Freeskiing tour not stopping at Kirkwood |

Freeskiing tour not stopping at Kirkwood

Jeremy Evans

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is considered one of the continent’s premier big-mountain venues for extreme skiing and riding, making it a natural venue for the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships. And every spring, the party at the bottom of the “Cirque” has become a Sierra Nevada pastime, with music, dancing and revelers watching athletes hucking off nearby cliffs.

But for the first time in 12 seasons, the tour will not be passing through Kirkwood.

“Due to a scheduling conflict, Kirkwood will not be hosting the North American Freeskiing Championships in 2008,” said resort spokesman Daniel Pistoresi. “This conflict arose due to Mountain Sports International – the entity that sponsors the tour – wanting to give its staff and competitors additional travel/setup time for the World Extreme Championships that are being held in Alyeska, Alaska. Kirkwood and MSI will revisit hosting the North American Freeskiing Championships in 2009.”

The tour attracts the top freeskiers and snowboarders in the world to Kirkwood’s slopes. This year, the tour has already visited Telluride, Squaw Valley and Crested Butte.

Kirkwood skier Craig Garbiel won the Squaw Valley event and has been competing this month on the world tour in Europe. He is ranked second in the world standings, while fellow Kirkwood skier Josh Daiek placed third in Telluride. Both skiers rank among the top 10 in national standings.

Jackson Hole is hosting an event this week and Snowbird next week before the Subaru Freeskiing World Championships and U.S. Freeskiing Finals are being held April 9-13 in Alyeska.

“I totally expect it to return next year,” Pistoresi said. “It just came down to a scheduling conflict. We had the dates of March 29-April 1 locked in, but on their end, those dates weren’t going to work. On our end, the dates were locked in because we had to get a special-use permit for the Cirque. It’s a bigger organizational effort than most people realize, but we plan on it coming back next year.”

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