August 18, 2010
Lake Wanaka, NZ – After three days in a holding pattern, the final competition of the Volkl NZ Freeski Open, The North Face Big Mountain, is set to go tomorrow, 18 August, in the Motatapu Chutes at Treble Cone.
The North Face Big Mountain is a three star qualifying event for the Freeride World Tour. With 12 countries represented, many of the world’s best big mountain skiers have converged on Wanaka to compete in this prestigious event.
Head judge Dion Newport assessed conditions on the mountain today and said that a nice layer of chalky snow last night coupled with some softening at the top of the mountain have created suitable conditions for the competition.
“There are some wind drifts and pockets that should allow the competitors to find good lines,” said Newport.
The competitors will be encouraged to hit the features towards the top of the chutes as there is still avalanche debris towards the bottom. This will be highlighted with the athletes during the safety briefing and visual inspection of the course.
Beginning at 10 a.m., each of the 40 riders who’ve qualified to compete will get one run through the chutes.
Spectators will be able to view the competition from an area located towards the base of the Saddle Chair.
Conditions will be re-evaluated by Treble Cone ski patrol at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning and, if for any reason they are deemed to be unsafe, the event will be postponed with notification on the Treble Cone Snow Report and the official website at: http://www.nzfreeskiopen.com.
Here's a video from last year's event: