Craigieburn offers Big Mountain skiers excellent Big Mountain terrain and challenging conditions. The K2 Big Mountain CHILL Series is an open Big Mountain event including two competition days with two runs each. Skiers and snowboarders select a fall line and features to jump off in steep terrain and ski through to the bottom of the course. Judges are looking for the rider’s line choice, aggressiveness, their style and technique, control and fluidity.
Day one saw two runs in the third and fourth gut with competitors from six nations. 16 year old Hank Bilous from Wanaka went huge stomping his second run to get points on the board after crashing on his first run. The local Canterbury crew of Jamesa Hampton, Tom Brownlee and Cam McDermid, all skied solid and innovative lines to feature at the top of the results.
Young gun Noah Regan-Roach stepped up to the senior ranks after a promising showing at the CHILL Junior Big Mtn and put down two awesome runs.
The weather played ball on the second day of the competition rewarding all involved with a blue bird day and spectacular views. Two final runs were held in the Middle Basin Chutes where the terrain is gnarly and the snow conditions were challenging for all competitors. In the male ski section Hank Bilous once again showed the older crew how it is done, skiing two amazing runs with decent cliff drops he came first over all. Tom Brownlee skied well and was second. Jamesa Hampton scored high in the first and the last run of the competition and came second. Also skiing well with consistent lines was K2 skier Cam McDermid.
In the girls division Birgit Ertl from Austria won the female ski section. First time big mountain competitors Heidi Bostad-Palin from Norway and kiwi girl Ursula Griffen came second and third.
In the male snowboard division Dean Spijkerbosch impressed the judges with three solid runs and a decent cliff drop and scored himself the Goldmedal, Rupert Smith took out silver and Andy White bronze.
“We had a great couple of days, helped by good weather and challenging terrain. The athletes involved made the most of the skiing at Craigieburn and show cased the sport of Big Mtn skiing and ridging for all to watch and enjoy.” Stu Waddel, Event Manager.
Special thanks go out to all sponsors, the judges Ross MacKay, Simon Knight and Mark Walker as well as Craigieburn Valley Ski Club for supporting and hosting the event.