Keeping it short for now: My first win this season…Jippieee! Thanks for the ride Peter, thanks for your hospitality Liz! Thanks to Völkl Snowboards, Icetools, ratrax and bern helmets for their support.
UPDATE: After some productive days in University, I now got some time to provide a more detailed update of the last weekend at the FWQ*** Open Faces Montafon.
As my homebase is in Vienna right now, Sivretta-Montafon is on the other end of Austria in Vorarlberg, which meant a 6 hour drive from Vienna. Luckily I spent the time cozy on the backseat, while Peter, a friend of mine, drove the car. We arrived in Schruns on time for the registration and rider’s meeting and buffet, but didn’t do a face check. Because of the unusual high temperatures there where some wet avalanches in the original face, which pulled down the little snow which was left. The face became a bunch of rocks.
Luckily for me, the second choice face from the Organizers was the one I rode last year at the Qualification for the Freeridefestival by Eric Themel, so I was mentally prepared for the challenge on the Zamangspitze. Other than the year before, there was very little powder and only a small bit of bluebird, but the sun was strong enough to soften up the crust from the night before, so we had proper spring conditions.
The night before the contest I looked through photos of the face with Liz and we talked through pretty much every rock in the face, which definitely helped to come to a fast decision the next morning. My line was a good mix of technical sections and drops which I managed to ride safe and rather fluid.
And the Judges appreciated my run as well, as I got 77 points and won. If you want to know more about judging criteria, which is a important part of Contest riding, follow this link. At the same time I want to mention that contest riding is only a small part of freeriding, it is a snapshot of one’s snowboarding on a specific day under specific conditions.
The initial idea of the first freeridecontests was to meet people who share the same passion, to inspire each others riding and to have a great time, which is the spirit in which I see contest riding. That’s why it was a pleasure for me to share the podium with two great women: Liz Kristoferitsch, who is an inspiration since years, and Chevy (Siobhan Challis), who one will hear of in future.
All the results of the Open Faces Montafon FWQ ***:
Women Ski 1. Caroline Strömberg (SWE) 2. Tove Kockum (SWE) 3. Valeria Apostolo (ITA)
Women SB 1. Manuela Mandl (AUT) 2. Liz Kristoferitsch (AUT) 3. Siobhan Challis (AUT)
Men Ski 1. Stefan Jöchl (AUT) 2. Simon Wohlgenannt (AUT) 3. Olle Regner Eriksson (SWE)
Men SB 1. 1. Flo Orley (AUT) 2. Patrick Faistenauer (AUT) 3. Matthias Zauner (AUT)