Extreme competition at Kirkwood | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Extreme competition at Kirkwood

Andy Bourelle

Imagine this ski area – rocks, cliffs, steep slopes, an area normally out of bounds.

Sounds extreme doesn’t it?


Kirkwood Ski Resort is continuing competition today for the North American Freeride Championships, where 150 extreme skiers and snowboarders are navigating The Cirque. It’s the only time the area has been opened this year; normally skiers are not allowed there.

“It’s definitely tough stuff – rock drops and cliffs. It’s very steep terrain,” said Nicole Belt, Kirkwood spokeswoman. “This is for all the people who extreme ski or snowboard. These are some of the best athletes from around North America.”

Qualifiers in the event will advance to The World Cup of Extreme Freeskiing held in Valdez, Alaska.

Kirkwood has hosted this event for the past few years.

“We have the type of terrain here that you need for this kind of event,” Belt said. “We have the steep, extreme terrain a lot of other resorts don’t have.”

Spectators are encouraged to attend the event, and there is a designated area to watch near the finish line.

For residents and visitors who aren’t quite ready for extreme skiing, Kirkwood also is hosting a variety of events for the weekend.

On Saturday, Kirkwood is hosting Arrowhead Winterfest, where product sampling will be available, and a series of contests and giveaways will take place throughout the day.

Also on Saturday, the Echo to Kirkwood Nordic Race/Tour is scheduled.

On Sunday, a Banked Salmon Competition is planned. It is a timed ski and snowboard competition and is open to the public.

For information on the North American Freeride Championships, call (209) 349-2002

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