OH SHIT WHAT’S THIS!?
Unfortunately, we tapped out our heli budget on one drop at Silverton this year (this would be a link to the story but I haven’t written it yet.) This left us SOL when it came to getting up to UltraNatural (not to be confused with last year’s SuperNatural) at Baldface lodge, to watch the most gross, yet incredible show of motor fuel consumption in snowboarding. In addition to heli porn, there’s also some of the sickest riding of the year, but you’ll have to wait til NBC makes the glossy, ready for general public version to see video on March 30th (unless it gets leaked and A-man voices it over again.) What we do have now though, are the photos that came with the press release, which is basically as good as being there. Basically.
Bryan Fox was drinking water the whole time to stay hydrated, but we wonder if he might be more accepting of sugar water now that he got first tracks on this crazy structure on its dime. Nah, probably not. Photo: Tim Zimmerman
This might look gnarly to you mere mortal, but it would be considered a “mellow” pillow line at Mt. Baker. Lucas Debari. Photo: Christian Pondella
You guys! Mark McMorris drinks Red Bull and he beat Pat Moore, Travis Rice, Jussi Oksanen and more to get 6th. It was either the taurine, or the fact that he’s actually good at riding a snowboard. photo: Tim Zimmerman (in the heli dude)
Look at all that pretty mist. That’s mother nature telling Gigi she loves his vision.Â Photo: Scott Serfas
And the award for best sticker job goes to –Â Bryan Fox. Photo: Tim Zimmerman
Results for the 2013 Red Bull Ultra Natural is as follows
NAMEÂ Â Â RUN 1Â Â Â RUN 2
1.Â Gigi RÃ¼fÂ Â Â 82.6Â Â Â 72.4
2.Â Nicolas MÃ¼llerÂ Â Â 76.4Â Â Â 71.4
3.Â Bryan FoxÂ Â Â 44.6Â Â Â 75.4
4.Â Terje HÃ¥konsenÂ Â Â 66.2Â Â Â 60.2
5.Â David Carrier-PorcheronÂ Â Â 62.2Â Â Â 39.2
6.Â Mark McMorrisÂ Â Â 61.6Â Â Â 45.4
7.Â Eero NiemelaÂ Â Â 61.0Â Â Â 34.0
8.Â Pat MooreÂ Â Â 59.0Â Â Â 38.0
9.Â Lucas DebariÂ Â Â 57.2Â Â Â 53.0
10.Â Travis RiceÂ Â Â 56.2Â Â Â 49.2
11.Â Jussi OksanenÂ Â Â 27.8Â Â Â 55.4
12.Â Bode MerrillÂ Â Â 48.8Â Â Â 45.2
13.Â Jake BlauveltÂ Â Â 46.8Â Â Â 48.0
14.Â Wolfgang NyveltÂ Â Â 45.6Â Â Â 42.8
15.Â Torstein HorgmoÂ Â Â 32.6Â Â Â 44.8
16.Â Mikey RenczÂ Â Â 39.6Â Â Â 40.0
Sixteen of the world’s best snowboarders converged on the run known as “Scary Cherry” at Baldface Lodge, fighting deteriorating weather as the day went along, but only one rider could take home the top honor at Red Bull Ultra Natural.Â In the end, Austria’s Gigi RÃ¼f stood on top of the podium after putting together a creative run showcasing his unique style, utilizing a variety of both the natural and man-made features on the mile long course.Â Switzerland’s Nicolas MÃ¼ller not only took second place but was also presented the Best Trick Award with a gigantic mute air over a tree, sending himself nearly 100-feet down the 45+ degree course.Â Rounding out the podium was Southern California’s Bryan Fox, a first-timer at Red Bull Ultra Natural and a late addition to the event as a wildcard entry.
“I don’t know, I definitely got lucky,” said RÃ¼f about his performance today.Â “I don’t really consider myself a ‘winner,’ I believe in luck and coincidence.Â My friend told me about a great quote that says a winner doesn’t need luck, but I believe there was a little bit of luck involved today just because of how Mother Nature played out and how she played into my vision.”
Nicolas MÃ¼ller did the most tricks of anyone else on the hill today but fell on a backside 540, virtually ending his chances for the top spot. However, his huge mute air ollie over a treetop pillow left the judges in awe after going bigger and farther than almost anyone else on course today.
Bryan Fox may have been a newcomer to Red Bull Ultra Natural, but it sure didn’t show in his riding.Â Fox was the only rider to stand-up top to bottom his entire run, landing such difficult tricks as back-to-back-to-back 360’s, a frontside inverted 720 and a 50-50 off a log feature.Â In the end, the cleanliness of his run didn’t outweigh the creativity of RÃ¼f’s or MÃ¼ller’s.
“’Scary Cherry’ itself is a really difficult run in the best of conditions without a single feature on it.Â For a regular guy like me, to ride 2400-2600 vertical feet in one continuous run is a lot.Â Your legs are burning at the bottom,” says Baldface Lodge Owner Jeff Pensiero.Â “To think that guys are linking 5 or 6 features, then continuing down and doing a backflip or something off the big jump, then doing tricks in the lower section of the course, to me that is absolutely super human.Â And all of them, from the guy that got last place to Gigi, were able to exercise something I’ll never have.Â So to be able to witness that in my backyard on a slope that I’ve ridden for all these years is just hard to say anything other than I’m kind of speechless watching it.”
“The top 3 riders are the top 3 for a good reason,” says Competitor and Event Creator Travis Rice.Â “They rode the best on today’s course. Our podium finishers rode the course like it was meant to be ridden.Â They found their own lines, everyone had their own creative expression on the course, and that’s what Red Bull Ultra Natural is all about.”