Sunday, February 27, 2011

Campus Rail Jam Tour at the University of Utah

The Campus Rail Jam Tour is always one of my favorite contests to participate in. It's always a fun crowd, there is good music, a great setup, and lots of familiar faces! I showed up on Thursday the 24th, to an unpleasantly gray day in Salt Lake City. I got there around 11am to register. Having done the contest almost every year they have put it on, I am pretty comfortable around the campus, and had no trouble getting myself all situated. I was greeted by some good friends who came out to support, along with my big brother, and some of the Niche crew. I spent most of my time hanging with my friend Cat and her roommate Maddee. We were having a blast watching everyone, and dancing our hearts out.

When it finally came time to compete I was more than ready, and the setup looked really fun. From lookers left to right the setup consisted of; a down-flat-down rail, a launch box with a gap on the end, and a down rail with little kink at the end for added technical difficulty. I climbed all the way to the top of the scaffolding, strapped in, and dropped into the launch box. Trying to set a high standard for the girls, I tried to do a smooth press and grab my board off the box, when I landed I sunk in about 6 inches into slush, and had to readjust my game plan.

Next up I tried my luck with the down rail. I got it first try, with a clean frontside 180 out, but that slush got me again, and I couldn't stick the landing. After that, I decided I would not fall anymore. Nervously peering over the edge of the drop-in to get a look at the rail, I strapped in and went for it. Success! I was feeling very good about that rail, and spent most of my time on it. I did some pretty good tricks on there including a solid frontboard through the kink, which was a personal goal of mine. By the end of the 40 minute heat we were all down right exhausted.
I cheered on the rest of my friends who were competing including Cat who was up next. She killed it the whole time and WON! YAY CAT! In the meantime while Cat and I were competing, Madee was holding it down on the dancefloor for us. She even won the "Teach me how to dougie" contest! We all had a blast hanging out all day, but it was finally time for the results! With the suspense building up inside me, knowing there were some good girls there, I couldn't barely even listen when they announced the 2nd and 1st places. Lejawn Allen ended up in 3rd. Alexa McCarty took 2nd, and I ended up in the top spot on the podium! After a quick interview with Fuel Tv I had to fly up the canyon to get to work! Needless to say, it was a long, busy, and super fun day! Thanks to CRJT for putting on yet another great event. Keep up the good work guys!

P.S. A local newspaper snagged a quick little interview with me. Here is the link:

Friday Night Live @ PC

Friday the 18th of February marked the 2nd event in the "Friday Night Live" series hosted by Park City Mountain Resort. After snowboarding for a little bit at Canyons Resort, I headed to the base of PCMR around 4:30pm to register. With the contest starting at 5, I had just enough time to hit each feature once before they started the "17 and under" competitors. I was a little surprised at how many girls showed up for the contest, considering there usually are only like three girls total, enough girls showed up at this event to have a 5 girl final! 
Our heat consisted of all open class men, women, skiers, and snowboarders, so it was a fight to drop in. We had fifteen minutes to jam and try to make it to finals, with quick hike back up the hill, I got a sufficient amount of drops, and some really solid tricks. Temperatures dropped quickly, and we were all anxious to get the finals started. They announced the finalists, including myself, and some other great riders, and we got the show on the road! My first drop I did a frontside 180 on and off the down rail. As soon as I landed, the lights went out. Apparently this is the first time this has happened, and it was a little ironic that it happened at a time when we REALLY needed the lights. I hiked back up, and waited for about 20 minutes with the rest of the competitors before we were allowed to drop again.
When the lights came back on, everyone was back on the course with full force. I did a couple of legitimate back-lips, and 180's onto the down rails, along with some proper boardslides, and frontboards. I felt pretty good about my performance by the end, but I was exhausted! Awaiting patiently at the bottom of the course for results, everyone was all smiles. After working so hard, and then standing around, most were shaking from the cold, and everyone was ready to get out of there. 
They announced the top three in each category and I'm happy to say I got 2nd, behind my friend Wiki Jones who had a great night of riding. Thanks to PCMR for hosting a great event. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that fifteen minute jam sessions are the way to go!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Aspen Open 2011

With no place to stay the night of the 7th, myself and four friends drove to Glenwood Springs to stay the night. Having just beat the huge cold front, and storm that was moving in, we safely made it to our hotel. I-70 was closed due to an accident, so fortunately for us, Aspen was the last open exit you could take. We have all driven by the hot springs almost every time we come through Colorado, although none of us have ever stopped to enjoy the natural hot springs. At 9pm we decided to go for a quick dip, before winding down for the night, and embarking on our journey to Aspen the next day for training.
It had been relentlessly snowing all night, and it hadn't let up much the next morning. Apprehensive as to whether or not we would even be able to hit the course, we got to Buttermilk around 9:30am. With so much snow overnight, we were told the course was unable to open until further notice. A couple of us decided to go check into our place in Aspen, and get settled. The weather forecasted sun for the next few days after, so we were anxious to train the next day.
It proved to be sunny, and bitter cold the next day. The course was big, and fast. With a semi-sore ankle still, I was nervous on the course. The jumps are big step downs, which have bad consequences if you don't clear them. I trained for a couple hours, and planned to visualize my runs, which usually ends up being just as helpful as actually doing them. After a long day of skiing, we wound down at our condo next to the fireplace.

Thursday the 10th was another beautiful sunny day. With a little bit of the chill dissipating from the air, it was a much more inviting day. After drinking some coffee, and sleeping in, we went up to the hill around 11am. I hadn't intended on snowboarding, and was going to film Jonny in the halfpipe, when I looked around and realized, there was only one other girl riding the halfpipe! I walked down to registration to find out there were only 5 girls registered to compete in the competition which was taking place the next day, so I signed up.  Halfpipe is not my strong point, but I do have fun riding it, so I figured I'd give it my best shot! I bought a ticket for the day, and lapped the pipe. With some solid runs through, I called it day, and got some rest for the next day.
The next morning was just as beautiful, I got up at 9:30am, registered, and took the extremely long lift ride to the top of the mountain. With a quick warm-up lap under my feet, I dropped into the halfpipe, made it to the bottom, and figured well that's about as good as it will get!  All of the girls stood up top anticipating the others' drop. I was very last, so I got to watch everyone throw down! When it came to my turn, I took in a lot of speed, did some good grabs, and some alley-oop spins in the pipe. The 3 run final seemed to fly by, due to the snowmobile rides we were getting back to the top of the pipe after every run.  When it was all over I wasn't sure how I was really going to match up to the other girls who only ride pipe. I ended up in 4th, which I was pretty excited about considering I haven't done a halfpipe contest in years.
Saturday the 12th, more sun in the sky, I took a couple laps in order to get ready for the rail jam that was taking place that afternoon, only to find out that they called it off for girls! Apparently there were only about 3 of us signed up, so they decided to just kick us out entirely. That did not sit well with me, but it was fun to watch my friends kill it, and I enjoyed cheering them on. We got back to our condo around 6oclock, and got some well needed rest before my slopestyle contest on Sunday.
I still had reservations about the course, mainly because my ankle was still sore, and weak. So when I showed up on Sunday morning to practice, I was scared. I rolled through the course without hitting anything twice, and then decided to hit the first jump the next time around. Bad idea. I came up short on that jump by about 5 feet, and seriously hurt my ankle, figuring I would definitely clear it next time, and charged even harder into the jump, and came up even shorter! Ouch. That was it for me, I decided to call it a day and not compete. With a sore ankle, and a knee that started to hurt after that silly mistake, it really wasn't worth it to end my season for the Aspen Open. But watch out next year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cholula Triple Air at Mountain High

Awaking to the brisk morning air of Salt Lake City, I drove myself to the airport at 6am. After finding self parking, and taking the shuttle bus to my terminal, I was incredibly tired. A sleepless night, full of anticipation before, I went right to sleep on my plane. About an hour and a half later, I touched down in Orange County. The time was 10am, my mom came and picked me up, and we started the commute to Mountain High.
We made extremely good time on the way up to southern California’s closest resort, it took us about an hour. A couple of my other friends from Utah had traveled down to compete, and were kind enough to take my snowboarding stuff in the car with them, so I wouldn’t have to fly with it. After meeting up with the boys, I stopped by registration, got my bib, and headed to the hill to practice. 
The wind was blowing so hard on the course the boys were having a hard time clearing the jumps, so I realized it was hopeless for me to even try. Having lightly sprained my ankle a couple days before this contest, I already had reservations about hitting 70ft. jumps, and I wasn’t about to end my season due to poor conditions. I ended up not even hitting the course once on Friday, instead I practiced some stuff on the other features that are offered on the mountain. We rode hard until about 3pm before we drove back to our hotel, which was right off the freeway. I got to spend some quality time with my mom, who I rarely get to see, and it was quite enjoyable and relaxing to literally have NOTHING to do. 
Saturday, February 5th, Mountain High hosted the 13th annual Cholula Triple Air contest. We woke up to a beautiful sunny sky, light winds, and about 55 degree weather.  Perfect! With a newfound confidence, I was ready to begin. We had an hour and a half to practice on the course, in which time I had hit the first and second jump, but not the 3rd (which was the 70 footer.) It wasn’t until the contest started, that I actually rode the whole course. 
I dropped 4th in the starting line-up. It was really fun to see all of the girls being so supportive of one another, and it’s always fun to see my friends from mammoth! We had to drop in from way above the actual drop-in point due to the wind. First run I took was solid on the first two jumps, as I approached jump number 3, I went to do a shifty, when I brought it back around, the wind caused me to over-rotate into a backside 180. Fortunately, I landed it, and then I sat down. Thrilled I was still alive after accidentally spinning over a 70ft. jump, I realized that was way less scary than doing a straight air! It is amazing to push yourself and see what your body is capable of. After surviving that, I now know I can push a lot further within myself. 
They ran everyone all the way through one time, before starting the girls in our second runs. Since there were only 7 girls in the contest, we were being judged on the best of 2 runs, with no finals. After washing out a little bit on my first run, I was determined to put down a clean run. I dropped into the first jump with as much speed as possible, and spun a backside 360. Pointing into the next two jumps, I did two clean straight airs to make sure I landed a clean run. Relieved it was over, and I was alive, I went and got my GO PRO and started getting some shots with my friends Kim, and Nirvana. 
We tore up the mountain and had a blast being total goofballs for the rest of the day. I’m pretty confident we were having the most fun on the mountain, therefore, we were shredding hard! After a long day of competing, filming, and having the MOST fun, we were all anxious to see what the results were. They announced the women first. Props to Melissa, and Mikayla for taking 4th and 5th. They had Nirvana, Izzy, and me come to the podium to build up the suspense of the order we had placed in. In the end, Izzy took 3rd, I took 2nd, and I’m happy to say Nirvana took 1st! She was riding very well, and definitely deserved it. Congrats girls! Thanks to all of the sponsors of the event, and Mountain High for always putting on great events. 
After the awards, my mom and I drove back to Orange County to meet my stepdad for a delicious celebration dinner at Thai Bros. Thanks Ricky! With our bellies full, we drove up to my sister’s house in Newport Beach. There is never a lack of fun, or laughter when my family gets together. We know how to have a good time :) Finally midnight came around, and it was time to go to sleep before my flight at 8am the next morning. Another quick turn- around for me. I landed at 2pm, had to be at work at 4:30pm, pack, then leave the next morning for Aspen. Busy, busy, busy, but I LOVE my life and all of my supporters. THANK YOU!

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows