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2007 North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood Videos

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
This is the TV segment that aired on VS divided into 3 separate parts covering the Subaru 2007 North American Freeskiing Championships.

For your viewing pleasure:

Part 1: (Day 1 World Tour)


Part 2: (Day 2 World Tour)


Part 3: (Day 2 SuperFinal)
post #2 of 23
That's awesome skiing and I think that might be the first time I saw the whole event summary. I saw some of it live at Kirkwood, but didn't hang very long in the corral. I'll have to carry in some beer and food and relax next year with the spectator crowd.

The Cirque has such unbelievable lines, yet there are a lot of skiers at Kirkwood that can handle it. It seems they ought to open it up, perhaps just weekdays, like Squaw does the Palisades. Its surprising how many guys hit that the day after closing every year.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
The Cirque has such unbelievable lines, yet there are a lot of skiers at Kirkwood that can handle it. It seems they ought to open it up, perhaps just weekdays, like Squaw does the Palisades. Its surprising how many guys hit that the day after closing every year.
There are a lot of awesome pictures of the Cirque and its various features here: http://www.aboutlaketahoe.com/ski_re...kiing_comp.htm

They have shots of the Cirque from each of the past few years of competition so you can closely see how vastly different lines and conditions can change from year to year.

As far as opening it up, even on the weekdays like the Palisades at Squaw, would be awesome, but I can't see it happening unless some really progressive management gets in there. If opened, it would instantly transform KW into one of, if not the, premior big mountain playground in North America IMO. And their marketing department would really be able to run wild with it as the site of the US Freeskiing Championships.

But it's such a dangerous area. And as for as many skiers at Kirkwood that would be able to handle it, there are 50 (if not more) that can't. The difference between the Cirque and Squaw's Palisades is that the Palisades are gnarly at the top, but every line there has a clean long run out into an open bowl. That makes things much easier for Patrol to clean up crashes and for your average skier to walk up there and say 'hmm...well this goes...all I have to do is run it out into the open".

However, at the Cirque, you have steep, rocky features on top of steep rocky features on top of steep rocky features, the runouts & safe zones can be relative short, and the terrain is so varried with many different aspects, avalanche control is a PITA. All the gnarly featues are stacked on top of each other, and there's lots of exposure, and it's very easy to get lost off the top. There are chutes that lead to mandatory air that look exactly the same from the top looking down.

Patrol would have a very difficult time making it safe with regards to fencing off the massive exposure in the middle, performing sled rescues, etc.

But all that being said, if anyone from Kirkwood is reading this....PLEASE OPEN THE CIRQUE!

Me and my friends always wondered if it would be possible to limit access via patrol controlled gates. For example, you could get off the top of Chair 10, check in with the Patrol shack right there at the top, they can make sure that you have a buddy and are outfitted with BC gear, and maybe even put one of those gates there that only open after it detects your beacon, etc. You might be able to control like this at the top of Chair 4 (for people who want to hike up 99 steps and then across).

That's a very unlikely scenario I think and for now the Cirque will have to remain in the relm of lines-we-look-at-and-drool-over-everyday-but -are-off-limits, kind of like the Tram Face at Squaw (which was rumored to be in discussions as the Finals venue for the Squaw US Tour stop...but conditions were too thin this year. Maybe this year?).

So for now as in the past, those who REALLY want to ski it, and are motivated enough and capable, can either do so before the resort officially opens (hahahaha) and after it closes via hiking, or by qualifing for the comp

(or poach it on a storm day when visibility is low and no one can see you and then the next day when it clears everyone is like 'whoa! who's tracks are those in there!' and you just kind of smile to yourself and think 'cool'...but not that I condone that sort of behavior, just saying i guess it would be possible )
post #4 of 23
Great videos. I really enjoyed the relative lack of snow, which really set forth these skiers' expert technique and the extreme harshness of this unforgiving terrain. Sometimes when it's so covered in powered you lose sight of the difficulty of this type of terrain and as everyone knows, it gets a lot tricker to ski this type of terrain when the conditions are less than ideal. Thanks for posting these.
post #5 of 23
In a good year, the lines look skiable by mortals. (Click on image to enlarge)

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's about as buried as it can possibly get.

Amazing how it (and all of Kirkwood really) can completely change. When the above photo was taken (2006), during that time of year, the majority of the fun stuff on the mountain was literally buried. You really had to start getting creative to find new challenges as all the usual stuff was under 10 feet of snow!
post #7 of 23
Thanks for posting the video Tyrone, and more generally for all your efforts to open eyes around here to the kind of skiing that is better on long fat skis.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Thanks for posting the video Tyrone, and more generally for all your efforts to open eyes around here to the kind of skiing that is better on long fat skis.
+1.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Thanks for posting the video Tyrone, and more generally for all your efforts to open eyes around here to the kind of skiing that is better on long fat skis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
+1.
^^^
What they said!
post #10 of 23
Geez, I hate this stupid web filter. Guess I'll have to watch this tonight at home.

As for opening up the Cirque via gates, I doubt it will ever happen for all the reasons Tyrone mentions. All it takes is for some over-amped, testosterone-laden 16 year old without the necessary skills going into a line he doesn't know and racking himself on the rocks to ruin it for everyone, including the resort. Qualifying for the comp or poaching are probably the only ways lines like that get hit. Or go to Europe.
post #11 of 23
Great vids. Thanks for posting them. I'm dissapointed I missed it on TV, cause I usually record them.

And for opening the Cirque, I doubt it will ever happen, though having guided tours like they have at Silverton in CO I think would be a viable and great option.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaar View Post

And for opening the Cirque, I doubt it will ever happen, .
yeah same here...it's fun to banter about and dream about it though.
post #13 of 23
Ty:

I think one of the "problems" is that cats like you and Craig (who won the KW leg last April) make it look so easy that cats like me go "Yeah, I could do that..." until we reality check ourselves and realize that you and Craig are socially responsible psychotics who like taking hospital air for fun!



I can easily envision a ton of impressionable folks saying the same thing, but forgetting to do the self-eval-reality check and then wrecking themselves in one of those mandatory air chutes you mentioned.

BTW, I dig the guy interviewed who is listed as being a "Pro Big Mountain Rider/Geophysicist". NICE!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Ty:

I think one of the "problems" is that cats like you and Craig (who won the KW leg last April) make it look so easy that cats like me go "Yeah, I could do that..." until we reality check ourselves and realize that you and Craig are socially responsible psychotics who like taking hospital air for fun!



I can easily envision a ton of impressionable folks saying the same thing, but forgetting to do the self-eval-reality check and then wrecking themselves in one of those mandatory air chutes you mentioned.

BTW, I dig the guy interviewed who is listed as being a "Pro Big Mountain Rider/Geophysicist". NICE!
Thanks Dook, but I'm afraid to say I'm not anywhere in the same league as Craig. There's a reason why I didn't make any of the highlights in those vids (although I've made some of the crash highlights )

haha...and the Geophysicist / Pro Big Mountain Rider guy is Justin Modroo...and well, that's exactly what he is. Great skier, great guy.

Should I be offended at the psychotic comment?
post #15 of 23
naw, i said you and Craig were socially responsible.

maybe you're just snowchotic as opposed to psychotic...or perhaps you guys are just pre-disposed to ingesting large quantities of "gnarchotics"?
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
Or go to Europe.
Or come to the darkside....where EVERYTHING'S open....
http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/mou...s/gemstone.htm
these runs average about 2000 vert. Kinda puts Kirkwood's bunny hill to shame, I'd say....LOL
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beric in Whistler View Post
Or come to the darkside....where EVERYTHING'S open....
http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/mou...s/gemstone.htm
these runs average about 2000 vert. Kinda puts Kirkwood's bunny hill to shame, I'd say....LOL
Interesting. I followed the link and only counted 6 labels that say "permanently closed area" on the first page. I'm glad everything is open. WB is definitely on my to-ski list, but it has its closed for insurance terrain like any other place. Not that this is an issue for me!

I believe chair 4, 6, and 10 at kirkwood all access 1500+ vertical feet. The last little bit of the vertical requires hiking.

-Adam
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
I believe chair 4, 6, and 10 at kirkwood all access 1500+ vertical feet. The last little bit of the vertical requires hiking.
From the videos posted above, it seems like the slope they skied is less than 1000' vert. :
post #19 of 23
I'm an absolute jong when it comes to competitive freeskiing, so I have a couple of questions: who are the judges, and do they ski the competition area/terrain before the athletes (not necessarily the same lines)?
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beric in Whistler View Post
From the videos posted above, it seems like the slope they skied is less than 1000' vert. :
It is not. Those videos only show slices of the Cirque.

These videos show more:

Craig Garbiel's winning run in 2005:


Jash Daiek (2005)


here's the Cirque. There's alot of features obscured by the big tree on looker's right, and there's stuff off to the left and a little lower down as well, but this shows most of it I guess.

(click to enlarge)
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
I'm an absolute jong when it comes to competitive freeskiing, so I have a couple of questions: who are the judges, and do they ski the competition area/terrain before the athletes (not necessarily the same lines)?
most of the judges are ex-freeskiing competitors themselves or have been involved with the tour for a very long time. And yes, they do ski the venue the morning of the comp. They pick their way down inspecting the conditions, the different lines, and getting a feel for exactly what the athletes will be facing.

i'm sure samarai could add a lot more if he pokes his head in here.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaar View Post
Great vids. Thanks for posting them. I'm dissapointed I missed it on TV, cause I usually record them.

And for opening the Cirque, I doubt it will ever happen, though having guided tours like they have at Silverton in CO I think would be a viable and great option.
Am I to understand that all that great terrain shown in these videos is actually not open to the public for skiing?
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Am I to understand that all that great terrain shown in these videos is actually not open to the public for skiing?
Parts of it...open to the public. Other parts of it...permanent closure.

The qualifiers for this comp are held on Lookout Visa...which is open to the public 100% of the time.

Then Day 1 of the World Tour are held on the lookers right side of the Cirque (pictured above). The Cirque is permanent closure, but on a normal day, you can traverse into and ski the lower third of it.

Finally Day 2 of the World Tour is held on the lookers left side. This section is again, permanent closure except for the comp, but on normal days you can still traverse into the bottom section but the majority of the gnar is off-limits.

So yes and no. the really gnarly stuff is an no.
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