American Ashley Battersby was crowned Queen at the Suzuki Nine Queens contest this week. She won with her first-ever switch 1080 mute grab, the culmination of a week-long session on the Chateau-inspired big air kicker in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Austria.
"I tried that trick last year at Nine Queens for the first time but wasn't able to land it," Battersby said. "I'm stoked to have finally landed it this year."
Swiss skier Eveline Bhend landed the first-ever misty 900 by a woman, enough to give her second spot on the podium. Canadian Kaya Turski also landed a switch 1080 for third place.
The event, now in its third year, welcomed some of the best female freeskiers to Austria, where they had a week to dial in new tricks, all whilst being filmed and photographed. This themed event, along with the male equivalent Nine Knights, happening in April, is the brainchild of organizer Nico Zacek. Having competed himself on the freestyle circuit he wanted to devise a pair of events that brought together filming, photography and progressive riding on features that aren't usually available to film on.
As with most events this winter, the weather threatened to ruin the proceedings as a big snowstorm descended on the Alps, forcing the first days of shooting to be canceled. Sunny bluebird days flowed back to back for the remainder of the week, allowing the girls to get the most out of the setup including a sunrise, sunset and heli shoot on the 65-foot kicker.