Standing in Silverton, Colorado’s historic mining museum during the Red Bull Cold Rush welcome party, Sean Pettit - at the age of 18 - is a seasoned veteran, and last year’s winner.
“Obviously I’m thrilled to be at Cold Rush this year,” Pettit said. “I’m really stoked to have a venue change. I rolled into town today and had heard about Silverton’s terrain, but seeing it in person, I’m really impressed.”
For the past two years, Red Bull Cold Rush has run at Retallack Lodge in British Columbia, but for the first time in its four-year history it moves out of Canada and into the United States.
“You really have to be able to read the terrain and read the snow; you can’t just send it blindly and have everything work out." -Aaron Brill
A unique place for a unique contest, Silverton Mountain in Colorado was perfect for the evolution of Cold Rush. Outside a tiny and historic mining town, Silverton Mountain is accessed by one double chairlift. From there, the high-alpine terrain is then accessed via hiking or helicopter. With 400 inches of annual snowfall and nearly 24,000 acres of skiable terrain, the Cold Rush athletes will have no trouble finding terrain to get creative in.
Top Athletes + Wild Venue = Sick Event
The field, consisting of 14 men and 6 women, includes some of the best skiers in the world. Red Bull athlete Sean Pettit will defend his title against skiers like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Tim Durtschi, Dane Tudor, and Red Bull’s Richard Permin.
Last year’s women’s champion Suz Graham will attempt to keep the top podium spot in a field consisting of Red Bull’s Grete Eliassen, Michelle Parker, and Jackie Paaso.
Legendary freeski veteran Pep Fujas spent the past two weeks in Silverton’s terrain creating the slopestyle portion of the three-stage competition. “Everything is dialed in and looking pretty for all the athletes,” Fujas said. “My favorite feature is ‘The Castle,’ which is the last jump, about a 70-foot step down to the knuckle. You could go 100 easy. It’s kind of scary, but really safe, so we should see some amazing stuff off it.”
On Monday, Cold Rush will kick off with the big mountain portion of the competition. A cliff-hucking zone will be also utilized for Big Air to round out the trio of events.
Silverton Mountain opened in 1992 as the realization of a dream held by owners Aaron and Jen Brill. “Silverton is a great location for Cold Rush,” Aaron pointed out. “You really have to be able to read the terrain and read the snow; you can’t just send it blindly and have everything work out. To have 22 of the world’s best athletes here is just amazing.”
- Hit the Red Bull Cold Rush 2011 page for the latest updates
- Recap videos from Red Bull Cold Rush in 2009 and 2010
- Video: Sean Pettit wins Red Bull Linecatcher 2011