SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Feb. 19, 2013)-The fourth stop of the SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 (FWT) continues its season of exciting global big mountain freeride competition stateside at Kirkwood, California, USA on Feb. 27, 2013. The competition can be witnessed from anywhere in the world via live webcast available the day of competition. The first possible day of competition is schedule for Feb. 27 with a weather window extending to March 3.

“It comes as no surprise that Kirkwood has been having a very snowy first half of the season. Conditions are setting up the mountain to have prime coverage needed for this event,” observed FWT Americas Competition Director Bryan Barlow.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort’s big mountain venue, The Cirque, is the ideal location for the fourth stop of the 2013 FWT. The Cirque is comprised of exposed, steep and raw terrain, which is permanently closed to the general public, allowing for a unique and exciting North American freeride venue.

“With unmatched inbounds terrain and some of the deepest snow in the country, Kirkwood is an appropriate choice as the only U.S. stop for the Freeride World Tour,” said Casey Blann, Kirkwood’s general manager. “This event really solidifies our position as one of the premier big mountains in the country, and I personally can’t wait to see these athletes tackle The Cirque.”

The Cirque. PHOTO: B. Denervaud

On its fourth stop for the season, competition amongst the deeply talented international athlete field is heating up. The tour started with a roster of 36 prequalified male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and seven female snowboarders. The 2013 FWT features five stops for male skiers and snowboarders, and four stops for female skiers and snowboarders before a cut will be made for the SWATCH Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland. After the fifth stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria, the top three results out of five events for men and the top three results out of four events for women will be used to qualify riders for Verbier and the 2014 FWT.

Tahoe area local and 2012 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour Champion Josh Daiek is looking forward to competing at his home mountain this season. “I’m simply stoked for the competition to be at Kirkwood!” said Daiek. “It has some of the most fun terrain and is one of the best competition venues in the world.”

The SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face at Kirkwood Mountain Resort begins Mon., Feb. 25, 2013 with athlete arrival. The opening ceremonies for the FWT will be on Tues., Feb. 26 with possible competition dates beginning Weds., Feb. 27 through March 3.