Travis Rice, who was gifted a wildcard this year for the Freeride World Tour’s first stop in Japan, just laid down the run of the day at Hakuba. In what looked like super favorable conditions (see light pow), Travis showed why he’s one of the best in the world in big, steep terrain with workable features, stomping a 720 at the top, mixing in a technical grab or two in the mid-part of the course before landing an impressive backflip on the bottom part of the venue.
The Jackson Hole native also won a Freeride World Tour qualifying event last year in Japan. The course this year required competitors be in shape as they had to hike a section of ridgeline to reach the starting gate at the summit.
The Top 5 was stuffed with Americans. Austrian Gigi Ruf finished second followed by Davey Baird, Jonathan Penfield, and Blake Hamm finishing 3, 4, 5, respectively.
The Face at Hakuba looked like a solid venue with plenty of options for competitors. There are no practice runs and each competitor gets one crack at the course after pre-event evaluation time. You can get a better look at the venue, below:
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.