Thursday, February 26, 2009

Freeride World Tour continues in Squaw Valley

After the Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi, the first Freeride World Tour (FWT) stop in early January, the world’s best ski and snowboard riders will make history by competing for the first time ever on the infamous Tram Face: the mythical Squaw Valley venue which has remained strictly off-limits since the resort opened nearly 60 years ago.
The Nissan Tram Face event is the second of four Freeride World Tour stops (Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi-Russia, Nissan Tram Face, Squaw Valley-USA, Nissan Freeride de Tignes-France and the grand finale at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier-Switzerland). Initially scheduled 27th Feb to 5th March, now will be comprised of two days of competition in order to provide the best conditions possible to the riders. The first day of competition is now scheduled for Friday, February 26th. There are two faces possible for this stage opening: Silverado and National Geographic Bowl. For now, the weather conditions are good in Squaw Valley USA, however, the predictions show a storm front coming through during the weekend. The organizers have decided to go ahead with a first day of competition leaving a window for a second day on the mythical Tram Face early in the week.
Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA became world-famous in 1960 as host to the VIII Winter Olympics. As host to the Freeride World Tour’s North American stop, the mountain will truly live up to its reputation as the world’s best natural amphitheater when the Freeride World Tour athletes compete on the resort’s infamous Tram Face. In Squaw Valley’s 59 years of operation, the steep rock face below Tower 1 of the Cable Car (known as the "Tram Face") has remained strictly off-limits. Its steep and seemingly un-skiable pitch, permanent closure, and tantalizing location in perfect view from Squaw Valley’s Village and base area, have made it a coveted descent among the freeride scene. History will be made this year when the world’s best get a chance to take a crack at it during the Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA.
"The Tram Face at Squaw Valley is legendary terrain that many have dreamed to ride but few have dared to.Having the first ever competition on Tram Face is like the first time Monaco was raced in Formula 1, Teahupoo was surfed and the Masters was played at Augusta. Opening up the off-limits terrain for the competition is a dream come true for any person that has ever driven into Squaw Valley and seen the amazing Face that dominates the mountain", said Cody Townsend, Squaw ValleyUSA skier (5th of the 2008 World Freeride Tour).
Joining the 36 best skiers and snowboarders already qualified to take part in the event, 16 "Wild Cards" have been granted for the Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley USA.