For over a decade, Taos Ski Valley has hosted the Taos Freeride Championships (TFC), or what’s also known as ‘New Mexico’s most prestigious Ski and Snowboard event’. This event is so popular that tickets completely sell out year after year, and it even has its own waiting list, so it was awesome to be part of all the fun this year as an official sponsor!
Brent Meyer, one of our awesome Crew Members and a Professional Snowboarder who lives in Breckenridge, Colorado, was our man on ground over the weekend to see all the action. Not only is TFC held at one of the steepest ski resorts in the Northern Hemisphere, this year’s conditions were seriously tough, making technical freeride ski and snowboarding even more challenging.
But despite the tough conditions, we saw more than 250 athletes from all over Northern America in several divisions: Ski/Snowboard, Men/Women and Masters Division. In a freeride competition, the athletes try to make their way down a steep and technical run, usually with lots of rocks, obstacles and cliffs. Some runs will be more technical in nature, navigating tricky sections of rocks and chutes, while other runs will involve features to ‘air off’ of and often include flips or spins. It’s usually the competitors who do a bit of everything that score the best results and make their way into the championships.
This event showcases some of the toughest terrain in Taos, so if you combine the tough terrain with the tough conditions, the weekend put even the most skilled skiers and snowboarders to the test. According to Brent, “A few of the athletes had trouble stopping themselves after falls during the competition. I saw one skier slide over 100 metres on their backside as the run was so steep and icy, and they couldn’t self arrest”. So we’re certainly glad to hear everyone stayed safe out there! Hopefully everyone also managed to stay warm!
Brent handed out a number or prizes such as Altitude Base Layers Tops, Leggings, Elemental Jackets, Necktubes to a bunch of lucky punters. Considering how cold it was there, those prizes would have no doubt come in handy to help them stay warm!
Head on over to the official Taos Freeride Championships website if you’d like more info.