Big Airs + Sunny Skies = Taos Salomon Extremes 2013
After a gorgeous weekend at Taos New Mexico the Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships wrapped up Saturday. This was the first FWQ of the season and being a 4* event it brought the best athletes from across the world who are chasing much needed points to qualify for next seasons Freeride World Tour.
Day 1 & 2
Day 1 took place on West Basin Ridge with some of the best skiing I have seen in a long time. Day 2 then consisted of the athletes who moved on, attempting to find variations of lines not already destroyed on the previous day.
The girls continued to ski solid with Ciera Glenn of Crested Butte moving herself up to 3rd, followed by Desiree Touchette of Park City in 2nd. Francesca Pavillard-Cain of Crested Butte continued to show why she belongs on top, sitting comfortably in first by 2 points.
The male skiers finished off the day with another round of mind blowing lines. Caleb Mullen of Schweitzer flashed an impressive line with a large exit air bumping himself up into 6th place. Brandon Clabaugh of Crested Butte skied a line down the lookers right of the venue called Bamboo Chutes, executing technical turns and sending two large sized airs, making it look too easy and landing himself in 2nd place. After two days of riding the man on top was Ian Borgeson of Arapahoe Basin, making fast work of the top of the venue and sending an absolutely massive 360 at the bottom of the venue.
Day 3 Kachina Peak
Day 3 now moved over to Kachina Peak, a much longer and impressive venue. It was time for everyone to do what they could to move up in the results. The sun was out all day and we couldn't have asked for a better finals.
On the womens side Hazel Birnbaum-Wilson of Kirkwood scored the second highest run of the day moving herself up into 3rd place. Sasha Dingle of Bridger Bowl skied fast and fluent down the venue and sent a massive air at the bottom of the venue, scoring herself the highest score of the day and finishing in 2nd place! Francesca Pavillard-Cain of Crested Butte put herself on top after Day 1 and continued the same program all weekend. She had a large lead after the first 2 days and just had to ski a solid and clean finals which aloud her to take the win!
To finish off the day came the male skiers, and quite a show it was. Telemarker Jake Sakson of Grand Targhee sent it large off the top cornice, skiing fast down the upper section followed by a large 360. Then he stomped a huge air near the bottom and somehow pulled off a transfer over some rocks, despite tapping one of them half way through. The run put him in 5th place. Caleb Mullen of Schweitzer once again stepped it up, sending one of the largest cliffs of the day followed by a large jump over some trees, finishing up in 4th.
Skier Caleb Mullen. Photo by Tom Winter via Taos Freeride. Hope nobody minds 😉
Garrett Altmann of Taos finished up in 3rd place, finding his way down one of the most technical parts of the venue. Last years winner Brandon Clabaugh of Crested Butte knows what to do, skiing through some very technical exposure, exiting with a large double and then showing complete control slowing down to send a smooth flat 3 off the Red Bull Money Booter to finish in 2nd place. The win of the day went to Ian Borgeson who had a comfortable lead after the first two days but that didn't hold him back, sending large airs all through the top of the venue and going full speed off a transfer gap at the bottom of the venue, jumping close to 100 feet. It was insane!
I'd like to thank Taos Mountain Resort and Red Bull for putting on such an amazing event. The after party went off on Saturday night with Zion I and Amp Live shaking the entire building… fantastic party!
Our road trip continues North, stopping in at Big Sky Montana and then heading up to Castle Mountain for the next stop of the FWQ. Check back regularly on Doglotion.com for updates on the upcoming events. Chat soon!