Three days of monster backcountry skiing ended with thirteen of the world’s best freeskiers voting Kye Petersen of Whistler, BC the most versatile and best all-around skier of Red Bull Cold Rush. From March 16 – 18 at Retallack Lodge in British Columbia, three components challenged each of the riders: Backcountry Big Air, Cliff Lines and Big Mountain. While the second day of competition was held up by poor visibility caused by more than 40 centimeters of accumulated snowfall, the skiers wrapped two events in the final day in order to bank enough footage to determine their champion. Back at the lodge, the athlete reviewed their accomplishments on a big screen and, while cheering each other on, cast their vote for who they thought was most deserving the Red Bull Cold Rush title.
With a near-perfect score of 92/100, Kye Petersen walked away with the first place trophy, a winner-take-all purse of $4,000 and, most importantly, the respect of his fellow competitors. "Red Bull Cold Rush was a super sick event for showing people what it's all about when it comes to freestyle and freeride in the backcountry," said Kye. "I just won it, and I'm super stoked." Peterson stomped all of his landings, leading a very elite group who could claim the same. Constantly pushing hard and bouncing off the snow like a cat, Kye charged most of his runs with seemingly no concern for what lay below.
Earning second-place was icon of the sport JP Auclair of Ste-Foy, QC with 77 points and took home $3,000 for his second place, while Sage Cattebraga-Alosa from Salt Lake City, UT took third with 76.5 points and $2,000. In the three days, at least 40 cm of snow fell, on top of the already 65cm of fresh powder, delivering amazing conditions, but also intense precautions to ensure the safety of all involved. Points were awarded for each component: Backcountry Big Air - maximum 20 points; Freeskiing – max 40 points; Cliff Lines – max 40 points.
"Overall, it was more or less about having fun than about the competition," said Sean Pettit. "Everyone was super stoked to see each other's performance on the big screen and it was wicked to hear everyone react when someone killed it!"
Featuring the top emerging and established talents in skiing, this year’s all-world crew featured Whistler wunderkinds Sean and Callum Pettit, icons of the sport like JP Auclair, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and last year’s champ, Boler-rolling Dave Treadway. Also heightening expectations is the new event location. Located deep in the heart of the Selkirk Mountain range on the banks of the Kaslo River, Retallack offers a labyrinth of underground abandoned mining tunnels for the history buff, and 4,300 vertical feet of mountain surface detailed by chutes, glades and big lines – a perfect environment for mining the skills of today’s most progressive skiers.