Over 100 competitors came out to Fernie Alpine Resort for the Jeep Freeski competition.
“We had competitors from as far away as Whistler and down in Missoula, Montana,” said Jeni Pearson, with Fernie Alpine Resort.
The Fernie Freestyle team ranked high in the events, with local boys coming in 1st to fourth place in the older divisions.
Levi Wright was the overall winner for the boys aged 15-18.
Fernie’s Graham Bradish cleaned up, winning first place overall on Saturday.
Freeskiing is essentially what it sounds like, explained Pearson.
“We take a run on the mountain, and that run isn’t altered in any way,” she said.
As the skiers fly down the face of the mountain, they’re marked on five different categories; line, control, technique, fluidity, style and synergy.
“Line is most important,” Pearson said. “It’s like the mountain is their canvas.”
They can take a difficult or easier line, and try tricks off of natural features on the run.
“The idea is to have good technique and strong skiing,” said Pearson. “You want to have a run that’s in control.”
She said that the competitors, aged seven to 18 displayed incredible skill.
With the mild weather over the weekend, the course changed. Pearson said they were lucky to hold the events on Big Bang, a run that is higher up on the mountain, so it was less affected by rain.
“These kids are quite resilient,” said Pearson. “That’s kind of what free skiing is, adapting to what the mountain brings you.”
The competition is part of an ongoing series, with the next event on Feb 10 and 11 in Kicking Horse, and another in Kimberley the following weekend.