Sierra-at-Tahoe IFSA big mountain comp a ‘wild’ success, Truckee skiers top podium
TWIN BRIDGES, Calif. — Freeskiers stole the show in the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association Sierra-at-Tahoe Huck Cup last weekend, Feb. 26-27.
After two days of big mountain lines in the resort’s gate-accessed Huckleberry Canyon backcountry, Truckee’s Eric Bryant and Kelsey Hyche topped their respective podiums for skiing.
“It was awesome, ” Bryant said, calling the win a surprise. “People were really going after it. I think that everyone gave it their all.”
“It was really cool to have a comp in Tahoe,” Hyche said of the new venue. Describing the variety of terrain, she added, “There were a lot of things you could do.”
Morgan Herbert took top honors in men’s snowboarding and Brithany Thomson topped the women’s podium.
For the resort, the first-time competition was a chance to bring attention to some of the mountain’s lesser-known extreme terrain.
“This legitimizes us as a full mountain,” resort marketing director Steve Hemphill said of the competition. “It was just a wild success. We’re extremely excited that we were able to showcase our terrain. It definitely opened our eyes to the potential back there.”
Bryant echoed sentiments expressed by a number of athletes during the two-day competition.
“I was blown away by it,” he said. “They have a legit big mountain venue.”
The North Shore resident, who calls Squaw Valley his home mountain, said he had previously joked with friends that Sierra was just a terrain park mountain, but this event changed his perspective.
Both Byrant and Hyche earned an opportunity to compete in the next IFSA competition in Taos, New Mexico this weekend, March 4-6.
The Sierra and Taos events serve as qualifiers for the global Swatch Freeride World Tour.
Following the success of its first year, Hemphill and other event organizers said they hope that they will be able to host the freeride competition for years to come.
For more results, click here.
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After more than 70 years of operating with a term deemed derogatory by many Native Americans, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has changed its name to Palisades Tahoe.