Whistler Blackcomb early bird passes on sale until Oct. 12 

Sports briefs: Freestyle skiers start season; 5 Peaks race held

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE FOR TOURISM WHISTLER - early bird gets the pow Whistler Blackcomb's early bird season passes are on sale until Oct. 12.
  • Photo by Mike Crane for Tourism Whistler
  • early bird gets the pow Whistler Blackcomb's early bird season passes are on sale until Oct. 12.

Most people aren't in a rush to celebrate a 50th birthday.

But if you are, Whistler Blackcomb (WB) has a deal for you.

WB announced on Sept. 1 that its early bird passes for the 2015-16 ski season will be on sale until Oct. 12, boasting that purchasers can save up to $400 over the cost of a regular-priced unlimited season pass.

For the first time, early bird purchasers will be offered a 50-per-cent down payment option. After paying half the cost of the pass, the remainder may be paid anytime before Jan. 15, 2016. A $25 administration fee will be charged.

Other early bird perks include a 50-per-cent off deal for lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts at Mammoth, Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Aspen/Snowmass, Squaw Valley, Alta/Snowbird, Sun Valley, Taos, Stowe and Thredbo, as well as at Sun Peaks. Discounts for food, shopping, lessons and rentals at WB, as well as unlimited Peak 2 Peak access next summer, will also be offered.

In addition to the 50th anniversary, WB vice-president of marketing and sales Stuart Rempel was excited for the renovated Rendezvous Lounge, which has an expanded seating capacity, and a "revamped" Christine's Restaurant.

Rempel noted the anniversary will loom large in the WB season.

"This season marks an extraordinary milestone for us," Rempel said in a release. "We will be celebrating our 50 years of history with events and activations all season long."

Further event details are expected to be announced later this month.

FIS World Cup freestyle season kicks off in New Zealand

A handful of Sea to Sky freestyle ski athletes represented Canada when the FIS World Cup opened in New Zealand.

Among the highlights were women's performances in the Aug. 23 halfpipe, where Squamish's Roz Groenewoud was the top Canadian in fifth with a score of 54.40. Whistler Secondary School student Mackenzie Wilson, meanwhile, was a spot back in sixth with a score of 42.60. American Devin Logan cruised to a victory with a tally of 83.20.

No Canadians took part in the men's event, which was won by Kevin Rolland as part of a French sweep of the podium.

In the slopestyle, Yuki Tsubota also posted a top-10 finish, placing ninth with a score of 61.00. The top Canadian was Montreal's Kaya Turski, who was fifth after a 78.60 score, while Tirll Sjaastad Christiansen of Norway posted the win with an 85.80.

As for the men, Teal Harle struggled in a 44th-place finish. Canadian Evan McEachran snuck into the top 10 with a 10th-place result of 71.20 Great Britain's James Woods was strong in victory with a score of 93.40.

The series doesn't resume until January at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

5 Peaks race held on Blackcomb Mountain

Youth was served at the 5 Peaks race on Blackcomb Mountain on Aug. 29.

Kieran Lumb won the sport race in a time of 32 minutes and 28 seconds (32:28), nearly a full minute up on runner-up Ryan Hayden and over two minutes up on Gilles Delmee as part of a Vancouver podium sweep. Lumb competed in the men's 15 to 19 category.

Laura Bestow of Vancouver was the top woman in the race, finishing in 37:34. Annika Richardson, like Lumb a Vancouver teen, was second in 38:45 and West Vancouver's Emily Schaeffer was the third-place woman.

The top Whistler results belonged to Andrew Bisset, who won the men's 20-29 division in a time of 38:51 while finishing 13th overall.

Amanda Racher, meanwhile, was the top Whistler woman, placing second in the women's 30-39 division and 33rd overall with a time of 42:22.

In all, 292 runners took part in the race.

Enduro World Series schedule announced for 2016

The Enduro World Series (EWS) will return to South America in 2016.

The circuit recently announced its schedule for next season, and will open the campaign with races in Valdivia, Chile on March 26 and 27 before shifting to Bariloche, Argentina on April 2 and 3.

County Wicklow, Ireland is next up on May 15 before a two-month hiatus is broken with a July 16 and 17 race in La Thuile, Italy. Two weeks later is the Aspen Snowmass, Colo. event on July 30 and 31 before the Crankworx Whistler event on Aug. 13, a week later than the 2015 race.

The circuit will then wrap on Sept. 17 and 18 in Valberg-Guillaumes, France and Oct. 1 and 2 in Final Ligure, Italy.

"As we move into the fourth year of the series it's great to revisit classics such as Finale and Whistler, but I'm particularly excited to see the series heading back to South America with two new venues that vary greatly, from the Patagonian coastline of Valdivia to the high Andes of Bariloche," EWS managing director Chris Ball said in a release.

"Add Valberg-Guillaumes in France, the wild crowds of Carrick in Ireland, the well regarded La Thuile below Mont Blanc and an exciting new visit to the famous Aspen Snowmass and we have yet another all round test and adventure for all of our riders."



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