In September, Red Bull teamed up with the Remarkables snow resort in Queenstown and top American snowboarder Travis Rice and launched into a snowboarding project the likes of which are rarely seen in NZ – the Red Bull Backcountry kicker project.
At the top of the Remarkables beside frozen Lake Alta, an existing rocky outcrop was used as the landing base for a massive 90 foot jump. The aim of the project? To team some of the world’s best snowboarders up with local skiers and boarders to take riding in New Zealand to the next level.
After months of planning and weeks of preparation with the Remarkables terrain team and Travis onsite, the crew was forced to wait for a series of storms to pass and a weather window to open. Access to this remote and isolated backcountry location was limited to snow cat and sled transport so for everyone’s safety the weather conditions needed to be perfect.
Soon joining the project were Red Bull sponsored Scott McMorris and Nate Kern from the UK, as well as Torstein Horgmo from Sweden and Jonas Carlson from Norway. But it was 18 year old local skiing legend and friend of Red Bull Jossi Wells who was first to hit the massive jump on the first clear day. Local Remarkables snowboarder Heath Patterson also put himself on the line and jumped the massive gap. It was amazing to witness the local lads honing their skills on a jump of this scale.