There’s a lot to say about Hintertux Opening, a lot of which a seasoned reader of this magazine has seen and heard before too. This year I had the honor of being invited to participate in the Sane! Metal Battle and after a couple of beverages at the first riders' dinner was trusted with the task of recapping it too.
During the week leading up to the event, we all got an email, informing us of our accommodation and also giving us a little heads up to keep in mind with whom we are staying and what this means for us. From what I had been told by others, it's a place where there’s a hot tub on the roof and a phone next to it that allows you to order drinks straight to the tub. What could have possibly gone wrong here in the years before, one might ask, but that is not my story to tell.
Upon arrival on Thursday, the first thing to do was obviously to go check out the infamous hot tub and try out the phone too. Works like a charm. We met a bunch of friendly faces there and soon set out to explore the World of Wellness. Lukas brought his own sauna oil and handled infusions too, he’s 17. What a G.
After melting away for a while we all gathered at the first riders' dinner of the weekend, where coordination legend Herman held a welcome speech and told his story about Werni and the Schirmbar, getting Werni and Max in the mix to say something in between too.
My key takeaways from the night were as follows: Maxi didn’t like Bali too much and is never going back there. Both Halldor and Fridge are really talented German speakers, ask them about it if you get the chance. Ethan is an incredible German teacher, if you’re trying to learn something, ask him about it if you get the chance. Olf is still out there somewhere.
The location where the dinner took place claims to be open from 16:00 to 25:00 and mainly plays Schlager, so you might be able to imagine how the rest of the night went for some of us.
On Friday, both the Sane! Cash for Tricks and a quarterpipe session organized by a very big snowboard company took place. Due to the weather presenting itself in classic Hintertux Opening fashion, some of us chose to extend our breakfast and take our time getting ready for the sessions. Again this was purely weather related.
Despite hardly visible takeoffs and landings, the sessions were a lot of fun.
What stood out that day though was Ethan and his Soundboks DJ setup starting a party train that later transformed into a gondola. Imagine bombing a hill with about 80 people in full whiteout. It’s about as good as it gets.
The day was rounded off with a movie night premiering Footloose, Diced, the Sane! Movie 2022 and Sincerely Yours.
The forecast for Saturday was again rather conflicting, resulting in different sleep schedule decisions in our apartment. While two of us managed to make it up the mountain early, earning some well-deserved high visibility laps, I switched up my off-day plans after hearing about the good visibility and headed up. By the time I made it it was full whiteout again. So it goes.
Another one of us slept until 2 p.m. that day and skipped riding entirely. So the stage for the 2nd Sane! Metal Battle was set.
The rail jam took place in pouring rain, which bothered some, but not many of the riders but certainly not the Soundboks speakers installed all over the course that were blasting the tunes of MadSimon and Big Belly Boi every experienced Innsbruck local holds so dear to their heart. The level was pretty high, for a well-rested Fabi was starting to chuck 450 ons in the first heat of qualification.
He later told me he’d never done one of those before and ended up winning too.
There were two heats of men, one women’s heat (consisting of only four riders), and for the first time a legends heat, letting the 30+ generation battle it out among their likeness. As it should be when there are legends involved there are some stories to tell, which again I will leave up to others.
And so the event unfolded. Most of the riders and the audience were soaked by the time the men's finals began. There were 450 ons being chucked by more than one rider at this point, which was so not okay, but also kind of cool to see. One could say the general level was pretty high.
At one point the lights went out right after I made a joke about them going, which was pretty crazy too.
The night was closed out by Mad Simon & Big Belly Boi directly followed by a DJ AJ set.
All in all Hintertux Opening 2022 was one for the books. We had a good time on and off the mountain, snow’s finally here too and the days of bluebird and hot laps are finally closing in again.
Thank you to everyone that made this event possible. Werni, you and your family are absolute legends for allowing a wild bunch of jibbers into Bergfried year after year. Birgit, thank you for taking up with all of us, and hats off for not losing your mind doing it. Thank you Michi & Max for organizing such a sick rail jam. And finally Hermane, you’re a real one.
Best Trick - Maisie Hill
Best Style - Mia Brookes
Best Overall - Maisie Hill
Best Trick - Fridtjof Tischendorf
Best Style - Davide Boggio
Best Overall - Fabian Fraidl
Master of Legends - Simon Pircher
Story by - Alex Taferner
Thank you to our Sponsors:
Hintertux Park Opening Hintertuxer Gletscher Betterpark Hintertux TVB Tux Finkenberg SOUNDBOKS