Arranged annually since 1992, the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships is the world´s original big mountain competition. Hosting ski area for the event is the small resort of Riksgränsen, located above the Arctic Circle on the border between Sweden and Norway. The SBMC is not only a race for glory and prize money, it is also the grande finale of the European freeride season with midnight sun skiing and partying in laid back atmosphere. Here’s how this years event went down.
The 18th edition of the SBMC attracted 147 riders from nine countries. After the qualifications at Sadeln on Tuesday the starting field was eliminated to 50 riders. Six time champion Henrik Windstedt was the top performer at the qualifications where he landed a huge air perfectly. Matilda Rapaport was the ruler in the women´s class with a steep line choice and an impressive cliff drop.
Wednesday morning offered clouds with poor visibility, thus final run no 1 at Insteget at Nordalsfjäll was postponed a couple of hours. Weather improvements during the day made it possible to start the first of the final runs late in the afternoon. The audience and judges got to see a lot of great skiing with huge airs. Today´s highest points were awarded to Christian Björk and the Swedish alpine world cup slalom specialist, Mattias Hargin. In the women´s class, Christine Hargin dominated with a solid run.
In the telemark class Joonas Karhumaa, Finland, took a strong lead with an aggressive run with several big airs and perfect landings.
On Thursday, the last of the final days, blue skies and sunshine invited the riders to Nordalsbranten, the steepest and most exposed terrain at the SBMC. The athletes and the audience was charged for an exciting final run as new terrain that never before has been accessible during the SBMC history was opened. Two of the day’s most distinctive runs was from Mattias Hargin, with his fantastic control, and Adam Widen, with the highest air of the competition.
After three days of solid runs with high speed, perfect control and huge airs, Christian Björk became the 2009 champion, only 0.04 points ahead of Henrik Windstedt. World Cup slalom skier Mattias Hargin finished third in the total score after impressive skiing.
In the women´s class Stina Jakobsson of Sweden became the 2009 champion after a strong run with a huge air in the last final run. Matilda Rapaport was second and Christine Hargin was third in the final results.
1. Christian Björk, SWE, 110,17
2. Henrik Windstedt, SWE, 110,13
3. Mattias Hargin, SWE, 108,04
1. Stina Jakobsson, SWE, 84,67
2. Matilda Rapaport, SWE, 84,38
3. Christine Hargin, SWE, 83,33
1. Joonas Karhumaa, FIN, 102,08
2. Bård Øymar, NOR, 58,00
3. Erik Nordin, SWE, 38,17
words and photos courtesy of www.bigmountain.se