The Freeride World Tour (FWT) is freeriding’s Premier Event. This series of five events take place every year in Andorra, Chamonix, Fieberbrunn, Alaska and the iconic Xtreme Verbier. Only 50 of the best riders in the World compete in the FWT. But there is also another program, known as the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ), which is designed to develop the talent and skills of up-and-coming athletes.
In the Freeride World Qualifier, riders accumulate points via 60 events held around the world (including 40 in Europe). The score system is based on the star ranking of the qualifying events (1-4 stars) and the event region: region 1 (Europe, Asia, and Oceania) and region 2 (USA, Canada, Chile, and Argentina).
A few days ago, organizers announced that South America will be, once again, home for four of this events. Three of them will be held in Chile as part of the Freeride Chile championship series, and one of them in Argentina. According to freerideworldtour.com, “this exciting development marks a turning point in freeride skiing and snowboarding opportunities for athletes in the region and lays the foundation for future growth of the sport across one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world, the Andes. With a coordinated schedule that allows for rational travel between events, 2017 should be one of the best years yet for freeriding in the Andes region.”
“We are very excited about the developments in the Andes,” says Freeride World Tour South America Advisor Tom Winter. “With a national series of events in Chile and the return of the Chapelco Back Bowls 2* event, this season is poised to be a fantastic year for freeriding in South America. The team at Freeride Sudameria has worked closely with both Freeride Chile and Freeride Argentina to create a comprehensive schedule of events that will become the foundation for future competition seasons in the Andes.”
ABOUT THE EVENTS
Nevados de Chillán, Chile // August 10-13
Open bowls, cliffs and playful terrain is the reason why Nevados de Chillán has been chosen to kick off the FWQ season in South America. This resort lies under an active volcano, known as Chillán. It’s located about 500km South of Santiago de Chile.
Antillanca, Chile // August 17-19
Antillanca is a small ski area, located in Chile’s Puyehue national park and about 100 km from the town of Osorno. The best thing about this place is probably its landscape: sorrounded by native forests, lakes and volcanoes, it is also a freerider’s dream. Off-piste terrain in Antillanca is one of the best in all of Chile.
Chapelco, Argentina // August 24-27
For the second year in a row, the Chapelco Back Bowls 2* FWQ event will take place in Argentina. Chapelco is a world-class ski resort that stands above a beautiful town: San Martin de los Andes. The best about this resort are their back bowls, with numerous line choices, plenty of opportunities for air and an excellent south facing exposure that shelters powder long after storms.
Corralco, Chile // August 31 – September 3
The last stop of the tour will be in Corralco, Chile. Corralco is also on the slopes of a volcano: the Lonquimay. Corralco is one of the most snowy resorts is Chile, and has also massive bowls, long ridges and plentyof ski touring and ski mountaineering opportunities. Sights from the volcano are spectacular.
Corralco’s scheduled opening date is June 17. The good news is that forecast for Corralco shows more than 85 centimeters of fresh snow for this week. You can check forecast for Corralco always here.
“We are really excited about the events this year,” says Freeride Chile’s Fernando “Focha” Ochagavia. “We have spent two years working with resorts to develop a series of events at unique venues throughout the Andes. These new events in Chile coupled with the return of a great competition in Chapelco make this a season not to be missed for anyone with passion for freeride.”
1. Aug 10-13: Nevados de Chillan
2. Aug 17-19: Antillanca
4. Aug 31-Sep 3: Corralco
3. Aug 24-27: Chapelco