On 26th and 27th February 2000 in the "Lavinata" region on Vitosha Mountain (half an hour from downtown Sofia) the first Big Mountain competition in Bulgaria took place. It was solely organized by BEFSA as IFSA guidelines were followed as closely as possible.

Photo gallery from the competition

As we received IFSA Big Mountain Freeskiing Contest Guidelines we quickly formed the organization committee. Given the small size of our event and the freeskiing community in Bulgaria we were forced to assign more than one task to a single individual during the event organization. We tried to plan the organization well in advance, but most of the work was actually done in the last week prior the contest. Communication to the general public and freeskiers was among our prime goals, as this was the first event of this kind in Bulgaria. Media and posters announcement were conducted as well as through regular meeting points and common note boards.

Competitors in the contest were mainly BEFSA members although the event was open to all willing, given that they pass BEFSA controlled qualification runs. Age, liability, insurance, and conduct requirement were strictly according to IFSA guidelines. Contest site set-up was also done accordingly as well as the start, the finish, and the official areas. The course was modified at the last moment as the Chief of Safety (from the Mountain Rescue Service) declared part of the course as "avalanche danger zone". Thus, we decided to leave only a small part of the course open (see the enclosed photos), in order not to cancel the event. Despite it size the new course offered a few possible modifications for the competitors to choose from.

Contest execution was also hindered by the fierce weather (wind speed above 40m/sec) conditions that characterized the few days prior the event days. One of the main ski lifts was broken and another started working later then usually, but we were lucky to see the weather improving for the very days of the contest-the wind almost stopped and sun started to pop up between the thin clouds. This allowed us to start the contest on planned the day though in a later hour.

Competitor communication was performed only in Bulgarian, as all competitors were Bulgarians. Competitors meeting were held early n every day of the competition on which time schedule was announced and contest rules handbook were distributed, as well as other regulations were clarified.

On the 26th of February course re-check, as well as inspections and qualification runs were held. The official training followed. On the 27th of February were the final runs. The prize giving was later at a specially organized night party in the "Cutty Sark" nightclub in downtown Sofia. Also a winners presentation was executed instead at the finish area. Below is the final ranking:

Place Start Number First Name Last Name Total Points
1 10 Andrei Balevski 46
2 36 Momchil Panayotov 45
3 42 Kostadin Katev 44
4 44 Aleksandar Mihailov 40
5 4 George Lilianov 35
5 35 Kiril Traianov 35
6 39 Ivo Altanov 34
7 5 Vladimir Stoyanov 31
7 26 Simeon Ivanov 31
8 11 Petia Lazarova 28
9 2 Jordan Roev 25
9 6 Emanuil Emanuilov 25
10 3 Nikolai Kolev 22
11 7 Aleksandar Georgiev 15

Special Prizes
" Single female participant Petia Lazarova
" Youngest participant (17 years old) Jordan Roev

During the whole event the Mountain Rescue Service (PSS) guaranteed the safety of the course. As PSS is Bulgarian national mountain rescue provider (Bulgarian Professional Ski Patrol), we were happy to work together with the Vitosha Mountain department of PSS in building the safety plan, as well as executing the safety preparation for this event. Safety personnel were also exclusively from PSS, as the service took responsibility for the whole competition safety.

Competition rules were also according to the IFSA 1998-1999 Judging Guidelines. The Jury consists of the Head Judge and of two normal scoring judges, who judged all five categories on a 10 grade scale (see the attached score table) using specially designed score-sheet.

The course chosen for the contest, because of the avalanche danger was primarily hard snow (corn). Thus competitors were forced to ski with increased caution among the cliffs, as higher part of the course was declared "NO FALL ZONE" by the judges. We were happy to see that the contest ended with no incidents, with only a few minor falls by the competitors.

The whole event was covered by the film and photo shooting team from the Imagine Creative Group. The enclosed video and photos are made real thank to their enormous effort and patience. We would also like to note that this event would not have been possible if there were not our sponsors: BAS Sports Shop, Rossignol, O'Neill, Moten Lounge, Sofia Municipal, Darik Radio, and Rank Xerox.