Some of the world’s best skiers will be descending on Silverton Mountain next month for the Red Bull Cold Rush, billed as the world’s ultimate free-skiing competition.
The skiers will compete for the title of the most versatile and best all-around skier, as judged first by the athletes themselves in a peer review and then by fans everywhere via a People’s Choice Award.
The Red Bull Cold Rush started in Canada in 2007. This is the first time it has been held in the United States.
The event is scheduled for March 14-18, when 16 of the best skiers on the planet will compete in three disciplines — slopestyle, big mountain, and cliffs.
Silverton Mountain officials say hosting the free-skiing competition is a feather in their cap.
“We worked closely with Red Bull on the Shaun White Project X private halfpipe in 2009, and I think being at Silverton when that was happening helped show Red Bull what we have to offer in terms of terrain and snow,” Jen Brill, Silverton Mountain co-founder, told Powder magazine. “If they needed any more convincing that we were the right venue for the Cold Rush after that, I think opening up 22,000 acres of heli-skiing terrain this year certainly did the trick.”
Silverton Mountain is North America’s highest ski area at 13,487 feet.
“With only one chairlift, no grooming, and loads of bowls, chutes, cliffs and natural terrain, this mountain is sure to challenge even the most skilled skiers,” according to a Red Bull press release.
Red Bull Cold Rush will include runs like Nightmare, Pants Pooper, Hell’s Gate, and The Hanging Face of Death.
Some of the runs contain mandatory air, natural ice waterfalls, and a few are barely wide enough for one person’s skis.
Featuring the top emerging and established talents in skiing, the athlete roster for Red Bull Cold Rush will include Sean Pettit, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Tim Durtschi, Dane Tudor, Dash Long, Dave Treadway, JP Auclair, Leo Ahrens, Riley Leboe, Richard Permin, Fabio Studer, Josh Bibby, Rory Bushfield, Kye Petersen, Grete Eliassen, Suzanne Graham, and competing for the first time since his horrific injury nearly two years ago, X Games Champion and freeskiing icon Tanner Hall.
Daily highlight videos will be uploaded to the website RedBullUSA.com/ColdRush where fans will be able to vote for the Red Bull Cold Rush People’s Choice Award beginning March 17, with voting closing March 27.
The winner will not only gain bragging rights and enjoy the sheer glory of it all, but will also snatch a winner take-all purse of $5,000. And the People’s Choice winner will earn $1,000.
“Silverton Mountain is one of the premiere big mountain destinations, and bringing this event here pretty much confirms it,” co-founder Aaron Brill told Powder magazine. “I’m excited to see what these athletes can do with the mountain, and the terrain for the event itself will probably end up being a combination of our lift-served and hike-to runs and whatever we can get to in the helicopter.
“If you look at all the people who have won the Cold Rush events up in Canada, it’s mostly been the young bucks,” Brill said. “But I think Silverton just might favor a more experienced skier and change the playing field.”