Jacques tops freeskiing series 

Whistler skier third at Fernie

The sixth annual Fernie Freeski Competition took place last weekend with a large field of locals playing host to some of the best big mountain skiers in Canada. The qualifier took place on Polar Peaks and the semi-final and final on the Lizard headwall – an almost 400 metre vertical pitch under permanent closure. It was steep, with some smaller features up top and some bigger cliffs near the bottom.

"The steepness made it exciting, because you couldn’t fall at the top. If you did you wouldn’t be able to stop until the terrain mellowed out 1,200 feet lower," wrote Whistler’s Joel Jacques.

Jacques was in sixth place heading into the final, but posted the best last run of the contest to move up into third place, behind Mike Hopkins and Jacob Collens.

The Fernie Freeski Competition was the second of two events in a new Canadian series, along with the Lake Louise Big Mountain Championships.

With a second place finish in Lake Louise, Jacques tied with Mike Hopkins for the overall series title with an average of 28.6 points after seven runs in two competitions.

Several other Whistler skiers participated. Ryan Oakden was eighth, Oakley White-Allen 10 th , and Dom Melanson 14 th .

For the women, Janina Kuzma was first, Dina Power second, and Karolina Edman third – all three Fernie locals. Whistler skiers were Natalie Gervais in eighth, Caroline L’Heureux in 12 th , Dana Carmichael in 19 th and Sara Oakden in 26 th .


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