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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Gatorade Free Flow Tour at Mtn. High 2011


The 2nd annual GFFT has begun. The first stop was this past weekend at Mtn. High. I decided to catch a ride down to southern California with my friend Tim, who was also competing. We left around 8a.m the morning of the 13th. We were driving all the way to Orange County, so he could drop me off with my family, then continue down to San Diego. After 9 hours in the car, we hit some traffic around Riverside area, with little patience left, we made it through, and he dropped me at my sisters house in Newport Beach.
The next day we had off to re-cooperate from the drive, and spend some time with our families. My sister and I took the ferry to Balboa Peninsula, walked around the shops, and grabbed lunch. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day, but my mind kept wandering to the slopes regardless of the 75 degree weather on the beach. I met back up with Tim in the early evening,
and we drove up to our hotel just outside of Wrightwood.
Registration started in the morning at around 7:30, and we were there right on time to get registered, and indulge in some great breakfast that was provided for us. It was a perfect day. Sunny and about 55 degress. We had about an hour to practice on the course, which was relatively smaller than last years. With 3 jumps that were all under 20 feet, and one rail, or box option, I felt pretty confident about the competition. After landing my run I wanted in practice, my friend Kim and I ventured to the West side of the mountain to meet up with a couple of my other friends who were up there riding. We all rode around the cluster of people and slush for a couple hours, before catching the bus back down to where we were competing.
We showed up just in time to take our runs! I was happy to be surrounded with a couple of friends from last years competition, and we all encouraged each other at the top of the course. My first run went well, I landed everything pretty clean, but it was my safety run. The next run I decided to step up my run, and unfortunately I slightly butt-checked doing a 540, determined to not let it shake me, I continued with the rest of my run, and was actually scored higher on that run than the run I landed clean. With no finals for girls, and the best of two runs format, I was a little disappointed with myself, but was having such a great day in sunny southern california, nothing could get me down. We hung out in the lodge for a while before the awards started. I ended up getting 2nd place! I am very happy being on the podium, despite not landing the run I really wanted. Congrats to Jamie and Nirvana who took 1st and 3rd! And thanks to Mtn. High and Gatorade for putting on a really fun event.
Another two hour drive back to orange county, and I was back at my sisters house in Newport. It was Saturday night, so we went out to a little place on the peninsula and danced! We had a great time! The next morning, my mom came and picked me up, and we took Pacific Coast Highway down to her house in Laguna Beach. My stepdad came and met us with some delicious lunch, and we all caught up and figured out the rest of my schedule for the season. After a successful meeting he took off, and my mom and I met my sister and her boyfriend at their new house in Laguna.
After a while, they hit the beach, and my mom and I cruised around Laguna Niguel. The day ended too quickly, and before we knew it, it was dinner time! With full tummies, we decided to go see the movie Black Swan, it was by far the craziest movie I have ever seen. Knowing I had to leave the next morning we stayed up late that night and watched movies, and caught up on the past couple of months, its always nice to hang out with family.
Monday the 17th was another beautiful day at the beach, which didn't make it any easier to leave. We hit the road around 11am, and didn't make it home until about 11pm. It was a long drive to say the least, but we hit some really great souvenir shops on the way! All in all it was a successful trip for everyone!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Slug Games Night Riders 2011

The 11th Annual Slug Games took place at Park City Mountain Resort on January 8th, 2011. After a solid morning of snowboarding, I was pretty anxious to get the contest started. Around 4p.m. the registration had closed and they let everyone practice on the course. Due to the massive amounts of competitors, and the long hike back up the course, most riders only got 1 or 2 practice runs. I opted to take the lift up the first time, and got two runs in before the contest.
The course PCMR and Slug Magazine built was definitely a step up from most rail jams that I have done. It consisted of two different sections with some very unique features. Only pictures can do it justice. With about an hour to kill before the girls division, I rode pick and shovel park under the lights! Night riding at park city is incredibly fun right now, and they now have the park lit up too!
When the girls division finally started around 5:30, I was tired. Just thinking about the tedious walk up the course was exhausting, and I hadn't even stared yet! Fortunately, I had a couple of friends competing who were keeping me lively. We jammed for about 30 minutes, and I wasn't feeling quite right. But, it was fun to see a lot of other girls competing and having a good time, so I put my game face on, and tried to step up.
When they announced the finalists, I was thrilled to hear my number, regardless of the fact I had no energy. The finals lasted for about half an hour, and people were really getting after it. I kept catching on the features and I wasn't sure why, but I got a couple of good tricks down, and was happy to hear the 5 minute countdown. With five minutes to spare, I hiked all the way to the top of the drop-in, and pointed it to the side of the jump by the gondola's. I did a huge method grab, into a 270 on the box, and almost fell, but I shook it off and awaited the awards.
When I looked at the base of my snowboard while waiting, I realized I had completely blown out an edge, and had a piece of my base about 3 inches long dragging along the bottom of my board. That explained a lot. I ended up in 3rd place, and was pretty pleased with that considering my board was totally sketchy to be riding the whole night!
Thanks to PCMR and Slug Magazine for putting on a great event!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Years Eve Rail Jam at Canyons 2010

The Annual New Years Eve Rail Jam took place at Canyons Resort on Friday, December 31st. With some architectural improvements to the base of the mountain, this years' layout was sure to be much more efficient than years previous.
I showed up around 4 p.m. to register, and with great ease was out and on the hill practicing within 10 minutes. The setup proved to be a step up from the past couple year and consisted of; a gap to down rail, with a pole launch on either side, into two lines at the bottom, on the right you could hit a flat rail to the Skullcandy wall ride, and on the left was a wall ride into a down rail. We practiced for about 45 minutes to an hour, when I noticed something was terribly wrong. There was not one other girl at the competition!
Slightly disappointed, I decided I would still ride as if I were competing with the boys. Fortunately everyone was very encouraging and supportive to me as we all hiked the course for an hour long jam session. The lighting was minimal, the snow had turned to ice, but everyone was still charging as hard as possible. With ten minutes left in the first session people gave it their all to earn their spot in the finals. The judges were handing out bandanas indicating whether or not you made the finals, and after not receiving one during the competition, I figured I didn't have to do finals since I was the only girl!
Wrong. Between the first session and the finals, one of the judges approached me with a bandana and said that they would like me to ride in it.
Once again, I decided to push myself, and ended up having a really great time! With some solid tricks laid down throughout the night, I felt confident about my performance, and am greatly anticipating what the rest of the season has in store for me. Thanks to Canyons for putting on this rail jam, it's always a great way to start off the season right!

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