Sports

The planet's best snowboarders set to return to Nelson's Baldface Lodge

Travis Rice works on course at Baldface Lodge north of Nelson in advance of Red Bull Ultra Natural. - Chris Wellhausen photo
Travis Rice works on course at Baldface Lodge north of Nelson in advance of Red Bull Ultra Natural.
— image credit: Chris Wellhausen photo

The best snowboarders on the planet will return to Baldface Lodge north of Nelson later this month.

Backcountry snowboard competition evolves as Travis Rice and 15 of the world’s top riders prepare to drop into an updated course designed to crown the world’s best all-around snowboarder.

Baldface hosted the Rice and the competition for the first time last winter.

When Red Bull Ultra Natural touches down at Baldface Lodge, a group of eight new riders will meet the eight top finishers from last year on a course with more features and options than previously imaginable. With an updated format, new judges and of course a new name, Red Bull Ultra Natural runs on a single day during the February 15 to 21 holding period.

“This event was created as the highest echelon of competitive snowboarding,” event creator and pro snowboarder Rice stated in a press release. “It draws on all aspects and a lifetime of accumulated snowboarding skill and knowledge. Entering into its second year at Baldface Lodge, Red Bull Ultra Natural will provide an even further evolved platform for the heaviest continuous lines ever ridden. Now that riders have an idea of what to expect, there is no doubt the governor is coming off.”

Red Bull Ultra Natural is the only event that brings together the most accomplished big-mountain freeriders, who fine-tune jaw-dropping film segments and first descents deep in the backcountry, with the current crop of freestyle riders raising the bar in the park and pipe. With three distinct sections of the course designed to show off each athlete’s strength and individual discipline, the event aims to serve-up a day of snowboard competition beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

The brainchild of Rice, the event creates the dream snowboard run located within the 32,000 acre tenure of Canada’s premier snowcat operation, Baldface Lodge.

On the 45-plus degree slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry,” a new wider start area and more line options will create more diversity for the riders in 2013. More than 80 existing features have been refined and additional creative hips and objects have been placed on-course to create transitional riding elements in between the upper tree-line jumps and pillow lines, the middle section’s super-kicker, and the natural jib and jump section near the finish.

The single day competition ensures that the event takes place under only the best possible conditions – a mix of deep powder, good sunlight, and safe conditions.

Snowboarding legends Jamie Lynn and Peter Line will join Temple Cummins, Andy Hetzel and head judge Tom Burt this year as they base scores on an overall impression of the riders’ two runs, with the best run counting towards the win. A shift of almost two weeks later in the season will help ensure that sunlight on the Northeast slope will last across all 32 runs.

The event will run NBC on March 30 at 10:30 a.m. and will be presented by Nike Snowboarding. The show airs as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, an action sports property featuring some of Red Bull’s top events including Dreamline, Wake Open and Rampage. The Red Bull Signature Series is the most progressive and innovative action sports property in the world, featuring surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, skiing, BMX, wakeboarding and motorsports events.

For more information, please visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.

To watch the event trailer and learn more about Red Bull Ultra Natural, visit www.redbull.com/ultranatural.

 

 

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