Freeskiing competition continues despite an avalanche at Silverton Mountain

Skiers competing at the Red Bull Cold Rush this week at Silverton Mountain got their first reminder of just how hardcore the venue is yesterday when an early morning avalanche wiped out a third of the planned course for the Day 1 Big Mountain portion of the three-day freeskiing event. Silverton was hit with more than thirty inches of new snow in the week leading up to the event.

"Following several safety runs to check snow stability, the rest of the snowpack was deemed skiable and the athletes were heli lifted to the top of the course," reports Red Bull Media House spokesman Ryan Snyder.

Full footage from the event won't be available until March 24, when the contest is scheduled to air at 11 a.m. MST on NBC as part of the new Red Bull Signature Series show, but here are some Day 1 highlights via Red Bull Media House:

On the Men's side, some of the standouts included runs by Dane Tudor, Andy Mahre, Dave Treadway, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Logan Pehota. Tudor dropped into Pequeño launching a quick air off a rock, blasting through the Hourglass section of the course before launching a huge 20+ foot rock chute dubbed the Broom Closet. Mahre also dropped into Pequeño lining up a super technical line threading multiple ledges and rock drops, then returned on his second run to do the entire line in the Grande switch. As usual, Treadway didn't hold anything back going full speed through the Scarface spine and cliff section, taking a hard skier's right before launching into the Broom Closet rock chute. Cattabriga-Alosa linked a line filled with double rock drops, chutes and multiple airs to impress the other competitors. And young gun Pehota stuck rock hits, fast spine lines and a clean air through the Broom Closet to make his mark on the mountain.

On the Women's side, Jackie Paaso went for redemption this year and didn't hold anything back as she dropped into the Grande and headed straight to a 25+ foot cliff drop, while Michelle Parker also dropped into the Grande hitting multiple rock drops under Storm Peak along the way.

This is the second year Silverton Mountain has hosted the Red Bull Cold Rush, which was previously held at Red Mountain and Retallack Lodge in Canada. Sean Pettit and Grete Eliassen won the event in 2011. This year's competition continues today with a Slopestyle event on Silverton's "Mandatory Air" run.

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