It was supposed to be a showdown between the former champion and the upstart rookie. But the weather wasn’t having it.
The Freeride World Tour finals in Verbier, Switzerland at the Xtreme Verbier was supposed to be a showdown between the two top-ranked skiers on the tour: Loic Collomb-Patton, 2014 tour champion and the current leader in the 2016 rankings, and Logan Pehota, the tour rookie with a famous father (skiing legend Eric Pehota) who’s been absolutely tearing up the FWT scene this year.
3223m Bec des Rosses – as gnarly a freeride competition venue as you’ll find anywhere.
But alas, the weather simply wasn’t having it. After a lingering cloud over the Bec des Rosses venue and rising winds forced the postponement of the men’s ski event yesterday (the snowboarders and women skiers were able to complete their contests as planned), today, Sunday April 3, was the guys’ last chance to get in their final FWT run of the season.
But the forecasted improving conditions never appeared: persistent clouds and wind, coupled with the venue’s already suboptimal hardpack snow, created a toxic mix of conditions that made skiing the extremely technical, 600-meter face too risky for the competitors. At 12:00pm the decision was made to cancel the contest for good, since the weather for the coming week isn’t looking any better.
On Saturday the competitors clustered around FWT head honcho Nicolas Hale-Woods as they debated whether or not to run the contest.
The cancellation of the Verbier event means that the men’s overall standings will remain as they were before: Loic Collomb-Patton will take home his second overall Freeride World Tour title, followed by Pehota in second place and Fabio Studer in third.
We’ll have a full recap of the Verbier stop and an overview of the 2016 FWT contest season coming later this week; until then, congratulations to the 2016 overall tour champions: Collomb-Patton and Eva Walkner! (You can find a quick recap of yesterday’s women’s event here.)
Chainsaw in one hand, cup of red wine in the other – is there any better way to celebrate victory?