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Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 07:40 UK
Huge snow jump comes to London

By Andy Brownstone
Newsbeat reporter


UK's biggest ever snow jump built at Battersea Power Station

The last time there was 500 tonnes of snow in London it was probably the Ice Age.

But this weekend you'll only have to go as far as Battersea power station where they've built the biggest snow jump the UK has ever seen.

The London Freeze event features world class snowboarders and skiers performing death defying tricks in mid-air, with the London landmark for a backdrop.

There's a good contingent of British riders, like Dan Wakeham, who have learnt to ski and board here in the UK.

Wakeham grew up boarding on the dry slope in Plymouth.

He told Newsbeat: "It's really good for British snowboarding, because obviously it raises the whole profile of us and the sport as well.

"It's real nice to get to snowboard in front of your home nation. It's not often you get to do that in my sport."

The event is part of the snowboard World Cup, so competitors can pick up points towards their world rankings.

Wakeham added: "That's going to encourage a lot of the real big names to come and compete.

"We should be able to see some pretty big tricks and high action."

500 tonnes of snow

The jump was shipped over from Switzerland.

It then took 16 engineers and two cranes four days to build the structure, which is made up of around 1.7 million different scaffolding parts.

The run up, jump and landing are all covered in snow which is made by blowing water through liquid nitrogen.


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It all has to be refreezed overnight, and then smoothed over before the competition starts.

Organiser Andrew Topham told Newsbeat: "The biggest challenge will actually be really high wind. It's very difficult for the athletes to jump especially, if there's a cross wind.

"From the snow perspective it actually holds up pretty well. Really bad rain's not great, but it's not a show-stopper."

Winter festival

The event also features an array of bands and DJs over the weekend.

Hip hop legends Cypress Hill headline on Saturday night, while Cage the Elephant, Reverend and the Makers, The Enemy, The Automatic, and Iglu and Hartly will all perform too.

Closing up on Sunday evening is Radio 1's Annie Mac.

She told us: "I'm really looking forward to it. The power station is an amazing space.

"I used to pass at it on the train everyday and gawp at the scale of it. I can't wait to play there!"

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