Step Up and Throw Down: The Cold Smoke Freeride 2012


On Saturday March 24, 2012, UMEM and Backcountry Racks & Skis, in cooperation with Lost Trial Powder Mountain, hosted the first annual Cold Smoke Freeride Competition.

This single-day event was open to skiers and snowboarders, men and women, 18 years and older. The competition was designed to challenge the best skiers and snowboarders in Western Montana to lay down the most challenging lines they can in front of a panel of judges.

And boy did they ever!

22 Skiers and Snowboarders competed together and the top three male and female riders claimed spots on the podium along with a $500 first place cash prize.

Four judges used the following criteria to crown a winner:

  • Style/Tricks/Creativity
  • Line Choice/Degree of Difficulty
  • Speed/Fluidity

The course was lookers right of Chair 1, an area the locals call the North Shore. The North Shore is loaded with spines and cliff drops.

Lost Trail built four jumps on the lower half of the course, a zone called Femur Ridge. Competitors charged lines and dropped as many cliffs as they could before picking out their huge jump to air over Femur Ridge and down to the rope tow.

Lost Trail went to great lengths to keep the course closed Monday-Friday to ensure fresh snow and soft landings for the competition on Saturday.

Music played throughout the day and Lost Trail’s Andrew Shulz emceed the event as only he can. Athletes were treated to food and drinks all day to ensure optimum performance. Spectators were treated to some of the most impressive and intense skiing Montana has seen.

As many as eight competitors could have walked away with the title. We saw numerous 360s, 720s, and backflips, as well as some HUGE wrecks.

The men’s winners:

  • 1st Joe Dillon
  • 2nd Shay Lee
  • 3rd Jake Fagrelius

The fun didn’t stop once the lifts stopped spinning. Tons of prizes where tossed into crowd and raffled off, including a pair of Libery Genome 187cm. Music played and beer flowed until 8pm. Everyone left with a prize and a full belly.

Toy Soldier Productions was on hand filming the entire event. Keep your eye out for an edit sometime in the near future. When we get it, we will post it up.

Many generous sponsors donated tons of killer prizes for the athletes and the spectators raffle.

We would like to sincerely thank all of the sponsors who made this event possible: Lost Trail Powder Mountain, University of Montana Entertainment Management Program, Backcountry Racks & Skis, Liberty Skis, Discrete Headwear, 4FRNT, MFD All Time, Bern, Moment Skis, Toy Soldier Productions, Big Sky Brewery, and Saga Outerwear.

Look for the next Cold Smoke Freeride Comp to be held in February 2013.




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Travis Goodkind is the owner of the Missoula business Backcountry Racks & Skis. The Vermont native moved out west after college 10 years ago in pursuit of bigger mountains and has never left. He spends his free time exploring Montana’s mountains, trails, and rivers with wife Julie, son Asher, and black lab Pika. Check out his blog, Backcountry Freeskier, for more powdery goodness.