Tour Leaders and Past Champions Return to the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour North American Freeskiing Championships in Kirkwood Feb. 23–26

Live Broadcast set to air Saturday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. at www.freeskiingworldtour.com

From the Freeskiing World Tour — KIRKWOOD, Calif. (Feb. 23) — With two stops left, Lars Chickering-Ayers and 2010 tour champion Angel Collinson leading in the rankings, and a whopping 12 feet of snow at Kirkwood in the last week, the stage is set, the competition is intense, and Kirkwood is set to go off. The longest running and most prestigious competitive big mountain skiing tour in the world, founded by skiing pioneers Shane McConkey and Dave Swanwick, and owned and operated by Mountain Sports International, the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) continues a storied tradition of bringing the best skiers in the world to the most challenging venues to compete for cash and prizes.

Collinson leads for the women with 284 points, followed by Ashley Maxfield with 191 and Jackson Hole’s Crystal Wright with 144. Following a big win at last week’s Subaru U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, Chickering-Ayers leads the men with 284, followed by Drew Tabke with 227 and Chile’s Chopo Diaz with 171. With 100 points awarded for a first place finish, it’s still anyone’s game.

With a stacked list of pre-qualified athletes, top up-and-comers, and returning champions including Griffin Post, Jacqui Edgerly, JT Holmes, Mathieu Imbert, Guerlain Chicherit, Adrien Coirier, Seb Michaud and Aurelien Ducroz, this week’s competition will be one for the books. Returning champion Chicherit began competing on the tour in 1999, and was crowned Subaru Freeskiing World Tour overall champion in 2006 and 2007, Coirier took 2nd at Kirkwood in 2006, and won the coveted backcountry.com Sickbird award in 2007, Ducroz won the North American Freeskiing Championships at Kirkwood in 2004, and current competitor Julien Lopez was overall tour champion in 2009.

“Kirkwood is excited to host the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships again this year. We have had so much snow over the past week and are expecting conditions to be incredible,” said Michael Dalzell, director of sales & marketing for Kirkwood Mountain Resort. “It’s going to be quite a show to see the world’s best freeskiers hit up The Cirque with the incredibly deep snow we have.”

Finals day is scheduled to take place on the forbidden Cirque; at 10,000 feet, Cirque’s untouched terrain is riddled with steep, technical slopes, 1,500-feet of rock, cliffs, chutes and extreme terrain features. This venue is off-limits, closed to the public, except for limited, guided tours. The Finals, scheduled for Saturday, will be broadcast live at www.freeskiingworldtour.com beginning at 10 a.m. Follow us on Facebook to stay apprised of any weather delays at www.facebook.com/freeskiingworldtour.