The final event in the New Zealand CHILL Series concluded this past weekend at Temple Basin Ski Club, located at the top of Arthur’s Pass in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand. The Black Diamond Big Mountain CHILL series (which is a 2 Star Freeride World Qualifier) hosted 55 ski and snowboard athletes for two days of challenging competition. Similar to the K2 Big Mountain CHILL event we covered last week, The Black Diamond CHILL attracted competitors from Japan, Europe, North America, and “heaps” of Kiwi athletes.
Temple Basin has some of the most challenging terrain of the Canterbury club fields. Aside from the terrain challenges, athletes must make a 45-minute hike to the Temple Basin lodge, then another hour hike to the venue start.
Temple Basin had received around 30cm (11.8’’) of new snow on the previous Thursday. While that may have helped to pad out some landings, the new snow combined with warm, sunny days tested the snow’s ability to stick to the steeper slopes. The venue of the contest was therefore restricted to the same location for both days to reduce avalanche risk to athletes. (Thanks go to the incredibly knowledgeable Temple Basin Snow Safety Department.)
Saturday’s finals were held under bluebird skies and on top of variable snow. And like last week’s comp at Craigieburn, the athletes were throwing down hard as they vied to qualify for the Freeride World Tour. Many competitors utilized a big freestyle component (backflips, spins, Lincoln loops, etc), while others just tried to just stay on their feet while boosting fast, huge airs.
Here are a few photos that represent the spirit of the Black Diamond CHILL scene and the terrain.
1st – Mikaela Hollsten (Finland)
2nd – Tess Carney (USA)
1st – Colin Boyd (USA)
2nd – Andrew White (New Zealand)
3rd – Rupert Smith (New Zealand)
1st – Marian Krogh (Canada)
2nd – Anna Smoothy (New Zealand)
3rd – Alex Brook (New Zealand)
1st – Sam Lee (New Zealand)
2nd – Jeremy Hunt (New Zealand)
3rd – Cam McDermid (New Zealand)