This American rookie has won two stops on this year’s Freeride World Tour and is currently leading the rankings heading into the finale in Verbier.
It was Ross Tester’s first competition on the Freeride World Tour. The contest was held in late February on a steep, cliff-strewn venue at Ordino-Arcalís, a resort in Andorra, in the Pyrenees. Tester came out of the gates swinging with big, fast turns, a 360 off a massive air, and a backflip at the bottom for good measure. Snow conditions were, as Ross called them, variable at best. The run was good enough to land the FWT rookie in first place in the men’s ski category.
“I never expected to win my first event,” Tester said afterward. “After all the training and everything to come together, it’s definitely a dream come true.”
On the third stop of the season, held in Fieberbrunn, Austria on March 13, Tester showed up again with his second win of the season, throwing down a huge backflip straight air and finishing his high-speed run with a corked 360. “I wasn’t expecting to take the win today with so many good runs,” Tester said. “I was a little bit nervous but found my center and kept it low-key. The top of the face is scary, but I chose a lower angled area. I’m stoked and scared to head to Verbier and will see if I can find some good stuff to do there.”
Raised in Truckee, California, Tester grew up ski racing, then was on the freeride team, at Squaw Valley. Now 22 and based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Tester is studying communications, with a minor in business, at the University of Utah. He and his friend Remi Begaud, also an FWT competitor, started the freeride club at the University of Utah.
After competing and winning the overall title on the Freeride World Qualifier tour last year, Tester earned a spot on this year’s FWT.
Next up for Tester: The Verbier Extremes, the finale to the Freeride World Tour’s season, held on a famed face in Verbier, Switzerland. That event is scheduled to take place between March 20-28.