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Val Senales (IT), 14.03 – 16.03 Bella Vista Refuge 2845m
Kick The Vik Eco Freeride Tour (EFT), take two. For the first time in its history a Kick the Vik tour stop took place outside of Switzerland in the Val Senales. For three days the participants were able to spend some quality time at the Bella Vista refuge and took part in a freeride competition on one of the days. The youngest participant, David Spath, a resident of the Val Senales in South Tirol was able to place fourth in the category of ski men.
more information on www.ecofreeridetour.com
The first challenge that faced the participants was finding the Val Senales (IT) on time for registration on Friday morning at nine; most of them had never been there before. Nevertheless twenty freeriders made their way to Kurzras in the Val Senales ready for an experience of a lifetime! The riders got the opportunity to dive right in the deep end and prove their worth at the competition which had been set for Friday due to the perfect weather and snow conditions on that day.
Soon the colourful group was ready to head up the mountain. The riders were able to warm up on a half-hour hike up from the Lazaun hut to the contest location. As soon as they arrived the participants got busy scoping the contest face and discussing their lines and possible drops. The friendly atmosphere helped calm the few riders that were slowly getting nervous. After a short briefing where Markus Boss – the event organiser – orientated the participants about the dangers of the backcountry and specifically of the real possibility of rocks hidden just below the snow surface in the contest face the riders got started on the short ascent to the ridge that would serve as the start area for the event.
The riders soon noticed that the lines which had seemed so obvious from below looked entirely different from this new vantage. But the snow, the steepness and the rocks in the face gave the participants ample opportunity to express their creativity.
With the mountain guide Ludwig Gorfer taking care of safety at the venue the participants were able to concentrate on the task at hand. Under a bluebird sky the riders painted their lines on the face and gave the cameraman and photographer plenty of opportunities for that elusive perfect shot.
After the contest the whole crew skied or boarded down to the valley in order to take the cable car up the other side and make their way the the Bella Vista refuge at 2845m altitude. The riders were all impressed by the hot tub and sauna – something they hadn’t been expecting at that altitude – and by the hospitality of the staff.
Planning Saturday’s schedule was the next challenge awaiting the participants. Markus Boss and his team presented four possibilities and worked out a cunning plan that would enable them to film all of the riders on their different mountains. Differing priorities, levels of fitness and ambition as well as the changeable forecast lead some to heated discussions far into the night while others were already fast asleep.
The weather wasn’t bad, if not as good as on the previous day and the film crew was positive that they would be able to get some nice footage of the different runs.
The riders got started on ascents between 200 and 1500 vertical meters all while the wind was getting stronger by the minute. Neither ascents nor the following descents were an easy task in the prevailing conditions.
After a long day in the wind and a good soak in the hot tub the riders came together in the refuge to watch the footage of their previous day’s runs. Being a small event the riders were able to judge each other. The criteria were line choice, fluidity, control and air & style. The sum of those individual scores resulted in an overall impression score and determined the winner.
The rankings were as follows:
Alba Wunderlin (SUI)
Johanna Bogner, (GER)
Daniela Pöham (AUT)
Peter Pflugmacher (GER)
Maximilian Kamml (GER)
Stefan Sönser (AUT)
Christoph Kolb (SUI)
Roman Meister (SUI)
Peter Boss (SUI)
An event such as the Kick the Vik Eco Freeride Tour can only take place thanks to a innovative crew, a dedicated main sponsor und a shared passion between freeriders.
We would like to thank Outdoor Research, Giro, Salomon, Evoc and Suunto as well as the Bella Vista refuge and the Gletscherbahnen Schnals for their support in making the second tour stop of the 2014 Eco Freeride Tour a huge success.
After a night of gale-force winds whistling around the refuge the participants were able to sit together and enjoy an extensive breakfast together.
After breakfast it was proven again that the EFT brings together some of the friendliest people. Everyone volunteered to help the crew transport gear down to the valley as the cable car wasn’t running due to the high winds. All riders and crew reached the valley safely and the second stop of the 2014 Eco Freeride Tour came to it’s close.