Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA:
2nd Freeride World Tour stop with the world’s best riders battling to become the 09 Freeride World Champion
After the Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi, the first Freeride World Tour stop in early January, the world’s best snowboard riders will make history by competing for the first time ever on the infamous Tram Face: the mythical Squaw Valley venue which has remained strictly off-limits since the resort opened nearly 60 years ago. (List of qualified riders attached)
The Nissan Tram Face event (27th Feb-5th March) is the second of four Freeride World Tour stops of the unique Snowboard professional World Tour. Due to a new cicuit launched in 2008 the Freeride specialists have got 4 major events and 10 qualifier events – the Freeride World Tour brings freeride competitions to the next level. After the Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi-Russia, Nissan Tram Face, Squaw Valley-USA, Nissan Freeride de Tignes-France and the grand finale at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier-Switzerland, the 2009 Freeride World Champions will be crowned.
Saturday February the 28th: The historical Nissan Tram Face Freeride World Tour event
Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA became world-famous in 1960 as host to the VIII Winter Olympics. As host to the Freeride World Tour’s North American stop, the mountain will truly live up to its reputation as the world’s best natural amphitheater when the Freeride World Tour athletes compete on the resort’s infamous Tram Face.
In Squaw Valley’s 59 years of operation, the steep rock face below Tower 1 of the Cable Car (known as the “Tram Face”) has remained strictly off-limits. Its steep and seemingly un-ridable pitch, permanent closure, and tantalizing location in perfect view from Squaw Valley’s Village and base area, have made it a coveted descent among the freeride scene. History will be made this year when the world’s best get a chance to take a crack at it during the Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA.
4 riders won their spot for the Nissan Tram Face thanks to the USA Freeride World Qualifier & sister events
Two Freeride World Qualifier events, sister events of the Nissan Tram Face, took place this winter, previous to the historical Freeride World Tour second stop at Squaw Valley USA. The winners of the North Face Masters of Snowboarding at Snowbird, USA (30 January-2 February 09) and at Crested Butte, USA (13-16 February 09) are directly qualified for the Nissan Tram Face.
Snowboard Winners and qualified men: Matt Annetts (Snowbird) and Clif Dimon (Crested Butte)
Snowboard Winner and qualified women: Shanan Yates (Snowbird) and Susan Moll (Crested Butte)
6 ‘Wild Cards’ for snowboarders have been granted for the Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley USA, second stage of the Freeride World Tour 2009
Joining the best freeriders already qualified to take on the mythical Tram Face at the end of February, the ‘Wild Cards’ are given to exceptional athletes for each of the Freeride World Tour events. These riders, considered part of the world’s elite, are selected by the organizers of each event. Often, they are athletes coming back after an injury or those that have not been able to participate in enough events to score enough points in the Freeride World Ranking to be qualified. Particularly important to note is the presence of exceptional snowboard riders such as Steve Klassen (USA), victory record holder of the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier and Jeremy Jones (USA), one of the world’s best and most influent snowboarders.
WC1_KLASSEN Steve – USA
WC2_ JONES Jeremy – USA
WC3_ BACKSTROM Ralph – USA
WC4_ BELL Ryland – USA
WC1_BOCK Aline – GER
WC2_HAGEN Charlotte – SWE
Friday 27th: mountain inspection (binoculars) & opening ceremonies at 4.30pm
Saturday 28th: competition is scheduled on Tram Face from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
Prize Giving Ceremony at High Camp and at SquawVillage Fair
Spectators can enjoy the festive atmosphere with live music and ongoing events at The Village at Squaw Valley USA.
*In the case of inclement weather, the event will be postponed to an alternate date between February 29 and March 5.
Nissan is proud to be the founding partner of the Freeride World Tour, forming a key pillar in Nissan’s Sports Adventure programme which aims to support and promote adventure sports and an active outdoor lifestyle through world class events, media properties and integrated communications. The Nissan Tram Face is an iconic addition to the 09 FWT and demonstrates the sports true international scale. Today’s FWT owes much to the USA where freeriding legend and Nissan Sports Adventure Athlete Glen Plake added a new aesthetic to the sport back in the 1980’s with his offbeat, out-there style. The USA leg and qualifying events opens up the tour to the next generation of competitors and fans from across the world.
The Freeride World Tour 2009
Since 2008, the Freeride World Tour has made sports history bringing together international freeriders. For the first time, snowboarders and skiers, men and women, travel the world seeking the Freeride World Champion title.
The upcoming stages of the Freeride World Tour 2009 (FWT)
27 February – 5 March : Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA – New event
8 -14 March: Nissan Freeride de Tignes, France
20 – 29 March: Nissan Xtreme – Verbier 09, Switzerland