Cover: Men’s skiing at The Huck Cup, Sierra at Tahoe
Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
On a bluebird Saturday morning just south of Lake Tahoe, more than 50 top freeride skiers and snowboarders from around the world gathered in Huckleberry Canyon at Sierra-at-Tahoe to compete in the first Sierra-at-Tahoe Huck Cup.
The 2 star International Freeskiers & Snowboarders Association (IFSA)/Free World Qualifier (FWQ) had the top-tier athletes pulling out their best tricks at the two-day event held February 26-27. The top finishers earned qualifying points for the Freeride World Tour and shared $5000 in prize money.
The Freeride World Tour consists of a series of skiing and snowboarding events where freeride athletes compete on natural, rugged terrain at legendary freeride venues in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.
Held in what was formerly an out-of-bounds area, Huckleberry Canyon is now 320 acres of steep and deep inbounds terrain with chutes, glades, boulders and precipitous drops accessed via five gates at the summit of Sierra-at-Tahoe.
How tough is it? Standing on the ridge looking down at the massive rocks jutting out from the snow will get your heart pounding. Heading over its steep edge in a plummeting descent, navigating spines, flying over cliffs and tackling the canyon’s rugged curves – calling it intense is an understatement; insane is probably more accurate. It’s definitely something straight out of an extreme skiing flick and it puts the expert in expert terrain.
During the inspection period before the competition began, riders tossed snowballs over the edge looking for a line and could be overheard discussing their strategies for attack with a combination a subdued nervousness and excitement.
The women snowboarders and skiers kicked off the day, followed by the men in both categories.
The riders brought their best big mountain riding skills, with thrills, spills and some highly-creative approaches to tackling the snow-covered rock face.
Throughout the day, spectators took in the action from points around the canyon ridge and on the rooftop deck at the 360° Smokehouse, cheering on the riders under the warm, early-spring skies.
Huck Cup at Sierra-At-Tahoe final results
Women – Snowboard
- Brittany Thompson, Resort: Kirkwood
- Abigail Penfold, Resort: Whiteface
- Holly Enderle
Women – Ski
- Kelsey Hyche, Resort: Alpine Meadows
- Lindsay Nagle
- Savannah Amos, Resort: Sierra-at-Tahoe
Men – Snowboard
- Morgan Hebert
- Dave Brumm, Resort: Squaw Valley
- Aspen Weaver, Resort: Sierra-at-Tahoe
- Mika Kuntz-Hight
- David Brown
- Sam Wallace, Resort: Alpine Meadows
Men – Ski
- Eric Bryant, Resort: Squaw Valley
- Taylor Pratt, Resort: Alta
- Seth Klein, Resort: Alta
- Colby Albino, Resort: Sierra-at-Tahoe
- Skyler Smith, Resort: Kirkwood
- Dylan Hagan