With less than a few days to go until the 2019 edition of the Audi Nines takes over Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Austria, preparations are running full speed ahead. Here’s a recap of the latest developments as we prepare to blast off with the biggest and best Audi Nines yet.
Massive snow features growing in Sölden and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl
The Audi Nines shape crew has been hard at work for the past weeks at our two event sites on Sölden’s Tiefenbach Glacier and above the Festkogel gondola at Obergurgl. That’s right: it’s double the trouble at this year’s event, with two different locations that will run concurrently!
In Sölden a team of 16 shapers, three snowcats, and three excavators is nearing completion of the men’s venue. When all is said and done, a total of 150,000 cubic meters of snow will be moved to build this stunning two-tiered setup. Meanwhile, in Obergurgl, a second team of eight shapers, two snowcats, and one excavator is busy finishing the women’s obstacle using 35,000 cubic meters of snow.
Creating visually spectacular features has always been a central tenet of the Audi Nines philosophy, and this year is no different! In Sölden, the “Launch Pad” is already in place. This truly experimental, if not slightly mad, sci-fi feature is a metal scaffolding ramp, 10 meters high and just 2.25 meters wide, which will launch our team of adrenaline junkies over a 32-meter gap. Over at Obergurgl the build team is busy installing the highlight feature of the women’s setup: the “UFO,” a multipurpose rainbow rail and wallride feature that embodies the Audi Nines’ Space-Age design concept.
More top riders confirmed; “Become a Nine” winners and World Rookie Tour Qualifiers
As construction of the venues nears completion, notifications have been flooding in from around the world as more top-notch athletes confirm their attendance. Newly minted Freeride World Tour champion Markus Eder (Men’s Ski) is the newest addition to the riders’ list, while other international heavyweights like Sarah Hoefflin (Women’s Ski), Anna Gasser (Women’s SNB), David Wise (Men’s Ski) and Terje Haakonsen (Men’s SNB) have all given the green light.
The riders’ list is further bolstered by the winners of the “Become A Nine” video contest, which received over 70 entries from ambitious up-and-comers all around the world. This year’s “Become a Nine” winners are Dean Bercovitch and Elias Syrjä (Men’s Ski), Margaux Hackett and Caroline Claire (Women’s Ski), Yuri Okobu and Niek van der Velden (Men’s SNB), and Lia-Mara Bösch and Loranne Smans (Women’s SNB). Click here to check out their winning video entries.
For the first time this year, the winners of the World Rookie Tour have also been given invites to the Audi Nines cosmos, meaning we will have more hungry newcomers than ever before! They are: Annika Morgan (Women’s SNB), Mitchell Daven (Men’s SNB), Ida Sofien (Women’s Ski) and Ulrik Samnøy (Men’s Ski).
For more insight into the build-up of this event and a first glimpse of how both venues are shaping up, be sure to check out the second episode of “Behind The Nines” above, and don’t forget to stay tuned to The Audi Nines YouTube and Instagram channels next week to keep up with all the action. If you’re planning to come by and witness it in person, check out this handy visitors’ guide on the Audi Nines website. See you in the stratosphere!