Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 Banzai Tour Kicks off at Kirkwood Mountain Resort!

2nd Place in the Banzai at Kirkwood!

Special Thanks to my Sponsors!
Kirkwood Mountain Resort-Never Summer Snowboards-Dakine-Oakley-Phar North-South Tahoe Crossfit

Red Bull finish you can see where the rock ends at the very top of the mountain, that's the start.
This will be my 3rd season competing in the Banzai events. I am unsure of how many stops I will be able to compete in but I am psyched I was able to make the Kirkwood event. The athletes are getting better and better every season, there is no telling who is going to win. The course was as gnarly as ever with moguls, jumps, icy turns and an overall wild ride. 

Alaskan Air awarded the person with the biggest air something special.

There were only a few snowboard woman at this event but all were in it to win it! It was an absolutely challenging competition. 

Being at my home mountain competing has to be one of my favorite things. Of course I am comfortable on the terrain but mostly I love having family and friends rooting me on and down to celebrate after events no matter how I finish.

The beautiful Cirque at Kirkwood!
Iris Laz took the top spot, she charged fearlessly down the course. In the finals we had four woman in the gate. We all had a descent start and were within just a few feet of one another. Iris lost control at the second gate and collided with another racer. I took a low line around the girls and thought it would be my chance to get in the lead. Iris had something else in mind. She was up in seconds and managed to get to the much quicker high line to the third gate. I did my best to catch her but she was on fire. We stayed about a gate length apart for the remainder of the race. I felt like I was chasing a carrot.

Again Iris placed first, I finished in second, Lindsay Wexler in third, and Audrey Hebert in fourth. I was so pumped to meet Audrey especially cause she had drove 20+ hours from BC to compete in the Freeride Qualifying event which got canceled at Squaw Valley. She was pretty psyched to find out that there was another event to participate in while she was on the road. I hope to see her in Telluride, CO for the FWQ 4* at the end of March!

Alaskan Air sender!

For more information on the Banzai tour check out: https://www.facebook.com/RahlvesBanzaiTour or http://www.rahlvesbanzai.com/

Monday, February 24, 2014

First event of the season! Crested Butte FWT 4* Event

On February 9th I started the long haul to Crested Butte from my home in Lake Tahoe. It's always very exciting to set out on another adventure full of anticipation. Tiffany Noel a long time friend and fellow competitor was meeting up with me in Reno and we would continue on together. Crested Butte was calling for a few feet of snow so I was amped to finally get to ride some pow after a painfully dry season at home.

The Tahoe crew amped up at the comp.

After picking up Tiff we where on our way! First stop being Salt Lake City. The drive was a bit sketchy with the rain coming down so hard but that was just a reminder of the powder ahead. We arrived in Salt Lake and stayed the night at our friend Shannon Yates house. The next morning went and hooked up with the one and only Mr. Tom Patton who styled us out with lift tickets to Snowbird! We jammed up to the mountain and got 3 tram laps in before we set out on the last leg of our trip. Here is a short clip from our morning at Snowbird...

https://vimeo.com/86395570 For higher quality video click on this Vimeo Link

The last section to CB was super intense for me. The snow was coming down pretty heavy and wet so the visibility was close to none at times. It was so great to see the lights glowing from the little ski town in the middle of know where. My friend Mary Boddington hosted me for the week. She is also a competitor and she was psyched to compete at her home mountain. I have heard so much about CB from Mary and she said the snow was deep and fun. She wasn't kidding, the next morning I quickly realized what all the hype was about. Every turn was steep and deep! I was riding lines that had not opened for three years due to low snow. I lucked out and took full advantage. Mary took me to many of her favorite spots. The terrain is so different from Tahoe, steeper and rockier. I don't know if I have ever done that many hop turns in one day. The pillow lines had to be one of my favorite experiences of the trip. It was a blast to send these drops into steep landings and having to shut it down or just be super precise to avoid the trees. It explained why Mary is such a bad ass, riding that mountain everyday would really instigate progression in anyone.

Finals Venue the Big Hour Glass

So after a couple days of pow shredding it was time to start thinking about the contest. The two venues where very short but had awesome lines. Day one I chose a line that suited my style of riding. I was having difficulty choosing my line for this contest was accumulative points. You want to ride well enough to qualify for the next day and not risk falling doing a difficult line but you want hold back to much and have to make up for your low score the next day. In the end I decided to do the line that looked the most fun and was also the most intimidating. I said to my self "If I can ride down the Mac Daddy Face in Revelstoke, I can do this! So sack up and get it!" I am so happy I had that conversation with my self cause I was sitting in second place only two points behind 1st day one.

Girls being Girls

Day two we got to ride a permanently closed area called the Big Hour Glass. The face ranges from 40-60 degrees. The face is only around 500 ft long but man was it impressive. I felt honored to ride a face that has only been opened to snowboarders once before in a contest. Unfortunately I did not ride my best. I didn't even have a set line in mind until I left the start gate... which is very odd for me. I started down the steep face making smooth turns then I started to hit rocks, they where everywhere. I made a right hand turn and almost got taken out by my slough! That's a huge no no in any circumstance. Thankfully I got out of this situation quickly and made my way to the next feature. I sent this air probably 15 ft and managed to shut down speed to catch a small air at the bottom before the finish. I didn't see anyones run so I didn't know where I could end up. My stomach turned waiting for the result. The result came up that I was still sitting in second with Mary B in 1st and Iris Laz in 3rd! This was really great to be on the podium with both of these ladies. We all have been competing for a long time together and have developed sister like friendships. Huge congrats to Mary for winning at her home mountain. There really isn't a more rewarding win! To share that moment with these ladies was extremely special. Of course I made some mistakes in my run but I am always learning and growing as a rider. I look forward to the next event! Thanks for reading about my adventure and hope to have some more stories this winter for ya!

Mary Boddington and I showing off our new bling! Go team Never Summer!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Deep Winter Photo Challenge: Whistler

This past week I have been involved in the Deep Winter Photo Challenge. A contest put on by Whistler Mountain. The event consists of 6 invited photographers and they have 72 hours to shoot as many epic shots as possible and create a slide show. The idea is to have a theme and a story to tell.

 I had know idea how big this event would be. At the show I soon realized my head would be displayed on four big screens to a sold out crowed of 1,100 viewers. Pretty scary.

I worked with photographer Jason Hummel and a team of 3 other ladies including Liz Daiely, Holly Walker, and Suz Gramm. We all worked extremely well together. Even though we where stressed at times, we managed to keep it together and pull out an impressive show.

Liz Daiely and I met in Chamonix, France last season. I knew she would be in the states for a short time before she would return to Europe. I reached out to see of there was any possibilities of doing a snowboard project with her and that's when she introduced me to Jason. Thankfully he thought I would be a good fit for the project and the rest of the story is history.
Liz is an incredibly talented snowboarder. Very graceful along with extreme power. I admire her versatility and dedication to snowboarding and mountain life.

Holly Walker has to be one of the most kind people I have ever met. Holly being the local was able to pull together much of the logistics along with facilitating the execution of much of the project. She also hooked us up with our mountain guide, Alex whom we would have been lost with out. Holly also is of course and fabulous skier who really got some epic shots in the slide show.

Suz! So I can't say enough about this girl, she is absolutely phenomenal. She was so calm and cool through out the entire event. Her skiing talent is among the best I have ever seen. I am a little bias because I have been a huge fan of Suz for many years. Her being one of the only female ski BASE jumpers, I have admired her progression in the sport. Her and I have similar personalities which made it fun to play and mess around even under the pressures of this event. I can't wait for another adventure with Suz.

Whistler was amazing! The mountains are huge and the terrain epic! I am sad to head home knowing that it still has not snowed in Lake Tahoe and my boyfriend Josh is still in Europe for another three weeks. I think Kirkwood should do an event similar to this! We have such great terrain and talented photographers!

Lake Tahoe is home and its always nice to get back, who knows maybe the Mtn. Bike trails are clear... I have a strong feeling they are after seeing people post pictures of going to the beach on Face Book.

I hope you enjoy our show! I feel very fortunate to have been part of this project and hope to possibly do it again.


The winner this year was the beautiful Zoya Lynch...

She had a very creative theme with awesome photography. It was well thought out and she really connected with the crowed. I am sure many of you will relate to her story. A well deserved win for Zoya!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Colors in Lake Tahoe

Every year as fall takes hold and winter starts showing it's teeth, we get to enjoy this incredible evolution of seasons. The leaves of the Aspens start turning multiple shades of gold, red, orange, and yellow. The meadow grass moves like an ocean, as the wind rips through our valleys. This time of year I can get out an really enjoy nature. The peacefulness of Tahoe, without all the summer hustle and bustle. Vanessa and I took advantage of a few hour break from work, and set off on a little adventure. She took me to a very special spot, which is just fifteen minutes from my house. I could not believe my eyes when we arrived to the most epic swimming hole, which I can imagine in peak water level, would be even more incredible, for there is a waterfall which cascades from hundreds of feat above. 

I hope you enjoy the pics and don't for get to get out and enjoy the last bit of fall! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Canyons Resort! Awesome bike park!

This summer has been packed full of fun experiences and adventures.  Canyons was one of my favorite spots to bike this summer. After our trip to Lake Powell, we headed up to Ogden, and stayed with Josh's cousin, Evan. It rained almost the entire time we where there which made for some awesome biking conditions. It was a no brainer to head to the bike park.
 Canyons is packed with fun jump lines, which range from beginner to advanced. I am still considered an intermediate biker, so it was great for me to progress through the different levels. They have a variety of features from ladder drops, jumps, rock gardens, and wall rides. Josh and Evan enjoyed the bigger lines, where they hit up to 30ft jumps. If your in for a good time and a beautiful environment, Canyons is the place to be. 
I am so excited that Canyons is now part of the Vail family,  now I get to use my Epic pass for a winter trip!

Check out this little edit I put together, watch the entire edit so you can see my epic fail at the end. It's part of biking:)

Thanks to Canyons for making this trip possible!

Just click on the link!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

South Tahoe Crossfit Ski and Snowboard Training

This program is so amazing! It gets you into shape for the winter season. It's extremely challenging for everyone in the beginning, though over a couple weeks you will start to feel lighter, faster, and stronger. This would for sure improve your ability on the mountain and a great place to hang with other excited winter athletes!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lake Powell is Awesome!

The boys setting out on an adventure.


Front flips are sooo scary, but I nailed it! Stoked cause when I don't it's a face plant:)

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

My latest road trip was an absolute surprise, in more ways then one. Josh let me know a few weeks ago he would be going on a family trip to Lake Powell. I had heard a bit about the area but had know idea what to expect. The spa I work at decided to close for two weeks for a remodel, so of course I had no choice but to head to Arizona. 
The day before we left I google searched Lake Powell pictures, and quickly realized this time away from work was a blessing! 
After a 12 hour drive from Lake Tahoe to Powell, we met up with family and celebrated our arrival with a cold adult beverage. The sky was dark, we where dreaming of what the landscape possibly looked like through the darkness. After a couple drinks and laugh's, we slept through the night and awoke to a hot sunny day. I got out of bed in the back of the pick-up, rubbed my eyes and POW! Lake Powell! The water is turquoise blue and the cliffs jetted straight up, at times over 1,000 ft. It was most definitely game on! Fun time!

Ashley sending a golf ball to outer space! 

We had many memorable moments on the lake. The ones that stand out most in my mind where, wake boarding through a tight cannon, cliff jumping, an intense rainstorm producing tons of waterfalls, and of course the suns daily rise and fall. 

First time wake boarding, not a bad time at all. I was like a kid in a candy store,!

This has and will continue to be a memorable trip. I am so grateful to Josh’s uncle, Joe, for motivating all of us to join him on his adventure. For it was his adventure, he has a long bucket list and Powell is now checked from the list. The only question I have is when do I get to go back again? 

The last sunrise for me on the Lake! Unforgettable! 

Mischievous Josh, ready to soak someone with his fish water gun.
Justin and Evan, Killing it!
Thanks to this man, I had a trip of a lifetime! Thanks Joe Daiek!