Red Bull Cold Rush: Sean Pettit & Grete Eliassen Crowned King and Queen of the Hill at Intense Backcountry Freeskiing Contest


Oakley is at the forefront of the backcountry freeski scene. And we have the “King and Queen of the Hill” to prove it.

O ski chargers Sean Pettit and Grete Eliassen were crowned with the top honors at Red Bull Cold Rush, a progressive backcountry freeskiiing contest in Colorado, dazzling their peers and fans alike in super challenging terrain and conditions. From March 14–16 , 21 of the world’s best skiers competed in three disciplines – Big Mountain, Slopestyle and Cliffs – and the O emerged victorious.

Silverton mountain’s back bowls, cliffs and spines – coupled with the fact the site is North America’s highest ski area at 13,487’ with only one chairlift and no grooming – made it all the more gnarly for even the most experienced competitors.

But Grete and Sean took this bull by the reigns and tamed it with style and skill.

On the Big Mountain day, Pettit charged a fast line taking air multiple times on the way down and sent a large, slow 360 off the lower windlip.

Sean backed it up with smooth style, including a huge, slow rotated switch cork 540 during the Slopestyle discipline.

But it was Pettit’s unwavering amplitude and ability to stick landings on the Cliffs day, including a 360 off a 70-foot rock face, that carried him home on top of the field and solidified his repeat performance as Red Bull Cold Rush champion.

“I don’t have words to describe winning,” Sean said, rockin’ his Oakley gear. “People went crazy this year and I still can’t believe I came out on top.”

On the prettier side of the sport, Grete Eliassen slashed her way to the crown as overall champion when she took a tight entrance into the couloir and displayed true control down the steep lines to kick off the first Big Mountain day. She followed it up with a clean 720 off the big step down on Slopestyle day, then stuck two solid runs including a huge 360 off a 30-foot cliff and a really technical line with mandatory air through a tight chute on the final Cliffs day.

“This is the biggest competition of the year for me, because this is the kind of skiing I love to do,” said Grete, who, like Sean, was judged both by peers and a “People’s Choice” vote on Red Bull USA’s website. “I focused all my training on Cold Rush and to win it is awesome.”

Congrats to Sean and Grete – and all of Oakley’s killer team – for kickin’ arse and takin’ names in Colorado!