As the calender changes years again we're treated to the first of the junior freeski comps in BC and Alberta, and what better way to start it off then the Canadian Open Junior Championship at Red Mountain near Rossland BC. This is the fourth year of junior competition at Red and the ninth year for the senior comp, and each year the skiing gets bigger and better as determined skiers push the level of the skils on some truly challenging terrain in adverse conditions.
The junior's start off tonight with a competitors meeting at the hill at 5:30. For those who have competed here before it will be a lot of rhetoric, for the newbies it's a lot fo important info. And it's also great for getting the stoke on and the vibe high. This year's venure is the same as in past years, the gnarly double black known as Link's Line. Steep, rocky, exposed, this run will host two days of 100 young shredders and will also be the first day qualifier for tje senior comp next week. The comp is gender divided into three age groups: 7-11, 12-15 16-18. Competitors slug it out on Friday during the qualifiying run to see who will make the cut into the second day. The run gets modified and some of the gnarlier bits get left out until day two when it's all open and all or none.
This year's Freeski Academy skiers are pumped and ready for two days of shredding and hucking, although the enrollment has changed much this year the Freeski Academy looks to have a strong showing. Veteran junior competitor (even though she's only 14) Sally Steeves hopes to ski strong and capture 1st place for a second year while newcomers Deremie Bell, Jay Maloney, George Hogarth and Meagan Brown-Dahl and gearing up for their first freeski comp with strong lines and big skiing. Other new young loacl competitors include Riley Cameron (11 years), Mackenzie (11 years), Sean Sirion (13 years), Logan Tanguay (8 years) Frankie Magnuson (13 years) and Simon Hillis (7 years). Keep and eye out for other local shredders returning Alex "Turbo" Berg, Jeff Amantea (shoulder permitting) and high flying Jacob Dueck.
With 15 cms of fresh snow last night, it looks like the venure is staying safe above the rain line that has hammered most of BC. Each year the level of skiing increases but so does the level of stoke felt by everyone attending. Good luck to all those entering, those who aren't should definately check it out, the're going to be some huge skiing going on.