Sunday, February 28, 2010

3 Rail Jams, 3 Days, and i'm still in one piece!

With the sun poking in and out of the dark ominous sky, we were due for a crazy weather day. Thursday, February 25th, The Campus Rail Jam Tour made its annual stop through the University of Utah. I got over there around 11 to register, and was happy to see some familiar faces around, everyone was stoked, and I was pumped up too.
Our heat started at 12:40 in the afternoon. I climbed up to the top drop-in, for the gap to down box. Figuring, I have hit this setup multiple times already this year, I dropped first. Landed a nice little front board, and rode away in the slush. And we were off! The snow started falling and the sky clouded over, the hail was smacking us in the face, fortunately it didn't effect the speed too much for the take off. After 40 minutes of jamming they announced the finalists. I'm happy to say I was one of them, along with Midori, Lynn, Marley, and Kass. When finals came along, we were all in the same heat with the skiers, and the boys. This is where my competitive spirit kicks in. In the end I think the judges were looking for overall consistency, and landing tricks, which was hard to do in the slush. I walked away with 1st, Marley with 2nd, and Lynn with 3rd. Congrats Ladies! We all walked away with some awesome prizes too, after all of it, I did an interview with Fuel Tv which hopefully turned out pretty well! Thanks CRJT for the great event!

The next day I rested, and prepared for the King of the Wasatch Rail Jam at Park City Resort. Thanks to Lynn, I was able to get up there! We arrived right at 5pm for registration. After registering, we took a look at the set up. There were three options at the top; a down-flat-down rail, a down rail, and a down box, ending with a wall ride, and a log stall/jib. To say the least, we were excited, and couldn't wait to hit the features.
After practicing once on everything, I decided to conserve my energy until the jam started. At 6pm, the event started. We had about a 45 minute jam session with everyone, before they narrowed it down to some finalists. They took the top three girls, which included, myself, Marley, and Kirby. A short intermission, and some course maintenance, gave us a chance to catch our breath and get re-vamped for finals.
We were all together again, with the boys and skiers. It was a tough finals. By the end of the night, the landings were just a little icy, which made it hard to land some things, I must have tried front blunt 270s off that down rail 10 times and landed it maybe once. I did do a 180 on hard way 180 off the down box which I was excited about, cause I have never tried that before!
At the end of the night, I walked away with 1st, Marley with 2nd, and Kirby with 3rd. We all walked away with some great prizes and a little cash! Thank you PCSB and King of the Wasatch! They did a great job hosting their very first rail jam in addition to the slopestyle, and halfpipe disciplines offered in previous years. I hope they continue to do so! Tired after another long night, I didn't end up getting home until pretty late, and unfortunately we had to get up very early the next morning, because garrett had to be at work.

The alarm went off at 5am and it was hard to get up. We piled our stuff into the car and left the house at 6am. After dropping Garrett off at work at 6:35, I drove over to the canyons, grabbed some coffee, and hung out in the Grand Summit Hotel in one of their big comfy chairs, in front of the fireplace. When it was time to get ready my boots were nice and warm, and I was ready for another day! I walked over to Smokies Bar and Grill for registration. Dave March greeted me at registration, and I was stoked to see my friend Wiki was there too! I waited for Wiki to register, then we took off up the gondola. She is so much fun to ride with, she shreds hard with a huge smile on her face, just my style:)
We had lots of fun playing around in the park, waiting for the competition to start. We had an hour long jam session, throughout which, the girls winner would be decided, which meant, NO finals! YAY! All the girls were doing really well and pushing themselves in the upper respect terrain park. Wiki and I took a couple of laps on the lift during the competition, to conserve energy, and it definitely paid off! I'm happy to say that Wiki walked away with 1st, I walked away with 2nd, and Kiri walked away with 3rd. Congrats WIKI you rock!! It was a very fun event, the Canyons always does a great job!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

3rd Rail Jam at Brighton+lots of snow=FUN!

It was a very drizzly Saturday morning in Salt Lake City on February the 13th. I woke up to lots of rainfall outside my house, hoping it was snowing at Brighton, Garrett and I jumped in the car and made our way to Big Cottonwood Canyon. When we got to the bottom of the canyon, it was raining harder, and to go up the canyon you had to have 4 wheel drive, or chains. Luckily we have 4 wheel drive in Garrett's car, so we were waved on by the police man at the bottom of the canyon. It took us about half an hour to get up there, but about halfway up the canyon the rain turned to snow.
By the time we arrived there it was puking snow! We pulled up to Millicent chair and parked. When we walked into the lodge for registration, we were some of the first people to arrive. After claiming a perfect spectating table in the corner, I walked over to registration. Timmy Grins was running the registration, and helped put on the event. The 3rd Rail Jam crew was very friendly, lively, and put on a great event.
We had a while to practice, about two hours. I took a couple runs, to try out my new O-Matic Benetar(which killed it on the rails), and look at the setup. I was trying to reserve some energy for the event, and i'm glad I did.The event started around one, and for once the girls got to go first!! With the snow piling up around us, myself and a few other girls had half an hour to throw down.
I started off easy, with a couple of boardslides, and frontboards to switch out on the down rail, and down-flat rail. I ventured over to the down-flat-down rail, and got a couple of 50's and some 180's off. With 5 minutes left I looked over to see my main competition, and best lady shredder I know from Japan, throwing down on the down-flat rail. She almost had a front 3 off, but just barely missed it. Great Job Midori!! After watching that I decided to step it up and do a back tail 270 off the down rail. I love that trick:) And that sealed the deal for me...
Between heats, Garrett and I hung out with Midori and guzzled down some hot coffee. The snow was still coming down, but there was a MC battle going on at the Under Armour tent. Our friend Mark was in the battle, so we had to go down there and watch. It was a great show, with some pretty good rappers actually! After they announced the winner of the battle that would be opening for Slick Rick later that night at the after party, they announced the winner of the lady's division.
I'm so stoked to have won, it was a really fun event. It was well organized, and the 3rd Rail Jam crew did an awesome job in their first year with this tour. The prizes were unbelievable too! I won more stuff than I know what to do with including; a board, bindings, goggles, gloves, backpack, jacket, and some cash! THANK YOU!!
We watched most of the men's division, before we decided to get down the canyon before all of the traffic in the snowstorm. The 3rd crew was nice enough to give me my stuff before the comp ended, along with some VIP passes for the Slick Rick concert, with armfuls of stuff and a huge grin, we headed back to the car.
The drive down the canyon was very peaceful, the snow was falling very gently, with bursts of sunlight shining through sporadically. It was beautiful. I am very lucky, and I had a great day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Freezing, Windy Vermont and the Gatorade Free Flow Finals

I got up at 4:30 Am to catch my 7:00am flight out of Salt Lake on the morning of friday, Feb. 5th Talk about the most unnerving flights of my life! The turbulence was intense, and our little plane was bouncing all around and dropping hundreds of feet at a time in all of the bumps. When I finally arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio I was amazed to see just how flat it really is, and how funny their sense of humor is, I saw the most epic T-shirt ever.
I grabbed a quick bite to eat then got on my plane to Albany, NY.

After arriving in Albany, I met up with the Gatorade Free Flow tour people at the baggage claim. We all hopped on a 2 hour bus ride up to Mt. Snow and the Austrian Haus where we were staying. When we got there I was stoked to see that not only did I have the best room in the hotel, but I got it all to myself! So I was a happy camper, got some good rest and was stoked to shred the next day. I got up early the next morning, but didn't end up getting to the hill till about 11 after some good breakfast and coffee. Showed up at registration, forgot my insurance card, had to go back to the hotel, then finally got registered. When I walked out of the registration room I had to go and take a picture for the alli website. So I decided to not throw up a peace sign like everyone else, and made the goofiest face I could think of.
As soon as I stepped off I met Gill Montgomery, we clicked instantly and we did a little photoshoot together. I also knew a couple of the other girls who were there, like Nirvana Ortanez, and Jessika Jensen. We formed a 4-girl posse and dominated the mountain. It was so fun to ride with them- all of those girls get down!
When we finished riding, we booked it back to the hotel put on our swimsuits, and walked down to where we thought there was a hot tub. To our slight disappointment, there was not a hot tub in our hotel. So we opted to cruise up to the other hotel that was at the base of the mountain. We all hopped in for about 40 minutes, then waited for our pizza party to start.

It was like being in 5th grade all over again with a bunch of little kids running around, soda, and pizza party hosted by Gatorade. We wreaked havoc on the Snow Flake lodge for sure.

The next morning, we had to get up super early again cause it was time to compete! When we arrived to practice at 8:00am on the bulletproof course, they had to close down half of it due to the incredible wind gusts that were not safe to snowboard in. So the course now entailed just the down rail options, and the last two jumps of the Dew Tour course. The jumps were not that big, however with the wind gusting against us hitting 50+ ft. jumps, it was really scary. I have never felt like that at a competition before, and it was the first time in a long time that I was not having fun. I manned up though, after I saw a 16 year old sending both of them. Unfortunately, right before I dropped in the first time I had to watch a couple of my friends go down HARD. When you knuckle a big jump like that, the consequences are never good. I was not going to knuckle so I pointed it and tucked. As I came into the first jump my first practice run, a huge wind gust pushed against me right as I took off the jump. I was confident I was going to overshoot it, but ended up casing the jump by about 3 feet. It hurt my heels. So with a little bit of a mental block going on in my mind, I came around again and pointed it.
That time there was no way I was coming even close to clearing it, so I pulled out of both jumps. So I basically hit the jumps once before I took my run. First run was a wash out for everyone. I don't think one person landed their first run. Somehow I was in first place after that though. The next run came around and everyone stepped up a little bit. I had to watch my friend Nirvana go down hard right before I took my second run- she ended up having to go to the hospital.
I have horrible timing. I dropped at the wrong time on my second run and the wind was so gnarly. I landed my rail feature, and my straight air over the first jump ha ha and pointed it to the second, and bigger jump. All I have to say is with wind pushing you back on flat ground, and your charging into a huge jump, it was the worst feeling to know that I had to skip the second jump to save my knees. I love my knees, and I have huge plans for snowboarding, so I wasn't about to let this comp be a season ender. The first place girl did straight air- no grabs over both jumps, but because she and the other 2 girls who were in 2nd and 3rd could actually hit and clear the second jump they all placed higher up. I just barely got knocked out of 3rd place. I ended in 4th. Which considering the conditions, and I had to skip 1/3 of the course, and I did a straight air no grab over the jump that I could hit, 4th place is pretty sick:)

The girls and I all hit up the hot tub again after our long and FREEZING day. We had a super bowl party to attend, along with the One Life party at the Matterhorn, so we were ready for our night. After making our way back to the hotel, battling raging winds and negative temperatures to change and grab some stuff, we got a ride up to The Silo, where the superbowl party was. We ate a lot of really good food that was provided by Gatorade. THANKS GUYS! When we fininshed, we somehow finagled a ride over to the Matterhorn, with a van full of like 20 people. It was nuts!

When we got there, it was tough to get in. However, we still managed to get in. I was very tired though, and wanted to leave pretty quickly, Nirvana was nice enough to leave with me and the raddest girl ever Lynn Neil was kind enough to give us a ride home. I passed out HARD!
Woke up at 6 this morning, not feeling too hot and got back on the bus with a bunch of stinky kids. An hour and 45 minutes later we arrived at the Albany airport again. My flight doesn't leave until 4 this afternoon so I have a lot of time on my hands right now.....
Luckily I still have some friends around to chill with, while EVERYONE is waiting for their planes. All in all Vermont is seriously the coldest place ever!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SIA Denver 2010 & GFFT Brighton

After finishing some last minute preparations we set out on Tuesday around 2 for Denver. We decided to take Highway 40 the whole way, it seemed fine for the first few hours, but then we hit some weather. Right after Steamboat Springs it started snowing really hard. The road was pretty scary by now, it was night, the road was ice underneath, with a couple inches of snow on top. We had to take it really slowly in order to maintain control. Luckily we got behind a snow plow going up Berthoud Pass which takes you all the way up to 11,500 feet, where it is impossible to see. We made it down safely after about 2 hours, and we were happy to finally arrive at our final destination at Garretts' cousins' house in Arvada, CO. The next day we explored Arvada and the surrounding area with our great host Janna (Garretts cousins girlfriend) who also cooked us a hearty meal and with full bellies we slept soundly eagerly awaiting our next day at SIA.
We got up around 8:00 in order to be at our first interview with Shred Betties and Spy by 9:00am. After some coffee with made our way into downtown Denver. Parking was a nightmare, but fortunately we found an underground that was only $14 for the day. When we walked inside the Colorado Convention Center I was amazed to see what a HUGE building it was- but with huge buildings comes lots of people. Kelly from Shred Betties eventually found us and gave us our credentials to get in. And the madness began...

Our first appointment was with Spy. Valerie helped show us their 2010-11 women's line, and was gracious enough to give us some sweet sunglasses at the end of our appointment. Next we hit up Nikita, and I got to try on some of their fun oufits, and check out their new board that they collaborated with K2 for.

We also stopped by the O-Matic booth and talked with Tanya. She was so fun to interview, a very positive person. She did a great job telling us about Todd Richards' graphics and what a goof-ball he seems to be. Tanya had lots of good things to say about O-Matic and even offered me a board that is on its way right now! THANK YOU TANYA CAN'T WAIT TO TRY IT!
Our day flew by, we had tons of interviews. When I finally got a little time to stray off from doing interviews Garrett and I made our way over to the Spacecraft booth to go meet my team manager Ryan. It was the first time we had met each other so I was slightly nervous! But, Ryan is not one to make people feel uncomfortable, after our first words I knew he was chill, and i'm glad to be a part of Spacecraft.
We returned to the house after our busy day, and crashed out. Anxious to get my box of goodies Ryan promised me when I saw him I couldn't wait to get back there in the morning. I closed my eyes, and the next thing I knew we were up and out the door again. After a day of wandering through the thousands of booths at SIA we thought we knew how to get back to Spacecraft. Half an hour later we found it! YES! Ryan had lots of goodies to give me and I am so stoked on everything he hooked me up with! THANK YOU! We chatted for a little bit, Garret and I posed for a photo, then we were off to meet Kelly at the Drop booth. I was stoked to see my team manager Suzanne from Akinz was there also, and we ran up to each other like little girls and hugged for a sentimental moment ha ha. The rest of the day was really fun as Suzanne and I are pretty goofy together. Garrett went and met up with his cousin Jason and they went their separate direction, while Suzanne and I stuck with the Shred Betties crew.
Over at the Northwave booth we met up with another one of the team riders for Shred Betties, Clair Hewitt Demeyer. She was taking over my interviewing job, because we had to get on the road as soon as possible, Garrett had to work at 6:45 in the morning and I had a competition at Brighton the next day. Desiree from Northwave let me interview her, and ask some questions about their new product, so Clair could see how it was done. Von Zipper was next on the list, and I think this was the most fun interview we did the whole time. GT from VZ helped show us the new product line, and let me tell you, he was a riot. We all had a blast over there taking pictures, cracking jokes, and giving each GT a hard time, but he was a good sport about it. The new Von Zipper sunglasses, and goggles are sick by the way. We got some cool pictures goofing around at the booth. Thanks GT!

Unfortunately Garret and I didn't end up leaving Denver area until about 4:30, so again, we were driving all night. We opted to take I-70 to the 191 to I-15 this time. The drive was mellow, it was a full moon, clear skies, with white snowdrifts all around us. It was beautiful, very peaceful. We ended up getting home around about 12:30pm and we both passed out hard.
I woke up to an alarm again at 7:00, realized I didn't even have a ride to Brighton to compete, and panicked slightly. Luckily my brothers girlfriend Jess was nice enough to come grab me and take me up there. She even showed up with a yogurt, and we stopped and got some coffee. I was feeling very slow, from lack of sleep, and lack of snowboarding for about a week and a half. I showed up right at 9:00 for registration, and ended up waiting in lines till 10:00 to finally get my paper work in.
So by the time I got out on the course I got 3 practice runs. I was confused to see how many wall rides they decided to put in the course, I mean i'm all for wall rides, but not 5 in one run. The jumps were a little strange too, small jumps with super poppy take-offs that make it hard to clear. All in all I was a little disappointed, but I was just stoked to be snowboarding again:) My first run I got a little over confident on a front 3 and over rotated to a perfect front 450. Sweet. So I had to skip the next jump because I lost all my speed. The next run I decided to play it safe with a frontside 180 to cab 5. I butt checked a little on the cab 5, but I guess it didn't matter too much because I still ended up in 3rd! It was a very fun competition, lots of nice people there, and tons of smiles:)
Been having a blast riding Kings Crown at Park City the past few days. Training in session. Heading to Vermont on Friday. Stay Tuned!

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows