Last weekend, we were lucky to be invited to Red Bull Cascade at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah. 

Which was perfect because if there’s a long, winter weekend filled with reports of snow on the literal horizon, we’re always headed into the mountains. Throw in a killer freestyle ski event featuring some all-time creative lines drawn up in the snow by some of the best to step into two skis, too? And the prospect of some shared cold ones at the aprés? Well, now you can see why we were rushing across the I-80 to get to the mountain early for it all.

Sounds great, no? That’s because it was. But we’re sure you also may not be fully acquainted with what Red Bull Cascade even is. In short, Red Bull’s Cascade competition is a two-day event designed to challenge every discipline of skier in a fun, creative format. From the mind of free ski legend Bobby Brown, it brings the best all-mountain and terrain park features together. It also features everyone from backcountry way-pavers to Olympians to hometown shredders as well. Altogether, it’s a collaborative competition that showcases the thrill of showing off everything skiers love to do. It was our job to show up and spread some love too. Thankfully, we had plenty of cold ones on hand to do just that in the base village beer garden afterwards.

It all kicked off early on Wednesday when we arrived with the athletes for their pre-event formalities. The highlight of the day was a course walk, or, rather, a ski-through, which showed off the unique aspects of the weekend’s course. The weather was nice so top-to-bottom runs were available for everyone in attendance, ourselves included. We reckoned it was all great but particularly loved the cliffside drop-in that transitioned to a tree and powder run, followed by a wall ride, whale tail, rainbow tail, and butter pad which eventually made way for a crowd-pleasing money booter. We could only daydream about the sort of lines that could be connected through on a set-up like that. Little did we know just how much our expectations would be blown up by the insanely high quality of skiing that was about to go down as Cascade unfolded.

We woke up the next morning to almost a complete white-out. Snow had been dumping the night before and wasn’t going to be letting up after we finished our morning coffees or anytime soon after that, for that matter. Overall, Solitude was hit with nine inches over the day, which led to slower speeds during warm-up runs and some features getting either adjusted or removed. Safety concerns when there are total blower conditions and you can’t see anything on the mountain and all, you know how it can be. Thankfully, the only item on the agenda for Thursday was a team selection dinner, which was inside. So, plans went as, well… planned. Cervezas were cracked, teams were picked, and good times were had as everyone started prepping for the first day of competition.

That Friday couldn’t have been more perfect. We all woke up to bluebird conditions and a course that was ready to be hit with style and ease. Athletes were getting their lines and tricks dialed in before the official competition kicked off on Saturday, which we didn’t know at the time, obviously, but was going to be an all-time day courtesy of an additional 13 inches of snow gifted overnight.

Unfortunately, this led to more slow speeds. But, fortunately, it also led to more creative, flow-forward runs being welcome. After the first round of competition, there were two teams left, Jay Riccomini was the captain of one team and Rell Harwood was the captain of the other. Birk Irving set a huge run to give a comfortable score to Jay’s team after their team run but all-star skiers Rell Harwood, Bobby Brown, Jed Waters, and Colby Stevenson were up next. After Jed and Rell’s runs, it was Bobby’s turn. He fell on his last run on the wall ride, putting a lot of pressure on the last rider, Colby, to pull out a massive score and a win for his team. Colby threw down the largest score of the week at 46 to win the competition for him and his team on the last run of the weekend. Siblings Birk and Svea Irving won the athletes’ rider awards selected by the athletes who also had the best runs of the week.

The day wrapped up with plenty of Cervezas and 805 Originals getting cracked open, poured, and enjoyed at the athlete beer garden afterwards over chatter about the best lines from the weekend and how excited everyone was going to be to do it all again next year. Thank you for having us, Red Bull and Solitude Mountain. We’ll see you again in 365 days, and we’ll be sure to bring the cold ones again.