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Sports Briefs: Luge on snow event coming to WOP

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Before the days of refrigerated concrete tracks, luge was an on-snow event, with courses sculpted out of the frozen ground. There still is a purist streak in the sport and the International Luge Federation (FIL) even runs a separate tour for "natural" luge events.

On Saturday, Mar. 17, BC Luge is hosting a special on-snow luge event at Whistler Olympic Park, letting members of the public pilot special sleds down a hand-made course. All you need to participate is a helmet, goggles and good gloves, and all other equipment will be provided including a luge-style sled for some serious tobogganing. The cost is just $15 per person, running 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more, visit www.bcluge.com.

Freeride Club Tests legs at Crystal

The Whistler Freeride Club sent a team to Crystal Mountain in Washington State this past weekend to compete in a Junior Freeskiing Tour event.

The contest got underway in wind, fog and snow after a 24-hour weather delay, with all seven Whistler athletes qualifying for the finals. However, due to the small weather window the organizers reduced the number of qualifier to 15 and three athletes got bumped.

Cooper Bathgate led the team in the age 12 to 14 finals and placed fifth, while Conrad Murdoch was seventh and Liam Peiffer 10th and Jackson Bathgate — the top qualifier though he crashed in the finals — 15th. The three athlete bumped from the final were Mitchell Long, Cal MacConnachie and Tom Peiffer.

In the 15 to 17 female category, Carlene and Camilla Loughlin both competed, with Carlene making it to the finals and placing fourth.

None of the WFC athletes qualified in the top 15 in the boys 15 to 17 group.

"We had some heartbreak with Conner MacDonald and Dylan Gilespie both losing skis in the middle of great runs in the 15 to 17 Male category, and some glory with Jackson Bathgate winning quali's and Carlene Loughlin coming fourth in her first competition ever," said coach Derek Foose. Other coaches with the team were Gavin Phillipson and Dave Weale.

WB announces new alpine bike trail

Whistler Blackcomb announced plans this week that would bring high alpine riding to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, with a new "Top of the World" trail planned for this summer that will bring riders from the Peak Chair to the Garbanzo Zone. The trail will increase the bike park's vertical by over 332 metres/1,091 feet to bring the total to 1,507 metres/4,946 feet.

The trail will wind through alpine tundra into the sub-alpine before connecting with the park. To preserve the experience, ridership will be limited to 100 per day for an additional $15 on top of a bike park pass. The trail will be recommended for advanced riders.

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