After years of searching the globe for his dream snowboard run, Travis Rice found the perfect location to stage Red Bull Supernatural: on Baldface Lodge’s “Scary Cherry.” After finding the slope, Rice, Baldface and Red Bull pulled together a team of skilled Canadian lumberjacks to enhance the run with a variety of freeride-friendly, freestyle features. Once they secured proper governmental and environmental approval, the crew went to work.
The 2,200 vertical feet of Scary Cherry are now built out into Rice’s dream snowboard run in expectation of the arrival of 18 of the world’s best snowboarders to Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. The iconic snowboarder’s vision was grand, keeping nine loggers busy for over 7,500 hours to bring Red Bull Supernatural to life. The chainsaws needed to be sharpened 243 times while creating over 80 features in the steeper, upper section of the course.
“Inspiration for the course design came from nature, straight up, and the crazy features that I’ve seen people ride,” Rice explained. “Also, some inspiration came from what they are able to do with mountain biking courses, like building stuff through the trees. There’s no limit to what is possible with a little creativity and some will. The very bottom of the course will be reminiscent of a Stash park with natural, freestyle features.”
In partnership with the local forestry officials and registered wildlife biologists, Baldface Lodge, Red Bull and Rice had studies conducted to make sure that the build wouldn’t negatively impact wildlife habitat, species of trees on course or watershed. They took a close look at the impacts of moving the earth to help construct the large kicker at the bottom of the run, the possible impact to local Grizzly bear populations and they also did an inventory of the tree species on the slope.
A biologist hired to write an opinion on the effects this work may have on Grizzly habitat concluded that there were no dens on the slope and that the bears would not be directly impacted by the course work.
The forester’s report raised no concerns for tree species on slope, except for the pines. Taking the forester’s findings into account, the crew made sure that no pines were cut or used in the course’s construction. To complete the project about 50-70 sub-alpine spruce and fir trees from the slope were cut down and then repurposed into the platforms.
Finally, the crew worked with government land managers to make sure the proposed contest build was not in violation of any policies or codes pertaining to forest use.
Scary Cherry, the run in Baldface’s tenure that’s been enhanced to host Red Bull Supernatural, features a variety of slope angles and natural features. It starts off with an extremely steep, over-40 degree slope angle providing big mountain terrain before tapering to 35 degrees, where most of the wooden platforms and other features have been built.
At its midway point it flattens out, providing the perfect location for Rice’s dream 300-foot-wide kicker with pow landing zone. After the kicker, the slope drops to a 30 degree pitch where esteemed terrain park builder J.P. Martin, working with Rice for inspiration, has planted a garden of innovative slopestyle features.
“I'm a snowboarder and I believe in it, with my whole life,” says Jeff Pensiero, Owner of Baldface Lodge. “I believe that snowboarding has the ability to change people into better people. I believe that this contest can make snowboarding itself better. It’s been a huge commitment and it’s much easier to commit this fully to something I believe in. To have this contest happen at Baldface and in our hometown of Nelson, B.C. is just incredible for my team and me.”
Red Bull Supernatural is set to crown the world’s best all-around snowboarder at Baldface Lodge from Febuary 3-8. Follow the contest with updates posted on the Red Bull Supernatural site and then tune into the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC on March 31st to see all the action.
SUPER, NATURAL is a registered trademark of the Province of British Columbia. The Red Bull Supernatural event was not affiliated with or endorsed by the Province of British Columbia.
- More photos of the Red Bull Supernatural course
- Final Red Bull Supernatural rider list, including wildcards
- Rice comes up big at TW SNOW Riders' Poll Awards