Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro Set for St. Anton

St. Anton welcomes the best freeriders in the
world to start the 2009 Big Mountain Pro

February 03, 2009 – With the riders now gathered in the Austrian town of
St Anton, a day of sunshine, and as Jeremy Jones puts it "some really
promising snow" conditions, all that is left is for the Swatch O'Neill Big
Mountain Pro to get on the mountain.

And there's no holding back. As the good weather threatens to leave
Austria, event director Nicolas Hale Woods is grabbing the opportunity of
the near-perfect conditions.

"The good news is that we will be using day one," he said. The good
weather is going to stick for a few days before the low pressure moves in
from the south towards the end of the week."

Wirth is the face the riders will tackle come Wednesday morning. Sitting
above the village of St. Christophe in the area of St. Anton, Nicolas says:
"We have chosen this face because it offers a lot of choice for the riders.
Also, over the past three days we have had the Foehn in this region (the
warm southerly wind) and this is one of the faces that's been protected
from that."

With the final line-up of riders now settled in, this year's Big Mountain Pro
promises to be an intimate and challenging affair, with the level of riding
higher than ever.

Confirmed as the twelfth rider, Austrian Thomas Eberharter is looking
forward to his first Swatch O'Neill Big Mountain Pro.

"This is my first ever freeriding competition," he said. "I'm more known as a
freestyler but I do freeriding just locally. I am just going to go up and enjoy
it. It's something new for me."
It's nothing new for local rider Mitch Toelderer who lives in Innsbruck. "I
come here about five times a year," he said. "I haven't been on the face we
are riding tomorrow though."
"It's an interesting face," he said. "It's not too big, but it's rolling so it's going
to be hard to find the features. It's going to be challenge for sure."
Follow the Big Mountain Pro with the daily highlight shows on


Jeremy Jones
Fredrik Evensen
Mitch Toelderer
Xavier de le Rue
Eric Themel
Thomas Eberharter


3 Feb 2009 – Arrive in St. Anton, Arlberg range, Austria
– 15:00 : Riders’ arrival
– 18:00 : Welcome drink and riders’ presentation at the Funky Chicken
– 20:00 : Welcome party at the Bobo’s Mexican restaurant

4 Feb – 10 Feb 2009 – Travel around the Alps seeking out the best faces
and snow conditions

10 Feb 2009 – Judging and prizegiving in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
– 17 :00 : Viewing and judging of the lines at “Gosstall” in Saalbach
Hinterglem by the riders. Riders see all lines and vote for:
a/ the overall winner and
b/ the top 3 skiers/snowboarders

– 19::00 : Prize giving & Riders’ dinner followed by a party featuring DJ
Gitta Saxx and the Urban Knights from London at the “Gosstal”

Daily highlights of The Swatch O'Neill Big Mountain Pro can be seen on



What: The most original and innovative freeride contest on the planet
When: February 3 – February 10, 2009
Where: The Alps
Start location: St. Anton, Arlberg range, Austria
Finish location: Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria
Who: 12 of the best freeriders in the world – 6 skiers and 6 snowboarders
Prizemoney: $ 60.000