This past weekend, my favorite winter event came to Kirkwood. The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is the largest competitive big mountain freeskiing tour and makes multiple stops around the globe each year. Due to a lackluster early season, the final stop of the tour was moved from it’s normal location at Snowbird in Utah to my home mountain. With one of my good friends and Kirkwood Freeride Team Member Josh Daiek sitting in 2nd place in the overall tour standings, we were all very excited to watch the action unfold under the sun at Kirkwood.
Biggest snow bench in town!
If there is any weekend to come up to Tahoe South and ski or ride at Kirkwood, the FWT is always a good choice. Much like the North Face Masters, the all mountain competition pits the best extreme freeskiers in the world against each other in the permanently closed “Cirque.” Spectators fill the finish corral, drink beer, BBQ, and shake Sierra Nevada Cowbells in support of the unbelievable athletic feats. Backflips are guaranteed.
My friend and Moment sponsored pro skier JJ Schiller did not disappoint in the backflip arena. You can see his huge 50 foot huck over at the highlight page for the FWT.
We had quite a surprise in the action on Sunday when the competition was stopped for an hour due to the Airbag flying into Chair 6! Patrol had to rope evacuate people off the chairs due to a derailment. Thankfully, no one was hurt and in the meantime, a huge snowball fight erupted in the finish line corral.
Lagtime revelry on the snow skate.
I will say that the action of the last 10 riders was worth waiting for. All of our friends were on the edge of their snowseats waiting for each competitors final scores, trying to determine if Josh was going to win the event. We saw some amazing skiing from all the competitors, including another Tahoe local Kevin O’Meara.
At the end of the day, not only did Josh take first place on the podium for the event, but he was awarded the McConkey Cup, in honor of ski legend Shane McConkey, as the points winner of the overall tour.
Josh Daiek and Crystal Wright: Shane McConkey Cup Winners for the 2012 FWT
Tahoe South Local Josh Daiek has been skiing at Kirkwood for ten years and is sponsored by Tecnica, Blizzard, Smith Optics, and Clif Bar. I am so proud of my friend and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the table next season. Way to go Josh! Proud of you!
2012 FWT Champion!
These are some of my favorite photos from the weekend, but you can see the entire gallery here.