This year the Taos Freeride Championships landed on the first weekend in March and brought us lots of big air, great weather, and all you can eat frito pies. The oldest Freeride World Qualifying (FWQ) event in the Americas, the Taos Freeride has been hosting athletes for 12 years. This year, skiers and snowboarders from around the world came together in Taos for 3 days of badass skiing and good times.
The event kicked off with the 2* on Thursday, followed by the 4*and Masters competition on Friday and Saturday. Competitors picked lines along the infamous West Basin, from Stauffenberg to the Bamboo chutes. The biggest airs of the weekend came from the athletes who sent it down “Heavy Timbers,” a thick-forested area ending in a 40-foot drop. Rachel Croft, a Freeride Coach at Winter Park, grabbed 1st place for the Women’s Skiers 4* after she dropped the cliffs off Heavy Timbers and stomped the landing on both Friday and Saturday.
Croft wasn’t the only one who had eyes on “Heavy Timbers.” A handful of the men’s 4* skiers also went for the big air, including Victor Major, skiing out of Aspen, who got the crowd going on Friday. “One of my friends who lives in Taos told me it would be a sick line,” he said, “And it looked good all day. I knew I had to ski fast.” On Saturday Major went big again and secured 3rd place for the Men’s Skier 2*. Sam Kuch, out of Whitewater BC, landed in 1st after throwing down 360’s all weekend off big features on Zdarsky.
Overall it was a weekend for the books. The competitors were going big but also fun in the process. “Taos Freeride has been super rad! vibes are high, the suns out, and the snow is ripping,” noted one competitor. But the best part? “Coming together and competing with friends who are passionate about this sport.” Thanks for everyone who came to Taos to throw down and to cheer on. As Croft said, “The scene at Taos is awesome. Plus there is a beer tent.” See everyone next year!