The final phase to freeride fame; FWT25 spots to be secured
- Seven stops across two regions
- Six different countries
- Four new destinations: Crested Butte, Avoriaz, Monterosa and Obertauern
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – November 29, 2023: The calendar for the prestigious FWT Challenger has dropped, featuring new venues that promise high-intensity action from the world’s best-to-be freeride athletes. This is the final hurdle to qualify for FWT25, where future stars of the sport will emerge following seven epic events spanning multiple countries across Europe and North America.
Who will rise to the top?
Approximately 60 riders from Region 1 and 80 from Region 2 will participate in the FWT Challenger events. This will comprise athletes from the FWT Pro who miss The Cut before the FWT Finals – giving them a final chance of redemption – and the top riders from the FWT and IFSA Qualifier, who will have the opportunity to prove their worth on the big stage. This signals the end of a long journey for these athletes, many of whom have fought their way through the junior’s circuit and the FWT and IFSA Qualifiers, and who must now find yet another gear to achieve the ultimate goal: qualifying for the FWT Pro.
Only the top four male and two female skiers, and two male and one female snowboarder in each region, will be crowned FWT Challenger Champion and qualify for the FWT Pro. At the discretion of the FWT, an additional wildcard for the women’s snowboard category will also be awarded to the most deserving athlete between the two regions. Therefore, with only a handful of competitors earning a promotion, the pressure on all athletes to perform will be immense. Who will rise from the shadows and into the spotlight? Results from these seven events will give us the answer…
Region 1: Europe and Oceania
Monterosa Challenger, Italy: March 14-17, 2024 – organized by Monterosa
Nestled at the foot of the formidable Monte Rosa – the second tallest mountain in the Alps – the Monterosa ski area is a high-altitude freeride haven, with seemingly limitless terrain and abundant seasonal snow.
Jasna Adrenaline Challenger, Slovakia: March 21-24, 2024 – organized by Jasna Adrenaline
After three successful years of competition, the FWT returns to Slovakia’s leading ski resort. Jasná offers over 50 kilometers of groomed runs for the piste-bashers out there, as well as super-accessible backcountry for powder hounds and freeride competitors.
French Freeride Series Avoriaz Challenger, France: March 29 - April 1, 2024 – organized by Evolution 2 Avoriaz
The iconic French resort, Avoriaz, will offer up its backcountry to the FWT for the first time in history. Avoriaz is part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, with big faces and a vast network of slopes traversing the French-Swiss border.
Open Faces Obertauern Challenger, Austria: April 4-7, 2024 – organized by Open Faces
This Austrian powder paradise is a new stop on the calendar and the place to be for the final decisions of region 1. Obertauern offers a fresh canvas for athletes, with a wild mountain landscape comprising unique freeride terrain.
Region 2: North and South America
Crested Butte IFSA Challenger, USA: March 14-16 – organized by Crested Butte
Crested Butte has long been considered an adventure destination, so it is only fitting that freeride athletes will make their way there this year. Well-placed in the heart of Colorado, Crested Butte has an abundance of steep, technical terrain perfect for freeride competition.
Whistler Blackcomb IFSA Challenger, Canada: March 21-23 – organized by Whistler Blackcomb
Not only is Whistler Blackcomb the largest ski resort in North America, but it also boasts nearly 12 meters of snow each year, making it an obvious choice for freeride competition. The FWT returns to this iconic venue, after a successful Challenger event here last season.
Kirkwood IFSA Challenger, Final – Adult Championship of Region 2, USA: April 1-4 – organized by Kirkwood
Kirkwood is known for its varied freeride terrain and deep snowpack, with single storms often piling up snow that other resorts accumulate over a season. This has well and truly put this venue on the radar of freeride specialists, prompting the FWT to host a handful of Pro events here in the past.
The FWT Challenger is one of the most famed freeride competitions after the FWT, and is the final stepping stone for many aspiring athletes. This year, the calendar features world-class resorts, giving competitors a real taste of what competing at the top level is like. Be sure to tune in to www.freerideworldtour.com and ifsafreeride.org to watch the athletes in action. In the meantime, stay tuned to the FWT social media channels and subscribe to the FWT newsletter to keep pace with the latest news as it drops.
About the FWT
FWT Management SA is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and has been organizing premier sports events globally in mountain resorts since 1996. The company founded the Xtreme Verbier, an iconic event in freeride skiing and snowboarding, and turned this single competition into a prestigious series of worldwide events in 2008, the Freeride World Tour (FWT). The company has since grown to include multiple competition series that fall under the FWT brand – including FWT Challenger, FWT Qualifier and FWT Junior – with events across all formats taking place in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.
About the IFSA
The International Freeskier & Snowboarder Association (IFSA) was founded in 1996 by Shane McConkey, a pioneer in freeskiing. Shane believed that freeride athletes would be best served by an athlete-owned organization. 27 years later, we continue to work and play by Shane’s guiding vision – the freerider is our bottom line. The IFSA sanctions over 150 events in North and South America, supporting over 5000 athletes. Today, the IFSA focuses on driving exceptional quality and integrity across our sport, as we sanction junior and adult big mountain competitions in North and South America.