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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oakley Zone Madness at The Canyons

Saturday the 20th of March marked another beautiful spring day up here in UT. We have had a lot of those lately, and I'm very happy about it. With the sun shining, and the sky blue I knew it was going to be a good day.
After registering with the friendly staff of the Canyons, I took the gondola up the the Upper Respect Terrain Park. This park is so much fun, and has been all year. The Canyons park crew really do a wonderful job with what they have to work with, and I know a lot of people including myself will be buying passes there next year instead of Park City.
I ran into a few people I knew there, including Kiri Bennersly. She is a rad ripper from New Zealand, we were stoked to see each other and tear up the park all day. Kiri is a local canyons girl, and she showed me the ropes a little bit. I love The Canyons, it has such a great vibe, and it is very spread out.
After a couple laps through the park it was time to start the competition. This competition had an unusual format. There were 3 zones to choose from. The first was an option between a down-flat-down rail, and a down-flat-down skinny box. The second was the first two jumps in Upper Respect. The third was a log jib, or a big stall/bonk option. You had the choice of competing in all three to win the overall, or just do certain divisions. This park is too much fun so I had to do all three right??
We started with a 30 minute rail jam on the two down-flat-down features. People were throwing down, and they were playing really good music, so I decided to get a little technical with my tricks. I got a couple of solid Cab 270's on and off the down-flat-down skinny box, and a 50-50 to switch 50-50 on the down-flat-down rail. Feeling pretty confident we moved to the jump section which is my favorite.
We were judged on the first two jumps, as I normally have to practice with three jumps in other competitions, I was slightly thrown off by just two, but I adjusted accordingly, and it was just plain fun. I landed a couple of Cab 540's and some backside 360's and ended with a huge method grab! Luckily we were able to ride the lift during this portion, hit the bigger part of the park, and rest a bit.
Up next came the final Jam session on the log jib, and the Skullcandy Stall. I had never hit either of these features before in the park, so I was a little hesitant at first. But after watching where a couple of the guys dropped in from, I went for it. Happily all went well, I did a couple of mellow tricks, and walked away with an overall win! Mission accomplished! Thanks for putting on another great event CANYONS!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Billabong Flaunt It was the MOST FUN CONTEST EVER!


After being in Tahoe since Wednesday, and shredding hard on Thursday, we took friday off, hung around in Kirkwood at our amazing condo, and leisurely drove back to the lake in the afternoon. My older sister Lauren, and my cousin Jenn came up to Tahoe from various parts of California for the weekend. So Garrett was surrounded by all girls all weekend long:)
We met them, and their friend Peter up at Squaw for the opening night of the Snow Festival. We watched fireworks, and had some firestone pizza for dinner. I love being with my family.
Everyone retreated home for the evening and woke up to go ride Northstar the next day. I was participating at the transam on Saturday, and was really looking forward to the event. When I arrived, and attended the riders meeting, I was disappointed to see how poorly organized the event was. And many people, including myself, were over looked. I hope next year they decide to break people up into heats, instead of having 113 people drop at once. Everyone was really nice though!
I didn't let it ruin my day. I was excited to have my family around, and ride with them. It was fun to ride with my cousin Jenn, who was the one who taught me how to snowboard! We rode till about 3 then made our way off the mountain. They dropped me off at my friends house who we were staying with in North Shore, and planned to meet us later in the night.
When Garrett and I arrived at their condo in South Lake I was happily surprised to see my other two cousins Jamie, and Ashley had come up for the night too! It was a family reunion, and a much needed one after 4 years apart! We enjoyed each others company till a little too late, and we had to leave in a bit of a rush to get to bed on time for the Billabong Flaunt It the next day at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
I was awoken by the sunlight shining on my face. A definite sign of a good day:) Garrett and I packed up the car, drove up to Sierra, got a VIP parking spot and walked into registration. I was greeted by lots of shredder girls and familiar faces. I was happy to see at least 10 people I knew, including Kumara Kelley, and Nirvana Ortanez. Whenever these girls are around, we are bound to have too much fun. I waited for Kumara to register with the lovely ladies from Billabong and we attacked the boardercross course on our way down to the slopestyle course. Kumara and I literally scream with joy and excitement when riding together, we must be a sight to see.
After we laid our eyes on the slopestyle course, we were like giddy little school girls. FUN! FUN! FUN! GOOD VIBES! FUN! FUN! FUN! We couldn't have asked for a more fun and perfect course, and for once at a competition, I didn't hear one person complaining! At the rider's meeting we were told the format would run as a jam for an hour and a half. I almost didn't believe it! It was too good to be true, each girl got at least 4 or 5 laps through the park in the allotted time. Girls were pushing themselves and everyone was stoked and encouraging each other. In the end Lynn Neil won with some sick backside 720's, I ended up in a happy 6th place. There were so many girls doing so well I was very happy to make top 10.
Not only was there a slopestyle event, after the slopestyle,we had a rail jam just below the course. But they couldn't expect us to hike a rail jam setup right after slopestyle without food right? Of course not! Billabong supplied every competitor with lunch too!! They fed us delicious burritos with salsa, and gatorade, it was perfect, THANKS BILLABONG !!!
With some new energy in us, we were ready for the rail jam to start. It was a really fun setup, and the hike wasn't too bad either! There were probably about 25 ladies hitting the setup, every girl had great style, and was having a blast. It was all good vibes with everyone cheering each other on, giving each other tow-in's, and just generally being stoked. I was having so much fun I didn't want it to end, but was slightly relieved when they said that was it. We were all beat and ready to hear the results... I am happy to say I ended up in 2nd place at the rail jam, I had lots of fun and it must have shown through in my riding.
I hope Billabong continues to put on this event. It was judged properly, formatted accordingly, and most of all FUN! I can confidently say that every single girl who participated had a great time, and that is a huge statement.

KIRKWOOD IS THE MOST EPIC PLACE EVER!


Kirkwood resort is a hidden gem amongst the vast Sierra Nevada's. My boyfriend and I had the pleasure of going there while we were in Tahoe this past weekend. It dumped snow all Wednesday, and into the night. We rested and got up at 6:30am to make the drive from North Shore to Kirkwood, and it far exceeded expectations. As we winded our way up and down mountain passes, away from the lake, the landscape opened up finally, and revealed our playground for the day. It was the most beautiful sunny morning, the snow was glistening, calling to us to come.
We wasted no time parking and making our way up to the lifts. We were met by photographer extraordinaire Josh Otto. Josh was kind enough to stray away from working at the Freeskiing Championships that were taking place to come give us some tickets. We said hello, then he set us on our way! Garrett and I were literally shaking with excitement as we walked to chair 6 to begin our excursion.
Chair 6 took us straight to the top of the mountain, and there were more amazing tree and cliff lines to choose from than we could handle! After a couple of laps to the right side, we decided to go left off the chair and traverse over to a cornice, followed by cliff, after cliff, after cliff. With huge grins on our faces we made it over to chair 10. This is where the action was, we dropped into wagon wheel bowl, after crossing by some "experts only" signs. They mean experts only too, with lava rock surrounding you everywhere on the mountain, there is no gray area as to where beginners should, and shouldn't go. My heart was racing all day as I slid past narrow chutes of lava rock, and jumped off cliffs. I was amazed that this great of terrain could be offered at a resort!
On looker's left of chair 10 you can see THE CIRQUE which is a part of Kirkwood that is permanently closed to the general public. By one look at it, you can obviously see why. We dropped over the backside of the mountain to get a better look at the full terrain, and get a glimpse of the sheer rock face of The Cirque as we rode by. If we thought there was nobody on the frontside of the mountain, then there was absolutely nobody on the backside. I was told by one of the locals that Thursday was the best day of the season, and that there were a lot of people there that day. In comparison to where I usually ride, I was ecstatic to see that their view of "crowded" meant standing behind 3 people in line on the best powder day of the year.
We charged hard all day long and by 2:30 our legs could no longer even hold us up! It took us much longer than it should have to get from the backside to the frontside due to fatigue, but we still couldn't stop smiling. We were shown to our very gracious accommodations that were provided by Josh and his girlfriend Molly. We walked into an enormous 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo, with a balcony, right on the slopes. BEST DAY EVER!!!!!
But it wasn't over yet! I rested for an hour or two before meeting up with Josh and his friend Nate to take some pictures hitting a handrail. Conveniently, the handrail was just right down the street, and had a perfect in-run, and take off. We shoveled some snow over the sidewalk to make a jump to the rail, and we began. I have to admit I was slightly nervous, I have never actually hit a street handrail before! But everyone was there to help and I quickly worked out the nerves.
I love working with professionals, we were in and out of there in about an hour and a half, and we came out with a great shot, considering how tired I was. Thanks Josh and Nate!

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