Wrangle the Chute back with new format

Wrangle the Chute at KHMR is heading into its 6th year with some major changes that organizers hope will take things up a notch.

Logan Pehota of Pemberton

Wrangle the Chute at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is heading into its 6th year with some major changes that organizers hope will take things up a notch.

“To be honest the (previous) concept was a bit played out,” said Kicking Horse Resort Services Manager Maxime Cretin. “We really wanted to implement a big mountain competition. For that, the previous location was too short, it was steep and deep but it was too short on vertical.”

This year competitors will be dropping into Truth and Dare on the north side of Terminator peak. The runs will give skiers and boarders more challenging terrain and significantly more vertical compared to previous years.

“There’s one feature in the middle that if you go off it, you’re looking at a 60 footer,” said Events Assistant Russell Willer.

“People are coming from all over the world to ski these two chutes,” said Cretin. “We want this to showcase our in-bound, world-class terrain.”

Participants are by invite only and were chosen based on applications and video footage. It is expected that 45 athletes will compete, each of whom have two runs to impress the judges and take down the top prize.

The top male skier will receive the biggest prize of $1,000 as that competition is considered the premium event for Wrangle. Male snowboarders will be classified separately along with female skiers and boarders. Competitors will be judged to International Free Skiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) standards, with judges paying close attention to an athlete’s fluidity, style and choice of lines.

The base of the runs will have a village type of feel, with a carved out grandstand for viewers and a DJ providing additional entertainment. The new location will also give audiences a view from the top of the Golden Eagle Express gondola, and a barbecue will be set up for those who wish to hangout and watch the action from a distance.

Fans will also have a chance to party with some of the athletes on Saturday night when the Day Lodge is transformed into a western-style concert venue. Rock and roll band The High Kicks will be the featured performers and tickets are available from guest services at Kicking Horse and at Plain Wayne and Jane in town. The regular weekend shuttle will depart from downtown to the resort at 4:40, 6:40, 8:40 and 10:15, with late night return trips to Golden via the Rockwater bus at 11:30 and 12:30.