The Snow Jam in the Czech Republic goes way back, so it was about time we swapped the mountains on our doorstep to make our way east to the resort of Spindleruv Mlyn.
Spindleruv Mlyn, or Spindl as locals and us cool kids call it, is in the north-east of the Czech Republic and one of the country's most famous ski resorts. With 5 chairlifts and 12 skilifts it has a mellow size, but adding to that we also discovered a couple tree runs, that are for sure well fun with some fresh snow.
Although the weather forecast didn't look too promising, the conditions were stable for the whole qualifiers with comfortable temperatures and clear sight. The unique set-up – consisting of a hip leading into a pipe, a rail garden and a money booter – gave the riders plenty of options to get creative and kept the contest interesting throughout the whole day.
Even though it was only Friday, a proper crowd gathered to cheer for the riders and keep the good vibes rocking – the crowd was super-stoked, especially when it was one of the local guys dropping. One spectator in particular attracted our attention, Czech people call him 'Krakonosh – Master of the Mountain'. He might just have been the single coolest person, with no fucks given, that we've ever met at a contest and we’re sure that if he wanted to, he could have just called over his bro Dumbledore to hang out with him.
In the morning it was the 16 ladies who gave their all. In the end it was Cheryl Maas who absolutely killed it in her first run and set the bar high at 86.50 points. Elena Koenz managed to score a close second at 86.00 and Finnish rider Ella Suitiala finished third with 79.75 points. Then it was up to the guys to get the crowd hyped.
Lucien Koch's super clean first run got rewarded by the judges as the only run over 90 points, 92.50 to be exact, and secured him first place. His fellow Swiss companion wobbled his way through round 1 but gave his all in round 2 to end up in second spot at 89.25. Petja Piiroinen brought a good portion of Finnish style to the comp which made way for third place at 88.75 points. As the grandstand was well crowded even though it was a working day, we can't wait for the this gig to turn it up to 11 when the semi-finals and finals go down tomorrow!