Red Bull Cold Rush, arguably the most prestigious freeskiing competition in the world, will not be held this winter, according to a source at Red Bull with knowledge of the company's event planning.
No specific reason was given for the cancellation, but there's a chance it could be resurrected in 2014. The six-year-old, invitation-only event traditionally had served to determine the best all-around skiers by testing athletes on big-mountain lines, a manmade backcountry slopestyle course and cliffs as large as 80 feet. After four years in British Columbia -- it started at Red Mountain Resort in 2007 and moved to Retallack in 2009 -- the event took place at Silverton Mountain in Colorado the past two years.
"I'm sad that there will be no Cold Rush," reigning women's champion Rachael Burks said. "It's such a unique showcase of some of the world's best shredding. It attracts an impressive list of skiers and gives them a totally different competition environment. I'll miss it for sure, and hope they bring it back in 2014."
Defending men's champ Dane Tudor, a four-time Cold Rush participant, said he'd heard rumors of the cancellation but tried to prolong the event by suggesting a new venue. The way he figured it, each of the prior three venues had hosted two editions of the competition, meaning it was due for a move in 2013. "I was talking with the guys at Red Bull, just hinting, 'Alaska, Alaska, Alaska,'" said Tudor, who spent much of his youth in Palmer, Alaska. "But I guess they decided not to."
On the bright side, Red Bull Linecatcher -- a European backcountry freestyle competition that was canceled last year due to poor conditions -- will return this winter from Jan. 12-19 in Les Arcs, France. Tudor, who was driving to Oregon on Tuesday to begin filming backcountry jib scenes at Mt. Bachelor, said he received an invitation to Linecatcher on Monday and will likely compete.
Red Bull PlayStreets, an urban freeskiing competition, is set for Feb. 23 in Bad Gastein, Austria.