Epic Conditions for the Big Mountain Day
Date line: Friday: September 4 2009
The action and excitement for the Big Mountain Day went far beyond any other snow event held in the Southern Hemisphere this winter. On top of that epic snow and weather conditions greeted athletes competing in the 2nd day of competition of the World Heli Challenge.
The “Big Mountain Day” is all about testing the skill of skiers and boarders competing on some of the steepest mountains in New Zealand. “I simply can’t believe this event, its incredible, the best ever and I’ve been competing for years in global competitions,” exclaimed the days best skier Ted Davenport from Aspen, Colorado.
New Zealand’s Geoff Small, a 3x World Heli Challenge athlete and multiple event day winner put in a scorching run to place 2nd and 3rd place went to Tim Dutton from Squaw Valley, California in the men’s skiing division.
Ingrid Backstrom from Squaw Valley took the women’s skiing title with Wanaka’s Janina Kuzma 2nd and another Squaw Valley skier Jackie Paaso in 3rd.
3x veteran of the World Heli Challenge, Ryan McCune (Alaska), took the Men’s Snowboard event and was closely followed by Andy Finch from the U.S. and New Zealand’s Quentin Robbins in 3rd.
Maria Kuzma from Wanaka repeated her stellar performance in yesterdays event and came out in first place. Current World Champion Susan Mol came in 2nd and Australia’s Rachael Sheidow was 3rd.
The event was held on Mt Albert, a daunting mountain peak standing 2000m above sea level that overlooks the headwaters of Lake Wanaka. The course had a vertical drop of over 800m and was filled with steep couloirs, pristine powder and a mind boggling array of options. It offered every athlete an opportunity to push their personal level and skill into a new realm in the big mountain arena.
The final day of competition is the “VnC Downhill.” This will happen on the next suitable good weather day between now and the grand finale of the “Afterburner Party” at Hawea Hotel on September 12th.
Here is the latest word from the World Heli Challenge. Check out the photos here: http://www.wheresharro.com/blog/read_post.cfm?sc=187
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