Sorry that I didn’t write anything yesterday but nothing really happened except hoping that the weather would clear up. We waited from rider’s meeting to rider’s meeting but at 3 p.m. they finally cancelled the big air comp for the day – it was raining and really windy. I thought: “Great, than I go shredding now” as I have read somewhere that the lifts would be open until midnight. Fool! On the way back to my cabin to get dressed I met Swedish rider Stefan Karlsson and told him about my plans. He just laughed and said that the lifts will be closed in ten minutes!
Next downer: None of the “legends” has shown up yet. I already knew that Ingemar wouldn’t be able to come after his horrible slam in Japan when he punctured his lungs with his rips and Terje has probably checked the weather forecast… But there are also other interesting stories to be found here. For example the story of Björn Lindgren who shapes the park in Riksgränsen in winter and lives in a caravan on the camping site for the whole season (February until late June). Stefan Karlsson went riding with him in Montafon this winter: “We had really good conditions but one day Björn just said he had to go home. He would never miss a season up there!” If we are lucky tomorrow and it stops raining, we will go for a BBQ at Björn’s caravan in the evening! I bet he has a lot of funny stories to tell as he is here every winter since ten years…
Our “guide” Peter Ström… (picture: Peter Lundström)
Except Stefan Karlsson, who is staying in Björn’s caravan for a week, we also met Peter Ström, Jonte Nilsson, a bunch of other Swedish riders and some of the Pirates. It took Basti Balser, Lukas Goller, Sani Alibabic, Marko Grilc and filmer Justin a full day of travelling here (they didn’t take the train like me but flew from Innsbruck to Zürich to Stockholm to Kiruna which probably took as long as my 24 hours journey) and despite being tired yesterday they weren’ t too tired to build some huge drop to rock stuff in the rain. Today they continued with the in run and afterwards waited for better conditions to film the party but what shall I say? It is still raining.
When I woke up this morning and looked out of the window I was smiling: It has snowed a bit during the night and despite clouds it looked quiet bright. But my happiness was gone within five minutes when it started to rain. And unfortunately it stayed like this the whole day! In a desperate effort I went up on the mountain at lunch time but I came back quite sobered after riding in rain, super sticky snow and with a broken binding. But in the late afternoon Peter’s and mine hope for some action came back when they called the big air on for 6 p.m. (that is the good thing about Northern Sweden: Although it is raining a lot, it is light almost all day long!). Highly motivated I stepped out of the hotel lobby only to bump into the Pirates who looked soaked and not too happy (see last paragraph: It was still raining!). Nevertheless Peter and me still tried to hope for the best, took the chair lift up and followed Peter Ström to the kicker – without him we probably wouldn’t have found it, the visibility was more than bad and…. it was still raining.
Jonte didn’t look too happy when he saw the kicker. If it had been visible for more than two minutes, Peter would also have taken a picture… (picture: Peter Lundström)
The organizers decided to give it a last chance, salt the in run and hope that the weather would get any better. Well, it didn’t. So the only chance we had was going down again, getting drunk and hoping for better conditions for tomorrow. But as everybody has left the bar already, I’ m not too optimistic. Sorry, if I might sound a bit too depressed but after three days of waiting everybody has a bit frayed nerves. Maybe I should go back to the bar and sacrifice myself… Prost!
PS: Although if the weather isn’t any better tomorrow and they will cancel the big air comp again, make sure you check back here as I probably will get Stefan Karlsson for a short interview. I hope he has some advice for me on what to do in Riksgränsen when it is raining…