Open For Winter: Stubai Premiere In Austria Lives Up To The Hype And Kicks Off Snow Park Season In Style

We went to the big glacier launch in Austria, and it was seriously rad.

Words: Jack Clayton//Photos: Sam Oetiker

It ain’t winter till Austria says so, and with the Stubai Premiere kicking things off in style yet again this year – that idea has never been more based in reality than it is right about now. The opening event for the Stubai Glacier drew huge numbers of elite freestyle snowboarders and skiers from across Europe and was, all things considered, a resounding success.

The weather was excellent, with blue skies bluer than early noughties boyband Blue. And, the snow. The snow! Well, we’re happy to report that the snow was absolutely superb. What’s more, the brand new state-of-the-art 3S Eisgratbahn gondola worked like a total dream and successfully avoided any sort of Titanic-type maiden voyage disaster. In a nutshell, the weekend was winning at life…whichever way you looked.

Schneestern’s Bernhard Burger (a man with a name so good we genuinely can’t stop looking at it), had this to say: “The event was a magnificent start to the new season. We were able to launch the expanded set-up of the new Stubai Zoo as planned. And our new idea of putting on a programme for freestyle skiers was very well received.” Bernhard Burger, you park designing extraordinaire, we salute you.

“The weather was excellent, with blue skies bluer than early noughties boyband Blue”

Photo: Sam Oetiker

The Gaisskarferner park, with an impressive altitude of 3,100 metres, witnessed a weekend bursting at the seams with activities. Supported once again by DC Snowboarding, the mountain paradise had something for everyone. From Jedi apprentice to full-on mountain Jedi, not forgetting intermediates of course, whatever a person’s skill-set – fun was always just a chairlift, a gondola, or a T-bar away.

Nowhere sums up the ‘something for everyone’ vibes in these parts quite like the Stubai Zoo. The Stubai Zoo offers a truly impressive variety of obstacles to cater for a whole range of requirements. Different lines for different levels of snow athletes, means that nobody need feel like they’re out of their depth when hitting this particular park.

40 well-known exhibitors, from across the ski and snowboard sector, rocked up at the Eisgrat mountain station to present their latest hardware for testing purposes. The Brand Saloon, and the products on show, attracted huge crowds across the whole weekend. And so, for that matter, did the side events through which various partner companies offered cracking prizes for those taking part.

Photo: Sam Oetiker

The two-day ‘Casio EXILIM Photo Challenge’, the ‘DC Best Line’ hosted by Sebbe de Buck and ‘Lady Laps’ by Klaudia Medlova & Horsefeathers were well received by all. Other notable shenanigans included the ‘Horsefeathers Hit the Tank’ contest, the ‘Roxy Yoga Session’ at the Body & Soul StuBay, the banging parties and film premieres at Dorfpub and Club Reverze respectively, and Sunday’s ‘Jib The Lip’ rail session hosted by Lib Tech.

As launches go, it’s fair to stay the Stubai Zoo nailed it like a mother-flipping hammer. If you missed out this year, be sure not to make that mistake again. The dates for the 2017 Stubai Premiere have been confirmed as the 21st and 22nd of October. Mark this weekend in your diary, pencil it on a post-it note, tattoo it on your skin if you have to; just get yourself there, by any means necessary.

Photo: Sam Oetiker
Photo: Sam Oetiker

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