• Niklas

Sauda Backcountry Challenge, great competition and a stunning roadtrip


I had heard so much good about the freeride competition Sauda BCC and the fun terrain there. So I signed up and decided to go and check it out and at same time see some new places. On google maps it said it should be around 7ours drive from Beitostölen, that’s not so much when we talking about driving in Norway..

After a winter with lot of shitty snow this became tho only freeride comp for me this season. Sissi and Lilly, two of our huskies joined the trip. I got some epic company and Sanna had it little more chill with only 2 dogs at home.

Wednesday we spent driving direction south west, we didn’t had any stress so we took the road over Hardangervidda with few longer brakes. Sissi and Lilly are always super excited to ride in the car and see and smell new places. At 9pm we was in Sauda and went up to the skicenter parking to find a good place to park and sleep.

Next morning we waked up early and went splitboarding with Sissi and Lilly to the top of the skicenter before the lifts opened up. Afterwards dogs could relax in the car and when the lifts opened I went to check out the terrain, see the comp faces and test some of my boards. It was long time since I last time been riding in a center with “normal” boards and hard to choose what board to ride the next days comp with. Cause forecast for next days was +10 celcius and bluebird.

On evening we went for hike in Sauda city and to riders meeting. There they gave the info that first day should be a normal freeride competition and 2nd day a backountry freestyle contest with natural elements and builded kickers. The result from the both days should be calculated together for final score.

Had a nice sleep on a parking close to center and next to a nice park. Early morning we went for a long walk with the dogs before we drove up to the resort for race day one. While driving up I decided to ride the freeride comp on my splitboard. Cause then I for sure its known with the stability and more safely can land the drops even if its little heavier.

I found a nice shadow place to park the car, so the dogs could chill in a cool car until I had done my run. I didn’t really find any super interesting line on the face,after that organizers had closed for safety the area I wanted to ride. I saw that almost all riders checked their lines on the more flat part of the face, on skiers left. So I decided to find a line on skiers right side. I decided to ride a semi technical line with 5 drops. No ones bigger then 3-4 meter.

On the top of the mountain it was warm and we got served lunch and coffee before start (first time ever for me to get food on summit before start after been competing in freeride for almost 15 years)

Ready to ride and i sticked all the drops easely and found my line really good except from the last drop I planned to do. Came little too much skiers right on the last roller, but on the way up I had checked that neighbour cliff in case of..so it was easy to improvise and took that instead. On riders meeting for next day I saw that I was on shared 5th place.. Honestly I have to say I was little surprised cause the other riders what was before me except the leader, took just 2 drops and rode the easy terrain or one who did almost same line as me but did a buttcheck..

Next night we slept in the skiresort, it was super early waking cause we should be at mountain already at 8am and having facecheck with the juniors. Before that we had a long walk with the dogs.

This day I decided to ride with my small freestyle board, so I hiked up the comp face inpected the kickers and rode back down to the dogs. Had a hike with them before I headed up to contest area again, and again hike to the summit for start. All other riders had waited on the top for the juniors to finnish. So I bootpacked 400vertm in kneedeep.. cause had to take a other route up what should has been packed by skidoos but it wasn’t..

Tired at the top, but had almost 1 hour chilltime to relax, snack and collect some power. This time I had a clear vision of my line and on 5th place from day before, I hadnt anything to loose so best to go all in on day two. I put down a stabil run with clean landings with some methods, mutes, 360, cab 180.. The glide was terrible and I was little pissed that I didn’t got enough speed for the last kicker for a fs720 cause that trick I think I can doin my sleep ..

After all snowboarders was down, I headed back to the car to the dogs.Had a lunch and went with them on a afternoon splitboard tour on the other side of the resort.

On evening it was time for price giving and announcing the results. The price giving was late as usual and there was a shitload of people at the comune hall, think whole city was there.

Judges had liked my 2nd day run and I advanced and ended up on 3rd place overall. Super happy for that and got my trip paid with the price cash. But still pretty pissed on myself that I didn’t got the speed for the 720.. What so ever a great organized competition overall and looking forward to some day take part of it again.

Following day we took a for us a new road back to Beitostölen, thru stunning landscapes in most amazing weather.

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