The Subaru Freeskiing World Tour announced on Wednesday that the Crested Butte stop of the 2012 tour, scheduled to take place next week, has been canceled due to low snow conditions in Crested Butte, Colo.
"Due to an unfortunate weather pattern this year, we cannot provide the venue that truly showcases the athletes and what they have come to expect here in Crested Butte," said Crested Butte Snow Safety Director Frank Coffey in a release. "Unfortunately the snowpack does not offer optimal conditions, in regards to the safety of the athletes and course workers with the level of skiing that takes place. We love this event and we really look forward to hosting it again next year."
The contest venue, a set of steep rocky faces on the mountain's back bowls, require ample snowfall for safe conditions. "We focus on safety first for our competitors," said the FWT's event director Bryan Barlow. "It's not worth jeopardizing the well-being of our athletes to hold the event this year. We try to work with Mother Nature the best we can and have already postponed this event in hopes of more snow. Year-to-year we need to maintain a certain level of consistency from event to event in terms of snowpack and what is needed for the skiers to showcase what is freeskiing today."
For the athletes, that means end-of-season rankings will be determined using the top three scores out of the season's five events. "I'm bummed because I was really hoping to win that one," joked FWT competitor Rebecca Selig, who's competed at Crested Butte for the last few years. "But I trust and respect the decisions the organizers have made -- it is the steepest, gnarliest, rockiest venue on the tour, so a lack of snow would make a big difference."
Last year's event marked the 20th annual U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships at Crested Butte, one of the longest running big mountain contests in the U.S.