The action and excitement for the Big Mountain Day went far beyond any other snow event held in the Southern Hemisphere this winter, as 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 competition" exclaimed the days best skier Ted Davenport from Aspen in Colorado, USA.
New Zealand’s Geoff Small, a 3 X World Heli Challenge athlete and multiple event day winner put in a scorching run to place second and 3rd place in the skiers went to Tim Dutton from Squaw Valley in California.
Ingrid Backstrom also from Squaw Valley took out the women’s division with Wanaka’s Janina Kuzma 2nd and another Squaw Valley skier Jackie Passo in 3rd.
3 X veteran of the World Heli Challenge, Ryan McCune who hails from Alaska, took out the Men’s Snowboard event 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 in 3rd.
The event was held on Mt Albert, a daunting mountain peak standing 2000m above sea level overlooking the headwaters of Lake Wanaka. The course had a vertical drop of over 800m and was filled with steep couloirs, pristine powder snow and a mind boggling array of options that 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" and this will happen on the next suitable good weather day between now and the grand finale of the “Afterburner Party" at Hawea Hotel on 12th September.
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