The worlds best of the best headed to Alaska for the HempFusion Natural Selection event at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, the final showdown of the inagural Natural Selection Tour.
Riders spent a week riding lines and showcasing their style and guts for a taste of the glory.
It’s all going down this Saturday! 5am AEST time. Don’t miss out. Tune in to watch right here …
The Tour returned to a head-to-head format in Alaska for both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. Run across two days, each rider selected three massive runs from the peaks of Tordrillo Mountains for each match-up. Judges scored each run in real time on location keeping the top score from each rider. They applied the same criteria as in Jackson Hole and Baldface-Valhalla to score based on overall impression focused on the difficulty of a rider’s chosen line, the size of the features they hit, combined with the variety and execution of tricks in the line.
On the men’s side, the top three finishers from the YETI Natural Selection at Jackson Hole, Mark McMorris, Ben Ferguson and Mikkel Bang, squared up with the top finisher from the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface-Valhalla, Chris Rasman. For the women, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who won at Jackson Hole and Robin Van Gyn, the winner at Baldface-Valhalla, went up against Hana Beaman in a three rider semifinal. Beaman, who finished in third place in Jackson, was invited in place of Marion Haerty, the second place finisher, who could not make it into Alaska due to new U.S. pandemic travel restrictions.
“Alaska is really anybody’s game,” said Beaman. There are so many factors at play, like scale of the features, snow conditions, steepness, route finding, line selection, and experience/confidence. It can be a real mental trip in Alaska. You never really know how your line is going to ride until it’s go time and you are literally riding down some gnarly face for the first time.”
“This is it. Alaska provides the most optionality and room for creative expression for big mountain freestyle riding,” Travis Rice, pro snowboarder and the Tour’s creator explains. “The scale up there is just on another level. It’s been a dream to bring an event like this to AK. The support for this from the amazing winter sports community in Anchorage, Girdwood and beyond has been crucial in making this possible.”