Whistler's up and coming freeskiers have a special relationship with Red Bull it seems. Last season Kye Petersen placed first in the Red Bull Cold Rush competition at Retallack Lodge, an event that merged big mountain skiing with terrain park skills.
This week Sean Pettit, 17, came close to winning the Red Bull Linecatcher competition at Vars, France, with a similar format - big mountain lines with a few features that allowed for freeride spins and flips. Pettit finished second overall behind hometown hero Candide Thovex, while also winning the "Best Trick" award after landing a corked 360 off one of the bigger cliffs on the mountain.
Whistler skiers top 10 at Revelstoke
The Canadian Freeskiing Championships took place in Revelstoke last week with organizers going the extra mile on the final day with a heli-drop contest on an unskied slope on Mt. Mackenzie.
American skiers swept the women's event with Jess McMillan of Jackson Hole scoring 70.8, followed by Jacqui Edgerly of Jackson Hole with a 69.2 and Angle Collinson of Snowbird with a 67.63. There were no Whistler skiers competing in the final.
It was a different story on the men's side. Arne Backstrom of Lake Tahoe won the men's contest with an 81.9, followed by Julien Lopez of La Pagne, France with a 74.1 and Luke Nelson of Fernie with 73.2.
Two Whistler skiers were in the top 10 with Ryan Sullivan placing sixth overall with a 70 and Alex Blais just 0.17 points back in seventh. Christian Boucher was 20 th .
Parsons K2 Super G this weekend
One of the longest running ski races in Whistler is the annual Bob Parsons Memorial Speed Series. This is the 30 th anniversary of the Memorial Race, hosted by the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, which itself was a continuation of a youth downhill race series created by Parsons in 1969 - 41 seasons ago.
The goal of the 2010 event is the same as past year, to give young racers a safe and early opportunity to compete in speed events that typically aren't available for Canadian athletes until they are older. Parsons recognized that this kind of race was essential to compete with European racing programs where speed events are introduced much earlier in a skiers' development.
It's a huge undertaking. Compared to most ski races where the only equipment needed are gates and timing gear, the Parsons Memorial course requires more intensive grooming and slipping, jumps and safety netting.
Parsons died in 1979, and in his honour the 1980 event was named after him.