortable with throwing big spins in the park will find themselves negotiating the steep alpine terrain and massive cliff drops of the upper Revelstoke Mountain, and traditional big mountain skiers will take on rails, kickers and other custom-built features. To help even the playing field, the contest will include a larger focus on ski touring allowing athletes to potentially recoup points lost in disciplines that are not their strongest suit.
Here are your Red Bull Cold Rush 2015 competitors:
• Bene Mayr (GER)
• Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA)
• Sean Pettit (CAN)
• Dane Tudor (CAN)
• Sammy Carlson (USA)
• Chris Rubens (CAN)
• Kye Petersen (CAN)
• Riley Leboe (CAN)
• Callum Pettit (CAN)
• Wiley Miller (CAN)
• Logan Pehota (CAN)
• Richard Permin (FRA)
• Johnny Collinson (USA)
• Stan Rey (SWZ)
• Joe Schuster (CAN)