Closes Freeride World Tour season in Verbier, Switzerland
Susan Mol’s quest for a repeat Freeride World Tour women’s snowboard title continues.
After she won the opening stop of the tour at the Brévent ski area in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc on January 30, Mol’s title bid hit a bump in the snow on the second stop of the tour in Fieberbrunn, Austria February 11-18, when she finished in last place.
“In my 12 years of competing I’ve either finished first, second, third or last,” says Mol. “I got lost and jumped over a cliff and fell. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt.”
Mol returned to Crested Butte to get back to work on the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol before heading back on tour for the third stop, the Tram Face at Squaw Valley, scheduled to start on February 27.
The Tram Face is open only to competitors and everything was in line for the event, except the snow pack.
The Tram Face had a mix of fresh snow on top and rain toward the bottom of the venue. Athletes and event organizers inspected the venue on Saturday, February 27 at 6 p.m. to assess the situation.
Athletes had to wake up the next morning at 4:45 a.m. to get to the Tram in time for the competition, and as they waited for the final call, the venue fell apart before their eyes.
“It was warming up pretty fast,” says Mol.
Ten minutes before the men were to start, one last inspection of the run caused a major avalanche on the venue. The day was postponed and the venue was changed.
“That was some weird adrenaline,” says Mol. “It was really exhausting.”
The competition was moved to an area called Silverado, which Mol describes as short with a huge cliff band in the middle.
“It turned into kind of a huck-fest,” says Mol.
Mol found a line returning to her roots to pace herself to a third-place finish.
“I went into the one little billy-goat zone,” says Mol.
While she finished the day on the podium in third place, Mol was still a bit disappointed with her effort.
“I wasn’t as fluid as I could have been,” says Mol. “I just wasn’t psyched on my personal riding. I’d like to step it up.”
Mol remains in second place in the overall Freeride World Tour standings and needs a first-place finish in the final stop at Verbier, Switzerland March 19-29 to repeat as the overall champion.
“I’m working on the mental game and resting up,” says Mol, “Working on all of the little components, and I’m hoping to have a really positive experience.”