(Fabian Fraidl gaps to back lip. Photo: Felix-Pirker)
A one of a kind opening weekend just went down at snowpark Kaunertal! Bluebird, solid conditions, smiling faces and good vibes set the start to another great snowpark season.
The 32nd version of one of Europe’s sickest snowpark openings, the Kaunertal Opening 2017 presented by Blue Tomato, opened their doors last weekend, 13th to 15th of October. This included a huge snowpark setup, heaps of side events, the Blue Tomato Mega Testival and much more. Snowpark Kaunertal was the place to be for the keen and eager snowpark folk. As one of the most prestigious openings with a place in many shredders hearts, this year’s version didn't ́t fail to hit the soft spot of the shred community again. Every year the event gets a new twist and so it did this year. A new era of partying started with the After Ride Street party and the Club Circle, based in the heart of the village Feichten.
What went down on the mountain?
The weather couldn't have been better. Sunshine throughout the whole weekend, a solid snow coverage and a snowpark in all its beauty were provided in those three days of awesomeness. Given such lucky conditions, the snowpark crew was able to go above and beyond to create a setup never seen at the KTO. In addition to the sweet setup of the Half Mile Jib Line 2.0, the longest one in Europe’s, a medium kicker line was built and fun obstacles put all over the slopes. The glacier and all rideable terrain were transformed into one huge playground.
In the old manner of KTO, the Blue Tomato Testival city once again opened it ́s doors with a fine collection of over 40 of the top brands and offered their latest equipment to be tested for free. Right next to that the Jib ́n ́Skate Playground offered a broad variety of different sessions, side events and workshops. At the Red Bull DJ Volvo, a DJ line was playing which created a chill atmosphere boosting smooth tunes all over the whole area. The one and only Blue Tomato Skate ramp was installed and ready to shred as well as the PZP pump track, while the living room snowboard museum created nostalgic vibes on 3000-meter elevation.
A sick selection of Side Events also went down. They started off on Friday with the “go-shred Rail Bingo” were some sweet prizes were on the plate for those who ticked off their bingo rows first by performing various tricks. As one of the highlights this weekend, the “Templeton x Pleasure Railbangers Ball” made the jib guys go wild with their metal music. On Sunday the smooth “Shred Unit morning jib session” and the “open girls rail jam presented by GNU” put the focus on the ladies who had a fun day of coaching, shredding and pushing each other further.
As one the solid KTO highlights the contest madness has to be mentioned. € 6000,- prize money was on the plate. At the Pro Contest, an international field of riders was setting the Snowpark on fire. The Finnish slopestyle machine Roope Tonteri won the men’s Snowboard contest, followed up by the German Luis Eckert and Emiliano Lauzi (IT). Local and superwoman Julia Baumgartner smashed the girls contest, followed up by Nadja Flemming (GER) and Lea Baumschlager (AT). At the skiing contest the underdog Manuel Pleifer (AT) kicked Tobias Müller (AT) and Michael Tschallener (AT) asses. With the theme of “Bringing the free back in style” awards like Best Rookie, Best Style, Best Jib and most creative riding were also given away.
What went down in the valley you ask?
Well, a new era of partying began. Right after a sweet day of shredding the doors to the Streetparty opened with live performances of bands like “Von Seiten der Gemeinde” and “Wax Wreckaz”. Never before seen movies were also screened. It happened to be the world premiere of the Legs of steel movie production that went down on Friday, followed up by the latest masterpiece of the Absinthe film guys. This led straight into this years party madness at the Club Circle. 18 DJ’s made the highly party-motivated KTO crowd go nuts in three different clubs. One ticket gave access to it all. A wild mix of genres highlighted the new party format. Finest HipHop was played in at the Quellalpin aka. Dancehall while sweet Reggae beats were played at the Zappa Dello aka. Music Club. Acts like the Wax Wreckaz, Notfix (DE) and Da Kessl made the wild party nights as good as they were. The Street party was for free.
All in all, there wasn't really much more one could ask for this opening weekend. Happy faces left the glacier on Sunday, faces that are happy to come back and shred Snowpark Kaunertal again. Let the Snowpark Season 2017/18 start and the good times roll.