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... 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!

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