Winners Of The North Face Argentinean Freeskiing Championships

Due to a major lack of snow, the 2010 Argentinean Freeskiing Championships just barely escaped cancellation. Held at Eduardo’s, the massive, 2,500-vertical-foot venue in Las Leñas, Argentina, the skiers had fun with the extreme challenge.

Argentinean Freeskiing Championships 2010, Chopo Diaz.  Photo: Keith Carlsen/MSIThe 2010 Argentinean Freeskiing Championships were a different type of competition since the low snowpack forced skiers to focus less on big air and more on technical lines and controlled fluidity.

The event attracted athletes from nine different countries who enjoyed the warm weather and gave some stellar performances at the venue in Argentina.

“Even with just three inches of new snow, it skied like fresh powder,” said women’s winner Angel Collinson of Snowbird, Utah.

Collinson skied an aggressive, fast line, demonstrating her strong ski racing background. She nailed a few small airs, but respected the sketchy snow pack and focused on skiing a more technical line. Crystal Wright and Sole Diaz earned second and third place, respectively, for their impressive runs.

Men’s winner Chopo Diaz, skiing on rental boots, demonstrated his superior ski abilities.

“Chopo chose a creative line with numerous features,” said announcer and event coordinator Rodrigo Medina. “From top to bottom, he showed everyone that he was really just enjoying the skiing. He read the terrain of the mountain differently than his competitors, making his run really stand out.”

Drew Tabke and Lars Chickering Ayers, also on rental and borrowed gear, found themselves on the podium. Ayers skied a solid, fluid line with multiple airs. Tabke threw a huge backflip—rental boots and all—that landed him third place and his second Sickbird.

Ayers, Diaz and Tabke on men's podium.  Photo: Sarah Lyman/ MSIThere is always a sense of camaraderie on the tour and today was no exception. Julien Lopez dedicated his run to friend and fellow competitor Arne Backstrom, who passed away in a mountaineering accident earlier this summer in Peru.

“I dedicated my run to Arne and the entire Backstrom family today,” said Lopez. “We are going to give this bib (bib #1) to his family because he was number one. He passed away in mountains not too far from here, not too long ago. We miss him here on the tour with us.”

Following the awards ceremony of the 2010 The North Face Argentinean Freeskiing Championships in the Las Leñas Village, Argentina's premier reggae band, La Zimbabwe, rocked the party with their stylish reggae beats.

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