16/11/2009 | by Anna Langer
After what had resembled more like the last spring session at the Hintertux Opening beginning of October, winter made a big appearance for the Kauntertal Opening last weekend.
It had only started snowing the Monday before the event but didn’t stopped since and so the Kauntertal glacier presented itself in its nicest outfit: covered all in white.
So when the masses pilgrimaged up the mountain on Friday and Saturday, you could see smiles and sparkling eyes that only the first powder lines can conjure on the faces everywhere around you. And although the bands Rookie Jam and Munich based reggae combo Jamram rocked the party tent on Friday night, people were fighting for the first powder lines on Saturday morning – no time for hangovers!
As happy as the massive dumpage has made the vistors, as difficult did it also make the contest. Due to the previous lack of snow, the minishred park was only prepared with jib obstacles consisting of various boxes and rails, bonks and a picnic table, no kickers. But for the contest the skies just wouldn’t stop releasing white flakes all day. That didn’t only reduce the visibility but also the riders’ speed to a minimum, accordingly it was pretty hard to get enough to hit all obstacles in the set up.
The likes of Gerome ‘Coin Coin’ Mathieu, Peter König, Benny Wetscher and Alex Walch still managed to stick some nice boardslides, blunts, nose- and tailpresses and even some flips. Despite all weather forecast the snowfall rather picked up during the day then slow down, and so it was the 50-50 to front flip Austrian Patrick Huber had sticked in the qualification in the morning, that got awarded Best Trick. Overall Winner and Best Line went to French shredder Gerome Mathieu, Swede Tor Lundström was Best Rookie and Julia Baumgartner won the women’s competition ahead of Conny Bleicher.
Looking to get the party really started for Saturday night, K2 and Ride provided a little snack consisting of free Hot Dogs, beer and energy drinks for everybody coming down the mountain at the bottom of the glacier road. With such an early start it was obvious that the party tent would burst this night, and it almost did. Live acts I-Shine and Grossstadtgeflüster and screening of the new Pirates Productions’ flick Jolly Roger made the crowd go crazy and it took some party animals until dawn to crawl back into their beds – or tents.
Those who were camping in the valley probably made it up the hill rather early again on Sunday, and if just to flee the freezing temperatures (big ups for such commitment at this point!). Those sleeping in comfy and warm hotel rooms probably didn’t feel the same pressure, also because there wasn’t as much as a single untouched powderline left after Saturday and so Sunday had a much more chilled out touch. The rail in front of the restaurant had already been a hot spot on Saturday, but with ever worsening sight conditions and no powder left it was sessioned even passionate and the last jibbers were still killing it when the last test stand had been built down.
Incredibly thankful for the probably earliest powder days ever, we look forward to next year’s event which will be a big birthday bash for the 25th anniversary of the Kauntertal Opening.
- Anna Langer
For more reviews and pics check out: kaunertal-opening.at