The Inertia

Well, the window’s actually only slightly cracked because it’s dumping out here in Revelstoke! 

After serving up one of the weirdest, leanest winters on record in British Columbia, Mother Nature has re-entered the chat with a series of storms that has Revelstoke looking like itself again. And now that she’s back in action, we’re just waiting for Nature to call the first day of competition at the Natural Selection Tour, which will take place in the backcountry off of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

All 24 athletes are ready to drop when the ceiling lifts, and the NST Crew has everything in place at a pristine, pre-enhanced, pocket of powdery pillows outside RMR’s boundary line. Sunday was the Scout Day, so everyone had a chance to check out this year’s venue off of Kokanee Ridge. Dustin Craven, the adopted hometown hero who almost knocked Travis Rice off of his trajectory to the top of the podium last year, has worked with a crew through the summer, fall and winter to spice up the venue with launchable platforms, stumps and booters. 

Dustin’s always a favorite in B.C.’s Kootenay Mountains, especially on the mountain that looms above his house in town. But he seemed happy to share his intimate knowledge of the face with all the other competitors on Scout Day. He, Travis and the crew at RMR have put an insane amount of work in over the last nine months, and you can tell they’re all super proud of the way it came together.

The face looks more approachable than Boulder Park, the gnarled amphitheater of pillows, spines, cliffs and chutes that the athletes stepped up to in 2023. But this year’s venue is a tasty combination of natural, complicated terrain with a little man-made freestyle flavor in between. 

“It’s nice to get eyes on it and everything kinda makes sense,” says Chris Rasman, a seasoned NST competitor who got the call again after subbing in for Torstein Horgmo in Alaska last year. “I know Travis maybe doesn’t like this comparison but it looks like a nice blend between Jackson Hole and Scary Cherry at Baldface.”

“Jackson was a lot more powder-park scenario and this is like Scary Cherry but more benchy, less straight steep, which is nice. I feel like you have more time in between your features; you’re not just gonna fly 100 feet if you hit something too fast.”

The much-anticipated Bracket Draw happened last night, so the match-ups are all set. Notable moments included Red Gerard – who was voted back into the comp despite a loss to Austin Sweetin in The Duels – chose to go up against Travis Rice without a shred of hesitation. 

And Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson opted to go up against Elena Hight, the all-mountain powerhouse who took the NST crown in 2022.

“I feel like Jamie has the motivation to crush it here and she’s totally capable of winning. If she has a good day, she could do it,” says Rasman. “But that’s the thing: anyone here on an on-day could end up on the podium, so it’s so hard to say.”

Revelstoke is still getting hammered by storms, but there’s sunshine in the forecast so keep your eye on NST’s channels for the competition announcement. Twenty-four riders will drop into the venue off RMR, with 12 being selected for Finals Day which will happen deep within Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing’s tenure later in the weather window.

In other words, the time has come to get hyped on the world’s most finely-crafted snowboard contest. And I’ll be on the ground, following the action.



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