Backcountry snowboard competition evolves once again as Travis Rice and 15 of the world’s top riders prepare to drop into the ultimate course designed to crown the world’s best all-around snowboarder. When Red Bull Ultra Natural touches down at Baldface Lodge outside of Nelson, B.C., Canada, eight new riders will meet the eight top finishers from last year on a course with more features and options than previously imaginable.
With an updated format, new judges and of course a new name, Red Bull Ultra Natural runs on a single day during the February 15-21 holding period.
“This event was created as the highest echelon of competitive snowboarding," says event creator and pro snowboarder Travis Rice. "It draws on all aspects and a lifetime of accumulated snowboarding skill and knowledge.
"Entering into its second year at Baldface Lodge, Red Bull Ultra Natural will provide an even further-evolved platform for the heaviest continuous lines ever ridden. Now that riders have an idea of what to expect, there is no doubt the governor is coming off.”
Red Bull Ultra Natural is the only event that brings together the most accomplished big-mountain freeriders -- who fine-tune jaw-dropping film segments and first descents deep in the backcountry -- with the current crop of freestyle riders raising the bar in the park and pipe. With three distinct sections of the course designed to show off each athlete’s strength and individual discipline, the event aims to serve up a day of snowboard competition beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
Baldface Lodge, Canada’s premier snowcat operation, hosts the dream snowboard run located within its 32,000 acre tenure. On the 45+ degree slope nicknamed “Scary Cherry,” a new, wider start area and more line options will create more diversity for the riders in 2013.
More than 80 existing features have been refined and additional creative hips and objects have been placed on-course to create transitional elements between the upper tree-line jumps and pillow lines, the middle section’s super-kicker, and the natural jib and jump section near the finish.
The single-day competition ensures that the event takes place under only the best possible conditions -- a mix of deep powder, good sunlight, and safe conditions. A shift of almost two weeks later in the season will help ensure that sunlight on the Northeast slope will last across all 32 runs.
Snowboarding legends Jamie Lynn and Peter Line will join Temple Cummins, Andy Hetzel and Head Judge Tom Burt this year as they base scores on an overall impression of the riders’ two runs, with the best run counting toward the win.
Check in at the Red Bull Ultra Natural site for updates leading up to and during the competition, and be sure to tune in to the full event recap on NBC as part of the Red Bull Signature Series. Red Bull Ultra Natural will air on NBC on March 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT.
- Travis Rice crowned victorious at the 2012 event
- Listen to top tracks on 'The Art of FLIGHT' soundtrack
- Travis Rice talks about 'The Art of FLIGHT 3D'