Among those competing at the Swiss resort include Holly Crawford, Torah Bright and Sochi Olympian Nate Johnstone, who is hoping for “redemption” after Snowmass “didn’t go to plan for me at all”.
Johnstone finished in 36th place with a best score of 19.00 last week, missing out on Saturday’s 10-man final after he “couldn’t manage to put one [run] down in either of my competition runs”.
“I just want to put down a solid run and build on that through the event,” he said.
“Training has been good, we had a great first day of training but the snow has rolled in hard and put a handbrake on the event for the time being.”
Crawford, Bright and Emily Arthur finished within the top 15 of last week’s Halfpipe World Cup but were unable to secure spots in the eight-woman finals.
Crawford, a three-time Olympian, finished in 14th place with a best score of 56.75 while Torah Bright wasn’t far behind, placing 15th with a best score of 55.75.
Bright, who like Crawford is hoping to compete in her fourth Winter Olympics, recently stepped up to the podium twice during the North-American Cup circuit in December after making a stunning return to the Snowboard Halfpipe competition.
Arthur, who competed in Snowmass after securing her best ever World Cup result at China’s Secret Garden in December, finished in 12th place with a best score of 60.25.
With PyeongChang looming, the 18-year-old has elected to remain at her “home mountain” of Mammoth, California while she tests some new tricks on airbags.
“It really helps with fear, because you literally have nothing to lose when you try a trick, so it definitely helps me get tricks much quicker,” she said.
“My coach and I thought it would be good to compete here and get some extra training in and not worry about travelling so close to the Olympics.”
Fellow Halfpipe riders Kent Callister and Scotty James will also remain in the U.S. and compete alongside Arthur at the Mammoth Grand Prix in California.
In last week’s World Cup final, described by commentators as the “most impressive event in the history of snowboarding”, James claimed silver with a best score of 96.25.
“Australia, more now than ever in my career, I can really feel the energy and the camaraderie coming from them and I really appreciate it,” the 23-year-old said following the event.
With snow showers and low visibility on the forecast for Laax, Wednesday’s qualification runs were put on hold with event organisers hoping that a window will open on Thursday for combined qualifiers and semi-finals.
“But with more snow on the forecast, we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Johnstone said.
“Otherwise, everything is good and it’s great being back in Laax!”
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