News Headlines     |     


Wednesday February 15, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Fine weather, great snow and dramatic action bring closure to the Andorran FWT as 52 ski and snowboard athletes compete on the Baser Negre in Arcalis.

The event was delayed by a huge storm that hit the Pyrenees over the weekend.  It finally took place on Wednesday, 15th February.

Vallnord-Arcalís was bathed in brilliant sunshine and the competition that was originally scheduled to take place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, was in full swing.

Fifty of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders competed in a spectacular event that had been moved from Chamonix to Andorra due to snow safety concerns.

It was the freeriders' second event in two weeks at the same ski area in the Pyrenees.

Conditions were challenging for both riders and organizers.

Snowfall over the last week brought fresh accumulations to the face and changeable weather resulted in a slight crust forming on the snow surface, making turning conditions variable in some parts of the venue.

Despite these challenges and with the aid of the sun which softened the snow during the day, the athletes demonstrated their finest freeriding skills on Baser Negre, situated at 2700m.

Highlights of the day:



The snowboard men opened the day and perhaps no one rode better in the category than Jonathan Penfield (USA), who was nudged into fourth place after his stunning line ended in a fall mid-way down the face.

First place was awarded to Christoffer Granbom (SWE) for his fluid run that seemed to touch on all of the finest features of the face.

Men Snowboard (photo: DDaher Freeride World Tour)Men Snowboard (photo: Dom Daher Freeride World Tour)
















The next category to explore the day’s evolving conditions were the snowboard women, a group topped by powerful riding from Marion Haerty (FRA), who was able to hold a strong line featuring airs that earned her first place.

Shannan Yates (USA) was second. 

“This morning I was little apprehensive about the snow conditions because of yesterday’s weather," she said, "but this morning when we did practice runs, the snow was soft and I was really excited to find part of the face that might actually have some untracked and non-rollerballed snow.

"I had a lot of fun and I didn’t push it probably as hard as I necessarily could have but it’s kind of the name of the game. Should I really push it or play a little bit safe?”

Women Snowboard - (photo: DDaher Freeride World Tour)Women Snowboard - (photo: Dom Daher Freeride World Tour)















First place for the ski women was awarded to Lorraine Huber (AUT) for skiing a clean, fast, and feature-packed run involving multiple airs and solid technique.

As conditions softened slightly on the face, Kylie Sivell (CAN) stomped a powerful and consistent run down the venue, putting her in second.

“Two podiums! I am super surprised and very, very happy. I’m going to continue to just try to keep it chill, ski the runs that I want to ski and hopefully I can make it to Verbier,” she said.

Kylie Sivell tied for overall lead.

Lorraine Huber (AUT)Lorraine Huber (AUT)




















Women Ski- (photo: DDaher Freeride World Tour)Women Ski- (photo: Dom Daher Freeride World Tour)
















There was no shortage of action in the ski men category as 23 year old Léo Slemett (FRA) edged out fellow Frenchman Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) with the judge’s favourite line of the day that started with a 360 at the top of the venue and terminated with a full-throttle double-set air into a stomped backflip.

Watch Leo Slemett's enromous winning drop-in for the Chamonix leg in Andorra below, it's awesome.



As he flips off his Blizzard ski at the end of his run, Leo points to a "Ride for Estelle" badge, paying tribute to snowboard champion, Estelle Balet, who died in a tragic snowboard accident in 2016.

Leo Slemett's tribute - Leo Slemett's tribute - "Ride for Estelle"











While many of the top riders landed high amplitude flips and spins, it was Yann Rausis (SUI) that was able land the most impressive upper-venue air which secured him the third place position on the podium.

Drew Tabke who won the title for the Vallnord, Arcalis leg last week came 14th in Wednesday's competiton (755points).

Aymar Navarro, a local favourite, wowed crowds when he lost one ski but managed to retain his balance and skied almost to the finish. (see 2:54.00 for Aymar's run)

Men Ski (photo: DDaher Freeride World Tour)Men Ski (photo: Dom Daher Freeride World Tour)















The next stage of the FWT is in Fieberbrunn, Austria - March 6th -11th.

Here riders have just one more chance to perform before the best two results of the 2017 season are used to determine whether they advance to the next stage.

The numbers will be whittled down so that only twelve candidates from each skiing and snowboarding category will be able to qualify, so only the best of the best go through.

Qualifiers will then compete in Haines, Alaska, culminating in the final in Verbier, Switzerland.

The replay of the full event on Wednesday in Arcalis can be seen below:


Snowboard Men:

1 Christophen Granbom SWE

2 Sammy Luebke USA

3 Davey Baird USA

Snowboard Women:

1 Marion Haerty FRA

2 Shannan Yates USA

3 Manuela Mandl AUT

Women SKi:

1 Lorraine Huber AUT

2 Kylie Sivell CAN

3 Jaclyn Paaso USA

Men Ski:

1 Leo Slemett FRA

2 Loic Collomb-Patton FRA

3 Yann Rausis SUI

Get full set of results of the Vallnord/Chamonix event

See here for the Vallnord, Arcalis leg of the competition.

Headline photo: Léo Slemett (FRA) by Tim Lloyd Freeride World Tour

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

Related Articles

GB ALPINE SKI SQUAD NAMED (Thursday May 24, 2018)
THE BRITS IN TIGNES (Sunday May 20, 2018)
TWO OF THE BEST (Sunday April 15, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners