When: Fri 6th of February 2009
Where: Areches Beaufort, France
Christoph Weber talks about the Oxbow Back To Powder.
"The Oxbow Back To Powder was a crazy week for me. Since the beginning of the winter I helped to organize this special event together with Laurent Favre and Oxbow. We were all super motivated for a sick week of riding and good times on the mountains of Areches Beaufort. All was well planed and the Riders list was promising. Not only really good athletes, but also skiers and snowboarders who share the spirit for the mountain and the sport. So when I arrived 2 days before the competition in Areches Beaufort the snow was still nice and fresh. I have never been in this part of France before and I was surprised by the original and charming ski resort and the friendly people around it.
Not even mentioning the insane steep freeriding terrain there is accessible from all the chairlifts. The H05 prepared really nice jumps during the weeks before the event and there was some more new snow forecasted for the next days as well. I also checked out the freeriding zones. Some locals were having some fun runs and the snow was spraying big time! It really couldn't have been much better conditions to ask for. But then everything went a little different then I thought.
All the riders arrived Sunday and we had our first check out day on the mountain on Monday. Instead of new fresh snow there were 100km/h of warm winds to welcome us. Absolutely no chance for any fresh snow to stay on the slopes. What a bummer! But to my own surprise all the riders were still in a good mood, and it didn't take long till we found a super fun run through the woods with tons of crazy obstacles. Not really powder, but we had a blast.
And then the week happened really fast. Somewhere in between the riding sessions, ping pong, poker, computer games, youtube sessions and very very good French food I realized the big advantage we have with this event concept. Of course we all knew that epic snow conditions are very rare to find and that its just pure luck to have deep powder for this specific week of the season. But in the end only the group itself creates the spirit of the week, not the snow conditions or anything else. So the second Oxbow Back To Powder didn't see much powder but saw an action packed week with tons of smiling faces. Skiers and snowboarders together. Freestylers and freeriders together. I couldn't ask for any better. Thanks for everybody making this week possible for us riders, and I cant wait for the BTP3 in 2010."
Due to a heavy slam of René Schnöller, organizers and riders decided to not choose one winner but to split the price money and end the event as a session with friends. But if there would had been a winner it probably would have been a close race between the Japanese rider Yuji Suzuki and French dude Gérôme Mathieu who showed the most technical tricks and style. Next year, the Oxbow Back To Powder 3 will be held from January 20 tp February 6, 2010. More information on www.oxboworld.com