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Wednesday, August 15, 2012
FWT Chile canceled

By ESPN Action Sports

Last year's Chilean Freeskiing Championships, which won't be happening this year.

The first qualifier stop of the newly merged Freeride World Tour was canceled due to poor snow conditions. The FWT announced the news on Wednesday.

The event, called The North Face Chilean Freeskiing Championships, was scheduled to take place at Ski Arpa, a cat-skiing outfitter in Chile, from Aug. 22 - 26.

"We are really bummed Mother Nature is not cooperating this season by providing the conditions we need to host a safe Freeride World Tour four-star event at Ski Arpa," said Ski Arpa Marketing Director Brian Pearson.

Pearson added that Ski Arpa hopes to host an event in 2013.

Instead of the planned big-mountain contest, The North Face Chile is inviting athletes and competition officials for Los Andes Down South, a weeklong visit to Patagonia for backcountry skiing around the Puyehue Volcano in southern Chile, where snow conditions are more ideal.

"The new plan is to take any and all registered competitors who still want to go to Antillanca in southern Chile for four days of adventure skiing, partying and merry-making in a really cool area," former FWT champion Drew Tabke told ESPN.com. "It won't be a competition but it will be a cool event with good video and photo coverage."

Event organizers say this is simply what happens sometimes in a sport so heavily dependant on the weather.

"This new plan focuses on the camaraderie and passion for winter that are such key elements of our sport," said FWT Event Director Bryan Barlow of Mountain Sports International. "We are disappointed by the cancellation but sometimes that's how the winter plays out. We need to provide covered venues for the athletes and the central Andes just did not produce in time."

The first scheduled stop of the Freeride World Tour is scheduled for Jan. 7 - 12 in Revelstoke, Canada.