Posted on 6. April 2014 by Whiteout
The NineQueens event in Livigno, Italy last weekend was an absolute pleasure to witness. A perfectly shaped castle, a setup like I never had seen before, girls from all over the world riding skis and snowboards, showing off style and innovation. It was an incredible weekend, and after spending a week at my regular boring job, I’ve finally found time to sit down and write a little more about it. Also featuring words by Isabel Derungs and Elena Koenz from Switzerland, telling us a thing or two about the event. I was only present for two days, but they gave me a bit more insight to what had happened during the week.
Isabel: “We were having multiple shootings and sessions each day, some specific to one feature, some just shredding the whole castle and getting fun snap shots, other times planning shots for the photo contest with the invited photographers, and so on. Saturday there was a big air contest where we only hit the kicker, and Sunday was another sunset session where the Red Bull heli came to get some killer areal shots.”
Elena: “It was just overall a very diverse and unique event, focusing less on the competitive side of things and more on having a fun and progressive session with each other. We also got the chance to get to know each other better in this kind of format.”
And of course getting some really cool looking footage, right?
Elena: “Absolutely. A lot of us girls are used to the contest circuit, and don’t get the chance to shoot footage like its done at NineQueens. Especially on an obstacle like the castle, that has so much to give visually. For me it was definitely a very fresh and new experience. Riding a mixed contest with skiers is something that doesn’t happen often at all.”
Isabel: “I think it was generally the first event that freeskiers and snowbaorders rode together. I thought the contest was really special, having skiers and riders dropping in alternately and mixed. The vibe between all the girls was really cool, and I can’t wait to come and do it again next year!”
Elena won the big air contest with a frontside 7 melon and a backside 5 mute.
Amongst the tech tricks she also laid out a couple of fully stretched backflips.
I asked Elena what the contest day was like and what got her first place at the first ever mixed NineQueen big air.
“Well first there was a qualification, which didn’t at all feel like the ones from other contests. We just kinda rode like we did the other days, but with judges who determined which 5 girls would advance to the final round. Each girl got to hit the kicker four more times, of which the two best tricks counted for the final judging. So first 5 skiers, then 5 snowboarders, four times back to back. I did a frontside 3 for safety in the first round, to make sure I had a stomped trick in the bag, and then moved on to the front 7 and the back 5, which got me first place, and a backflip, which was mostly for fun.”
Mark Von Roy interviewing Jenny and Isa. It was all smiles all day, no matter what the results.
Elena runs for hiding behind the SUV, while Lisa Zimmermann (GER), Emma Dahlstrom (SWE), and Jessika Jenson (USA) keep the party going.
I asked the girls what they thought might be their personal favourite moment of the week, upon which Isa mentioned “the feeling of standing at the top of the run-in, the sun already fading behind the mountains but still highlighting the castle in a warm evening glow, and thinking just how beautiful it is up here and being stoked for the experience I get to be apart of.”
Elena’s favourite moment was hitting the kicker simultaneously with Isa during the sunset heli session on sunday evening. She mentioned it wasn’t something they get to do often, and is thankful that it all worked out well. Although it was a bit sketchy once or twice in the landing, she thought it was “super fun!”
As for me personally, aside from witnessing the insane action go down and enjoying the company of the lovely ladies, I was just happy to be in a new place and take in some refreshing new views each perfect bluebird day. Livigno is beautiful, I’ll surely miss it, and hope to be back next year to hang with the NineQueens.
Text and photos by Aaron Schwartz