Ryan Walters’ journey through the Freeskiing World Tour

Published 2011-04-05

“Freeskiing” started in the 80’s as a way to defy the rules, take the sport in new directions, and generally have a blast. Not much has changed in 31 years, and skiing is progressing faster than ever, thanks in part to contests and the development of freeskiing as a professional sport. The Freeskiing World Tour is one such arena, and one way that I enjoy my winter. The tour comprises of a South American leg in our summer, then the North American leg in our winter. This season I hit the three largest stops.

The crowd at Snowbird

Revelstoke, BC kicks off the North American Leg with the Canadian Freeskiing Championships. After several powder days and 30 in of snow the competition got under way. Here Athletes got heli rides to the top of this peak for the finals day. The resort offers an incredible amount of skiing, I cannot wait to get back here to do more exploring.


Revelstoke comp

The drive to Lake Tahoe from Bozeman is brutal, even stopping in SLC for mexican food, wannabe beers, and a place to crash. Upon arriving in Kirkwood for the North American Freeskiing Championships we found sunny skies, the next day however brought almost 5’ of snow. The last two days of competition are held in The Cirque, a permanent closure, but opened for us. This stop was combined with the Freeride World Tour, the much more international counterpart to the Freeskiing tour. This proved to be my best result of the season, 11th overall after three days of eliminations.

The cirque at Kirkwood

Kirkwood comp

The final stop in Snowbird for the World Championships has been a legendary competition for years, this year was no different. Again the tour was blessed with a 40 in storm which provided excellent conditions on all three venues. Athletes and friends gathered on top of Snowbird for a very special evening remembering Ryan Hawks, a competitor and spectacular individual who passed away the week before in Kirkwood. The 2011 season showcased some very impressive and progressive skiing at every stop. I already know how I can improve for next season, at the end of it though I walked away with some new friends, and many good times with old ones. As spring is nearing, I am excited to stay in Montana and enjoy the goods that are just in our backyard….

Snowbird tram

During the Ryan Hawks Memorial

Back home in Frazier

Saddle Peak in Frazier