The launch included contests, side events and parties which truly amazed the thousand strong crowd of snow-addicts, jibbers and party animals.
With blue skies and sunshine the Kaunteral welcomed these snow hungry visitors on Friday for the opening of the Snowpark and the start of the winter season 2012/2013. Weather conditions from previous days resulted in an unexpected challenge for the Snowpark-team, which was involved working through the night over many hours In the end they succeeded in putting up a small but fine park with rails, boxes and a kicker, which was pretty entertaining over the 3 opening days.
The true highlight of the weekend was the KTO Pro Contest on Saturday, where snowboarders and freeskiers were battling for a total of $7,000.
The first ranks in the snowboard divison were quite tight, as expected, and last years winner Eric Beauchemin (US) was challenged by riders like Jamie Nicholls (GB) and Nuutti Niemelä (FIN). The judges had a hard time to award this fat lump of prize money, but finally it was again Eric Beauchemin who took the shot followed by David Loibl (AUT) and Ryan Hryckiewicz (US). 15-year-old Rowan Coultas (GB) won the best rookie award. Elena Koenz (CH) who only left rank 2 and 3 for her competitors Anna Gasser (AUT) and Birgit Rofner (AUT) dominated the snowboard ladies division.
Of course the pro contest was not the only highlight for the shredders.
Friday was full of rail action presented by downdays.eu and Snowboarder MBM at the glacier restaurant, countless soft and hardgoods were also provided by all festival partners to the best shredders. Snowboarder Klaus Lotto was the overall winner.
Saturday arrived to bluebird conditions and also sat arrival of the KTO Photo competition powered by Sweet Protection, which awarded the best pics of the Kaunertal Opening with a complete Sweet Protection outfit.
Amateur snowboarders also put on a show for the judges which saw Thomas Wolf (A) in first position, followed by Benno Postert from Germany and the Austrian Dominik Metzler.
Each night the action on the mountain was followed by a sensational party in the valley. On Friday night loads of party animals celebrated until early morning with Golden Reef, AG Trio and DJ Dan in the party tent in Feichten.
Lipstick productions and Junkies on a Budget also presented their latest movies. More sick riding action was shown on Saturday by the Pirate Movie Production and Legs of Steel, before the party marathon peaked with quality tunes presented by Yambalaya and the Wax Wreckaz and of course the main act Mono & Nikitaman.
All in all KTO Opening 2012 was a huge success, Stefan Richter from the Kaunertal Glacier said the following: “With the current snow situation we have succeeded in building a perfect park set-up for the KTO. The weather forecast predicts plenty of snow for the coming days so we will be able to open the big snow park next weekend.”
As always, the show must go on, so save the date for the obligatory must attend happening of the 2013! KTO 2013 from 11th to 13th October next year.