2013 K2 Big Mountain CHILL Series

The finals of the 2013 K2 Big Mountain CHILL Series ski and snowboard competition were held on Saturday at the Craigieburn Valley club field of Canterbury, New Zealand. An international field of athletes went to work in Craigieburn’s Middle Basin, a section of the mountain known for its steep, rocky chutes.

That terrain, coupled with the snow conditions (which ranged from hard-packed wind slab to pockets of wind deposited powder), made for some challenging skiing. But the skiers and riders didn’t hold back, sending big airs to hard pack as they vied for the chance to qualify for the Freeride World Tour.

We took part of the day off from testing skis to watch the comp and to watch one of our own, Taos Ski Valley rider and Blister snowboard reviewer Justin Bobb, who finished in second.

Here are a few pictures that showcase not only the talented field, but also Craigieburn club field’s big mountain terrain.

K2 Competition, Blister Gear Review.

After nearly a week of clouds and precipitation, the sun came out for the competitors on the upper part of Middle Basin.


Craigieburn is normally a pretty quiet place, but Saturday it was packed with athletes and spectators soaking up the sun and watching the action.


Craigieburn has a great day lodge, but sometimes it’s fun to watch people huck while sitting on warm rocks with some cold beers.


This landing might look soft, but it wasn’t. But the landing was stuck, and we saw lots of big airs to hardpack.


If you’re looking for Sam Lee’s landing, it’s in here somewhere. After stomping this air and another one, Sam fell, tomahawked, and somehow recovered by skiing out switch.


Event organizer Stu Waddel addresses the assembled athletes in Craigieburn’s bar.


The women’s snowboard podium, L-R: 3rd place, Sarah Hutman (SWE), 1st place, Mikaela Hollsten (FIN), 2nd place, Tess Carney (USA).


The women’s ski podium, L-R: 3rd place, Sanna Vikberg (SWE), 1st place, Taylor Rapley (NZ), 2nd place, Elin von Friedrichs (SWE).


The women’s ski podium hugs it out.


The men’s ski podium, L-R: 3rd place, Cam Mcdermid (NZ), 1st place, Tom Brownlee (NZ), 2nd place Jason Waters (USA).


Men’s snowboard podium, L-R: 3rd place, Alexandre Alfano (FRA), 1st place, Irian van Helfteren (NLD), 2nd place, Justin Bobb (USA).


Blister’s own Justin Bobb shows off his second place medal, specially made for the event out of the same metal used to make rope tow nutcrackers.

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In sum, we got to see some really strong skiing and riding, some really big terrain, a really psyched crowd, and a really great comp.


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