NZ Open

This year the open got gnarly.

The comp was held in the Alta Chutes at the Remarkables, as it has been for the last few years.

Alta Chutes

The venue had a fresh 10 to 15 cm of snow all over, which meant most of the lines on the main part of the venue were on.

For what ever reason people were feeling extra huckable this year.
I guess it would have to be a combination of fresh snow and the new freestyle movement within big mountain.

Although it always spices things up when you get the big dogs like Charlie lyons and Sam Smoothy over to play.

Photo By: Pete Oswald

Most of the competitors were throwing either big tricks or big cliffs, often attempting both together.
On the outside that sounds awesome, but when you look at the crash rate you have to wonder what happened.

Something like 16 out of 22 crashed, I guess people were just pushing their limits.

You only need to listen to Cam Craigheads commentary in the official comp edit below to understand what I mean:

NZ Open Big Mountain Finals Video

Photo: Neil Kerr

I tend to think I ski very safe in comparison to a lot of other skiers and even I got carried away in this specific comp.

I dropped the biggest cliff I ever have in a competition right into a chute which looking back on it had a fair amount of risk involved, but I was confident I could nail it.
And I did.

Although I stomped my line and finished my run, I took both knees to the face of the big cliff.
The impact made my vision green for a minute or so and although I don't believe I concussed myself I was pretty out of it for most of the afternoon.

I feel like a got lucky there.

Photo: Charlotte Percle

My run awarded me 3rd spot with a score of 8.55 just below Sam Smoothys 8.95.

Greg Tuscher took out the mens division with a mad dog gnarly run and a score of 9.55!
A pleasure to watch.

I feel like I am constantly achieving the goals I set for myself.

Although tricks are becoming a bigger part of the sport, It still seems that good ol fashion big mountain lines can get you on a podium.

Photo: Neil Kerr

Photo: Neil Kerr