In what was dubbed a 'test event' to push the boundaries of a more creative kind of pipe riding, it was fitting that Davis - arguably the most imaginitive pipe sniper on the planet right now - walked away with the win. Check the video highlights...
When Terje Haakonsen and Daniel Franck introduced the first ever Arctic Challenge in 1999 it was intended to be a stage on which the best riders on the planet could have the opportunity to progress in a mellow session-vibed get-together devoid of the hype and pressure of a regular halfpipe contest. Since then TAC evolved in many ways - introducing the slopestyle aspect, the imposing quarterpipe and shuffling locations - but in 2014 it's somewhat returned to its roots as an on-snow lab for cultivating progression and creativity.
As ever, the riders were intimately involved with the contest concept, and after a bunch of bantering settled on two, hour-long jam sessions - one for overall runs and the other more an expression session singling out single features and getting wild. The pipe itself was of regular superpipe dimensions but offered up a heap more options than your standard stunt ditch - hips in, wallrides, mailboxes and the like littered the tube and gave the riders heaps of options to mix things up.
In the full-run session it was Danny Davis who deservedly took the win, followed by Iouri and Kent Callister, whereas in the expression session Markus Keller was rewarded for his bucketloads of steeze. As a test event, you can't help think that it ticked all the boxes for providing an alternative to the predictable, regimented version of halfpipe riding that's become standard, so we're expecting Terje and his crew to push their concepts further over the coming years. And what comes out of that will doubtless be awesome to watch.