Chutes, Jumps & Broncos - 2011 Wrangle the Chute Wrap Up
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OK we know this was a little while ago, but the Wrangle the Chute event at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort was silly good this year, so here's a worthy recap from event organizer Brian Coles...
Gnarly chutes, manicured park jumps and a man powered Franken-bronco. Not your typical big mountain competition, but that is forgivable because Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is not your typical ski hill. The brain child of KHMR’s Jordan Petrovics, Wrangle the Chute was created three years ago to showcase the most progressive skiing and just have a damn good time.
Where most big mountain competitions fail is showcasing the freestyle aspect of our sport. Skiers have been pushing the limits of what we call a well rounded skier for over half a decade and the competition scene has been left in the dust. What Linecatcher and Cold Rush do for super pros in perfect conditions, WTC provides in a similar platform for the real world to play on. Gnarly chutes, playful drops, huge airs, exposed lines, and a fully groomed park jump make this event stand out. As an homage to the quirky western theme of Kicking Horse and the town of Golden, BC, athletes finish their run atop a man powered bucking bronco, emphasizing smiles and good times as the theme of the weekend. Skiing is fun and silly and far too often we lose that in competitions.
What unfolded before our eyes on February 5th and 6th blew all our minds. Saturday was bluebird with a foot of pow blanketing the venue. Skiers, snowboarders and snow loving ladies skied lines bigger, faster, and more creatively than those runs have ever seen before. Alex Wall of Nelson fame could be seen gapping an entire pillow line that took up half the venue. Emma Whitman, park rat extraordinaire from Sun Peaks, threw down hard but unfortunately tomohawked down the jump landing after a flawless cork 7 came up a few feet short. Park skiers continued to slay as they skied solid lines and threw beautiful tricks on the bottom booter.
Stealing Saturdays thunder was just another Treadway skiing just another line. Daryl Treadway dropped in on the boundary of the venue and skied a sun lit shelf directly off a 50 foot air, stomping it with authority as his waterfall of sluff provided a majestical background. Movie quality no doubt.
I wondered if the two run combined score would make Saturday a conservative day. These thoughts were put to rest as 360s, nose butters off cliffs, and a 60 foot air made up the first three runs. Stu Bilodeau and Mike Brush of Panorama threw down a ridiculously good looking cork 9 and cork 7 mute that would make Ron Burgundy blush.
As the top ten skiers came to drop, the atmosphere changed. Each and every rider had the crowd screaming and cheering. Fifteen year old Jordy Kidner upped the ante by hitting the 55 footer now dubbed “Treadway’s Cliff.” Many more followed before Phil Hudec aired a 40 footer onto a 10 foot wide billy goat line that had more exposure than Paris Hilton getting out of a sports car. Fifteen year old Logan Pehota stylishly flowed down near vertical walls that would pucker those twice his age even if two table sized pieces of cornice were not chasing him down slope.
Coming out of nowhere was the hero of the day. Matt Montandon of Nelson skied the aforementioned billy goat line and decided to air the entire straightline out with a massive 360. As he came into the finish corral, friends and competitors all but hoisted him above their heads as they cheered him onto his soon to be victory bull ride. Daryl Treadway, winner of day one, was the last to drop. As he skied into the very same line as Montandon, the crowd became dead silent. Everyone expected carnage or glory. Treadway drew a perfect line down the blind slope like only he can but came up just short of Montandon.
Huge thanks go out Red Bull, Wrangler Jeans, Big Rock Breweries, Rossignol, Misconduct Wines, Smith Optics, Kombi Gloves and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Thank you to all the athletes that pushed the limits and made this weekend one to remember.
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