words & photos: ckoThe first ever Orage European Freeskiing Open kicked off Wednesday in Laax with qualifying for Slopestyle for both the men and women on the course at Crap Sogn Gion that's offering the riders a great chance to showcase their ability to throw down in a variety of situations.

Starting with a train-car like structure holding a flat box on top and a generous landing, the course turns quickly and sends the riders into two tables, each with three take-off options, followed by a flat box into a deck full of rail options. Capping off the course is an option between a wallride and a strange curving up-rail that I've yet to see anyone attempt - should be entertaining.
Competition in the mens field was high with Charlie Ager (CAN), Oscar Harlaut (SWE), Thiery Vivien (FRA), and Josh Stack (CAN) each throwing spins both ways all over the course to win their respective heats. It will definitely be interesting to see how the pre-qualified athletes do tomorrow against the up and comers that were feeling the flow on the course yesterday. The womens Slopestyle only saw 6 entrants with all advancing to go head to head with the invited ladies.Thursday saw Superpipe qualifications under foggy and generally gloomy weather up on the mountain. With wet, falling snow, speed was an issue all day, forcing the competitors to settle for average sized airs all the way down. Heats are still finishing up so the results aren't in but I'll post them as soon as they're official. Friday sees Slopestyle semis and finals so pray for sunny skies.