The first stop in the 2022 Freebird Slopestyle Series is coming up fast! Trail Crew has been hard at work getting the course dialed in for the first wave of athletes who’ll be competing on June 18th. You may have noticed that in addition to readying the existing features, a few changes are being made on course. With the support of Spank, Gravity Cartel, and IXS we are excited to be adding b-lines to several of our Slopestyle features this year.
The core of our mission here at Highland is “training and trails.” We’re proud to be a training ground for athletes at all stages of their progression, and so it matters to us that riders at every level have access to the terrain, features, and training they need to develop their technical skills and their own personal styles. Adding alternative lines to the slopestyle course will help more of our riders do just that.
Kaidan Ingersoll pops off the Up Box during the 2021 Freebird Slopestyle Series – Stop 3
First on the list is the Up Box. We’ve heard often from athletes that the most frustrating thing about checking off the Up Box is that there’s nothing really like it anywhere else on the mountain. With no clear pathway for progression, you’ve either got it or you don’t.
Bridging the gap between the Up Box and the landing
This year, the crew bridged the gap between the top of the Up Box and the landing, making the feature rollable. Now riders can get a feel for the feature in stages, opening up more opportunities for younger riders and amateur athletes to progress at a comfortable pace. (It probably goes without saying, but we’re also very stoked to see what sort of creative trick ideas this change sparks in the more stylish of you out there.)
Up Box progress as of Saturday, June 4
A new dirt jump next to the Birdcage. The Birdcage ramp was moved out of the way while we built the jump: it will be put back in place to the right of the jump when the build is complete.
Further up the course there’s now a dirt jump next to the Birdcage ramp. It’s a slightly smaller option for the young guns who don’t have enough gravity behind them to reach Birdcage-clearing speeds, but do have the technical skill and the drive to clear big jumps. It will also serve as a step toward Birdcage for riders still building up confidence. Don’t drop in expecting a “baby birdcage” experience, though–the jump and the ramp are definitely distinct features.
First stages of shaping the new dirt jump
Clair Sick hits the Birdcage at the third and final stop of the 2021 Freebird Slopestyle Series
Later this season, we’ll also be adding a b-line to the Camps Drop. (Much like the addition of the Stepping Stone drop made at Tombstone in 2020.)
KaJay Rooke clears the Camps Drop during Stop 2 of the 2021 Freebird Slopestyle Series
We’re pretty excited about these updates, and look forward to seeing them put to good use this summer by young shredders and advanced riders alike. We’ll see you out there in a couple of weeks to kick off this year’s competition!
Special thanks to Spank Industries for their support in encouraging multiple avenues for rider progression.
The Freebird Slopestyle Series is a three-stop amateur slopestyle competition. All three stops are FMB Bronze events: athletes competing in the open men’s and women’s classes will earn points toward the FMB series rankings.
The Freebird Series also offers a youth competition category for athletes aged fifteen and younger.
REGISTER TO COMPETE IN 2022
Jun 18 | Aug 20 | Sep 24
Young shredders Julian Voytilla and Jack Benson await the shuttle to the top of the course during the third competition in 2021
All of the competitors from the very first stop in the 2021 Freebird series. It’s incredible to see how much this field of athletes has already grown: we can’t wait to see where they take it this year!