New North American freeride competition scheduled for Whitewater ski resort in Nelson

Local competitors include freeskiers such as Sam Kuch

Whitewater Ski Resort near funky Nelson, British Columbia has long been considered a hotbed of free riding. Now, the popular area has announced a new freeride competition to prove it. The Powder Crown freeride competition will be held on Feb. 23 as part of the annual three-day festival dubbed the Coldsmoke Powderfest.

According to Whitewater, 30 of the top freeskiers and snowboarders in North America, as well as a few awesome shredders from the local area, have been handpicked for the inaugural event. The impressive roster includes Sam Kuch, who started skiing at Whitewater when he has two years old, as well as Kate Ediger and Robin Van Gyn. 

Athletes will skin up to the start gate under their own steam. At 11 a.m., the competition will get underway as skiers take turns picking lines and making their way down the big mountain terrain, throwing the best tricks for the judging panel. 

 Ymir Peak photo and lead photo by Ryan Flett

“The Powder Crown is a really exciting new event for Whitewater. Some of us who have worked here for many years have dreamed of putting Ymir bowl at the centre of a freeride competition,” says Kirk Jensen, the general manager of Whitewater and a former professional freeskier. “There’s some unbelievable terrain in there and so many different line choices. We’re stoked to be organizing this, and we're just hoping that the weather cooperates to make it an epic day.” 

The competition will have a designated spectator zone so that all Whitewater locals and Coldsmoke festival goers can share the excitement and watch as the athletes showcase their talent under the magnificent Ymir peak.

The Powder Crown is a collaboration with partners Protect Our Winters Canada and The North Face.

“One thing that Coldsmoke has always been about, is bringing the community together. It's an event which connects our local mountain community with the skiing and snowboarding industry as a whole,” says Rebeckah Hornung, Whitewater’s indoor operations manager. “I think that with this exciting new partnership with Protect Our Winters and the additional changes we’ve made to the festival weekend, this year's festival will be one of the best yet!”

For more information about The Powder Crown and Coldsmoke Powder Fest, visit


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