If you don’t watch the Freeride World Tour much, you’ll probably wonder why this (a) is the winning line or (b) is all that difficult. But believe me; it is. The MacKenzie face at Revelstoke Mountain Resort hits a solid 55 degrees or more in places, and the terrain is overall steep, variable, and rocky (check out Powder mag’s pics here).
Kye Petersen’s winning line is smooth, consistent, and fast; like the world’s best athletes, he makes it all appear so easy. He doesn’t pause nor stop during the descent, and sticks close to the fall line, speeding through technical, steep sections, always on a downhill trajectory. Though the footage here isn’t great, on his first drop he throws some kind of three—hard to say from this distance—and his last cliff drop, which is massive and in the shade, is perfectly centred. Both second place finisher Oakley Allen White and third place Drew Tabke skirted skier’s left to play with a double-drop series of features off the ridge, and though both pull grabs and stomp their landings, neither throws a spin and—perhaps more significantly—both avoid the shadowed, foreboding plumb line of the MacKenzie Face.
In order to get a sense of this accomplishment, it’s worth watching the rest of the field. Worldclass rider Kevin Guri, for example, botched his first drop and went for a frightening, tumbling fall through hundreds of metres of boneyard. Or check out Whistler’s Christian Boucher, who picks an intriguing line that is somewhat off-camber to the slope’s natural pull, and though stomping his first big drop, crunches on his second. This isn’t to belittle anyone else’s achievements—they are all unbelievably talented riders—but to point out what it takes to get to the top of a sport as wide-open, and free, as the Tour.