Poor visibility postpones men’s FWT qualifier

By Karen McColl

Thursday’s anticipated powder day turned bittersweet for some as poor visibility forced the men’s Canadian Freeskiing Championships qualifier held at Revelstoke Mountain Resort to be postponed until Friday.

The 30 centimetres of fresh snow that fell overnight caused short delays in the start of the competition, as ski patrol worked quickly to clear the area of avalanches. All 19 women finished their runs in the morning but only four out of 55 men completed their runs before clouds socked in the top of the venue, preventing the judges from being able to see the top cliff section on Separate Reality.

Event organizers called off the men’s qualifier shortly after 1pm, when it appeared conditions wouldn’t be improving. While organizers busied themselves with take-down activities the competitors quickly dispersed, eager to take advantage of the fresh snow.

Three competitors stand atop a cliff section overlooking the finish area. Karen McColl photo

The men’s qualifier will be repeated on Friday, with the four athletes who already skied having to repeat their runs. This delay moves Day One of the main competition to Saturday.

RMR skiers will be starting in the following order: Rory Camm of New Zealand, 13, Ryan Kappler, 14, Sean Cochrane, 19, Alex Wall (organizers mistakenly had him on the ladies roster Wednesday), 21, Richard Wrangel, 29, Lucas Gonnthier, 37 and Gord Spurgeon, 55.

Revelstoke’s Nicole Derksen and Tatum Monod skied fluid and clean lines in their qualifying runs and will find out later Thursday evening if they will be competing on Day One.

Light snow is expected to continue until Sunday, when the clouds are forecasted to break. Time will only tell what this will mean for the remainder of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour.

The ladies results will be updated shortly.

Competitors and supporters in the finish area keep a careful eye on the venue. Karen McColl photo