04/10/2012 | by Tom Copsey
Sunshine, hard-fought contests and relaxed park action is the best way to sum up the 27th Kaunertal Opening!
Last weekend the Snowpark Kaunertal officially started into the new winter season with testival, contests, side events and parties and truly stoked out thousands of snow-addicts, jibbers and party animals.
With blue skies and sunshine the Kaunteral welcomed its visitors already on Friday for the opening of the Snowpark and the start of the winter season 2012/2013. Weather conditions over the previous days resulted in an unexpected challenge for the Snowpark-team, which was handled with many nightshifts and heaps of working hours. They succeeded in putting up a small but very fine park with rails, boxes and a kicker, which was pretty entertaining over the 3 opening days.
The true highlight of the weekend was the KTO Pro Contest on Saturday, where snowboarders were batteling for a total of 7,000 USD prize money.
The first ranks in the snowboard divison were quite tight, as expected, and last year’s winner Eric Beauchemin (US) was challenged by riders like Jamie Nicholls (GB) and Nuutti Niemelä (FIN). For sure the judges had a hard time to award this fat lump of prize money, but finally it was again Eric Beauchemin who took the shot followed by David Loibl (AUT) and Ryan Hryckiewicz (US). 15-year-old Rowan Coultas (GB) won the best rookie award. Elena Koenz (CH) crushed the girls event, leaving rank 2 and 3 for her competitors Anna Gasser (AUT) and Birgit Rofner (AUT) dominated the snowboard ladies division.
Of course, the pro contest wasn’t the only highlight for the shredders. Friday was full of rail action presented by downdays.eu and Snowboarder MBM at the glacier restaurant, where fame and honour was rewarded by countless soft and hardgoods provided by all testival partners. The overall winner was snowboarder Klaus Lotto.
New this year was the KTO Photo competition powered by Sweet Protection, which awarded the best pics of the Kaunertal Opening with a complete Sweet Protection outfit.
The ams also got their fair share of action on Sunday, where they had the chance to share the same battlefield as the pros on Saturday. The amateur snowboarders causes the judges some headaches, but finally results placed Thomas Wolf (A) in first position, followed by Benno Postert from Germany and the Austrian Dominik Metzler.
Over 35 brands were also part of the game: everything from boots to boards to goggles to protection was explained and handed out to the shredders for serious testing. No questions left on what equipment to use for the next winter.
On Friday and Saturday evening an action-loaded program on the mountain was completed by a banging party in the valley. On Friday night loads of party animals celebrated until early morning with Golden Reef, AG Trio and DJ Dan in the party tent in Feichten. Lipstick Productions and Junkies on a Budget also presented their latest movies. More sick riding action was shown on Saturday by the Pirate Movie Production and Legs of Steel, before the party marathon peaked with quality tunes presented by Yambalaya and the Wax Wreckaz and of course the main act Mono & Nikitaman.
All in all a pretty successful KTO Opening 2012 that only could be commented by Stefan Richter from the Kaunertal Glacier with the following: “With the current snow situation we have succeeded to built a perfect park set-up for the KTO. The weather forecast predicts plenty of snow for the coming days so we will be able to open the big snow park next weekend.”
As always, the show must go on, so save the date for the obligatory must attend happening of the 28. KTO 2013 from 11th to 13th October next year.