Red Bull Linecatcher for eight years now has been one of the most iconic backcountry freestyle events, gathering the world’s best skiers to showcase their fast lines and impressive tricks on a big mountain face, sprinkled with additional man-made obstacles.
This year, the battleground will be for the very first time Tignes, where the riders will be on standby for competition day between January 16-22. Sixteen riders among the greatest athletes of the discipline worldwide are expected from North America and Europe.
The event will take place off piste in the Chardonnet Bowl and the Grappilon Area (the 2 main bowls to the left as you go up the Grand Huit Chair). There will be a spectators village by the Grand Huit chair and the whole of that area of off piste will be closed off.
The competition has been held in Les Arcs for the last 2 years. Last year saw 17 skiers tackling the Fond Blanc face between Les Arcs 1800 and Les Arcs 2000, hoping to take the crown of Europe’s biggest freeski backcountry freestyle competition.
Runs are judged based on fluidity, style, commitment and technique. Freestyle is more than a matter of rotations, and the elements of originality and suprise in the choice of their line are at least as important as the difficulty of the tricks themselves.
BACKCOUNTRY FREESTYLE SKIING… WHAT’S THAT?
In this discipline, riders drop from the top of a blank face with passes, rocky bars, natural and hand-made kickers. No need to say all this requires the aptitudes of freeride and freestyle skiing: boldness and a great acrobatic skills. Those who practice this discipline to a high level are not just ordinary athletes. And for good reason: backcountry is above all a state of mind.
Three judges will mark the three runs of each athletes. Only the best of those three runs will count for the final rating. Performance will be assessed depending on the flow, technical skills and boldness of the run, as well as the magical ingredient that makes backcountry so special: style!
Richard Permin (FRA)
Flo Bastien (FRA)
Sam Favret (FRA)
Nicolas Vuignier (SUI)
Dylan Florit (FRA)
Laurent de Martin (FRA)
Markus Eder (ITA)
Léo Taillefer (FRA)
Jacob Webster (SUE)
Paddy Graham (UK & SUI)
Sean Pettit (CAN)
Sammy “Pasty C.” Carlson (USA)
Kye Petersen (CAN)
Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (USA)
Nick McNutt ( CAN)
Braden “Pep” Fujas (USA)