North Face Masters snowboarders join the Freeride World Tour for its North …

The FWT organizers decided to invite the top ten men and top five women from the NFM to compete against the FWT athletes at the FWT Revelstoke stop. The eventual goal is to have a super final at the end of the year that pits the top riders from each tour against each other to determine the big mountain world champions of snowboarding, but for this event points will be awarded only towards FWT rankings. So there are still a few things in the “global ranking system” to be worked out, but NFM athletes now have FWT points.

Lined alongside fellow contestants at designated starting point at the top of a knife ridge we had been heli bumped to, I only had the opportunity to see Maria Debari’s first set of turns, which she cranked with power and confidence before disappearing over a rock band. Debari, a shy girl made of raw egg pasta, who I became responsible for transporting over the boarder after her boyfriend was denied access to Canada, didn’t really tell me anything about her run. Legend, and judge, Tom Burt however said she ripped it. (Well, he actually went into detail when I asked him about it later, but “ripped it” is a fair summary.)

Blair HabenichtMeg Haywood-SullivanBlair Habenicht boosts off a cliff during his third place run on Mack Face.

From the valley bed after my run I watched Backstrom as he aired off a prominent top rock, then popped a cliff band before linking into one of the only tree thick sections on the face. He aired a waterfall in the trees and then threaded the needle straight over a last rock/cliff feature no one had thought to hit the way he did. It was enough for the win.

Ralph’s brother Arnie Backstrom, won the ski division of the FWT on this same run in 2010. Arnie then went to explore the remote Cordillera Blanca region of Peru and sustained fatal injuries after his downhill ski released in a no fall zone. His death was a huge loss to his friends, family and the mountain community at large.

“To come up here and be able to ride the same face that Arnie won on in 2010,” said Ralph, “it’s pretty special to have won. Hopefully I made him proud. I looked at his line, and knew there was know way in hell I could do it as good as he did it. I just had to find something else that looked rippable, and I think I did.”

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Freeride World Tour 2012, Revelstoke ~ Women ~ Results

Rank
Name
Score

1
TK
TK

2
TK
TK

3
TK
TK

Freeride World Tour 2012, Revelstoke ~ Men ~ Results

Rank
Name
Score

1
TK
TK

2
TK
TK

3
TK
TK

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