FIS Freeski World Cup tour gets back in action with a double competition in Snowmass

10 January 2018 16:44
James Woods during the slopestyle practice session in Snowmass
James Woods during the slopestyle practice session in Snowmass -

Snowmass (USA) - The FIS Freeski tour will get back to business after the holiday break this weekend with a World Cup double event, with both slopestyle and halfpipe competitions set to go down in Snowmass’ prime terrain park.

For the first time the largest of the four renowned Aspen/Snowmass mountains will host a FIS Freeski World Cup event and, with the resort just celebrating its 50th anniversary back in December, the timing really couldn’t be better for these inaugural competitions. Throw in the fact that this weekend's events are two of the last, critical qualifiers for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games coming up in less than a month in Korea, and the stage is set for a heck of a weekend in Aspen.

The newest addition to the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Tour line-up will feature this season’s fourth halfpipe and slopestyle competitions, with both contests also being the penultimate chance for athletes to grab a spot on their national olympic rosters.

With the official qualifier period coming to an end on January 21, right after the Mammoth Mountain World Cup event which is coming up next week, the world’s best athletes will be in hand in the USA the next couple of weeks as they make their final push for the games. Lead by the strong contingent of the US Freeski Team, expect to see a higher level of competition this weekend as we perhaps get a little teaser of what we might see during the PyeongChang 2018 competitions in just a couple of weeks time.

Halfpipe riders dropping in first

In the halfpipe competition the US squad, which is halfway through its national qualifier process for PyeongChang, filled the starting lists with their best athletes with the likes of Devin Logan, Maddie Bowman, Annalisa Drew and Brita Sigourney ready to compete in the ladies’ event, while Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira, David Wise, Torin Yatter-Wallace and Gus Kenworthy are all set to rock on the men’s side.

But the US athletes won’t be alone to battle for glory in Snowmass with other nations such as Canada or France also bringing their top freeskiers to Colorado and always locked and loaded to spoil the US party and bring home a piece of World Cup hardware.

On the ladies’ side watch out for the veterans Marie Martinod (FRA), Ayana Onozuka (JPN) and Cassie Sharpe (CAN) as well as the up-and-comer and the current World Cup leader Zhang Kexin (CHN).

Over on the men’s side of things count on seeing the Canadians, lead by Mike Riddle and Noah Bowman, and the French halfpipe team with Kevin Rolland and Thomas Krief both present and in the mix at Snowmass, as well as the Swiss Freeski Team with Joel Gisler and Robin Briguet more than willing to surprise the contenders and grab another podium spot on Friday.



World’s elite to compete in the slopestyle event

While looking at the entries list for the slopestyle competition it’s hard to find a good starting point to name all the favourites, as we’re probably looking at one of the best fields you could ever see on the World Cup tour.

With the Games in PyeongChang approaching fast, it’s now or never to make it on the national team and represent the national colours in Korea.

And while the competition in slopestyle is probably one of the toughest on the entire FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup tour, with more than 100 top players at the gates, we’re expecting nothing less than a true world-class competition.

In the ladies’ event keep an eye on young and explosive Tess Ledeux (FRA), Jennie-Lee Burmansson (SWE), Giulia Tanno (SUI) or Maggie Voisin (USA) as well as the World Cup veterans such as Johanne Killi (NOR), Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR), Emma Dahlstrom (SWE), Devin Logan (USA) and Dara Howell (CAN).

Things get even more interesting once we look over at men’s list with over 75 riders seeking to grab a spot in the Saturday’s finals.

Starting once again with the host nation, we see a US slopestyle team chock-full of the biggest names in the sport, with the Sochi 2014 squad of Joss Christiansen, Nick Goepper and Gus Kenworthy leading the way, the last year’s world champ McRae Williams also on hand in Snowmass and a couple talented riders hoping for good performance in front of the home crowd.

Then let’s not forget about the neighbor Canadians with Alex Bellemare, Teal Harle or Evan McEachran all capable of making the podium, the always-strong Swiss squad featuring the likes of Kai Mahler, Elias Ambuehl and Andri Ragettli, and a whole invasion of Scandinavians freeskiers such as Oystein Braaten (NOR) and Oscar Wester (SWE) who'll be looking to upset the locals this weekend.

With a stacked field of riders on hand and progression on the menu, the FIS Freeski World Cup competition in Snowmass is without a doubt the place to be this upcoming weekend.



Wednesday, Jan 10 - Halfpipe qualifications

Thursday, Jan 11 - Slopestyle qualifications

Friday, Jan 12 - Halfpipe FINALS @ 13:00 (MST)

Saturday - Jan 13 - Slopestyle FINALS @ 9:30 (MST)






Asia - Eurosport 1

Europe - Eurosport 2 / livestream on Eurosport player

Canada - livestream on

USA - livestream on



Asia - Eurosport 1

Europe - Eurosport 2 / livestream on Eurosport player

Austria - ORF Sport +

Canada - CBC / ivestream on

China - CCTV

Estonia - Kanal 12