Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SFS BIG Sky 2015

Mother nature has been extremely fussy all year, with unusual snow patterns, or lack there of, we have all been at the mercy of a nearly snowless year here in the lower 48. Due to the nature of our sport, we have absolutely no control over whether or not it will snow, or if we will end up having to compete on less than ideal conditions. Unfortunately for the Subaru Freeride Series and Big Sky, mother nature just couldn't provide the snow needed at the proper time to warrant sending 100 plus competitors down one of the most treacherous zones on the mountain, the Headwaters.
Given the fact I grew up in Montana I was looking forward to going to this event a little bit more than than the rest of the stops, and was committed to go either way. We showed up two days early in Big Sky and were greeted with less than optimal conditions on the course (which was closed) and the mountain all around. Later that day we received an email from the event coordinators saying that the event had been cancelled, and regrettably there was nothing that could be said or done.
Determined to make the most of our time there, we decided to tough it out and go ride and keep our spirits up regardless. Lamentably, for the Freeride series coordinators mother nature had a little surprise up her sleeve and the skies opened up and dumped about 2 feet of snow in a 36 hour period of time, and I got to enjoy one of the best powder days of my life.
The terrain there is unbeatable, and with access to some really steep open bowls, cliff drops, and chutes directly from the tram, we got "free refills" and I was literally getting faceshots on every turn on every run all day long. That made up for the lack of the event in itself, and although SFS did their very best to make the event happen, sometimes things just happen don't work out as planned. I was privileged to be asked by the SFS to participate in a promotional video for the Sony Action Camera while I was up there and had an absolute blast being a part of that. Everything happens for a reason, and I would have loved to compete and bump myself up the overall rankings, however, I am very pleased to say I still ended up in 4th place overall in the series, my debut year. I am looking forward to many more Freeride events next year, and positioning myself to try to qualify for the Freeride World Tour. Thanks to everyone at the SFS for all of their hard work, my sponsors, family, supporters, and all of the new friends I've made on this exquisite journey into a new realm of competitive snowboarding. I'm looking forward to heading up to Haines, AK next week to get my fill of powder for the season- stay tuned for the next set of adventures!

Filming with the SFS for Sony Action Cam

Lone Peak behind me

Headwaters Venue Monday 3/23/15 (2 days before the storm)

Mahalo vibes

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Subaru Freeride Series Telluride

I have heard that the San Juan mountain range in southern Colorado is spectacular, but I've never been able to witness it for myself. It did not disappoint. In every direction you gaze are just the most majestic mountains you have ever seen. I was lucky enough to be able to go to Telluride at the beginning of March for the Subaru Freeride Series stop and although it didn't go quite as planned for me, the level of riding both skiing and snowboarding was mind blowing, and the scenery made it just that much better.
With just a visual inspection of the course the day before competing in the Main Event, it was difficult to select the right line, and have the confidence to ride it well given it would be the first time ever going down it. I admire those who were able to find the right line and "send it" in the sense that a lot of the competitors did. For me it was unusual to look at something from the bottom and then try to find my way to it from the top, where you couldn't see more than about the first 100 feet of the slope. Needless to say, I got a little lost on my line and was unable to put down the run I wanted, missing finals by just one spot. I was more than happy to be able to watch and cheer on the rest of the competitors, and work on my tan in the sunshine at 12,000ft! It was an absolutely perfect day for a final, and the energy levels were high. People were absolutely throwing down and it was a pleasure to watch. Congratulations to all of the competitors who were able to attack the mountain and get on the podium, that was a gnarly course!
On a brighter note, I was selected to be featured in the CORE SHOT video that the Freeride Series does with athletes to highlight the competitors and give a little behind the scenes look at who we are and showcases our personalities. Thanks for choosing me to be featured SFS and MSI! Take a look at the video below!
I can't wait for the next event at Big Sky, MT which is one of my old stomping grounds growing up! Be sure to stay tuned and check the SFS website (  for live streaming of the event and to see all of the athletes current ranking on the tour!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rahlves Redbull Banzai at Alpine Meadows

This whole season has been a new experience for me. Having to mentally overcome knee surgery I think is the most difficult part of it all, the physical aspect is easy, but having to completely re-think the way I've lived my life forever and be "cautious" is something i've never had to do.
That being said its opened so many doors that I had so strategically left closed for a long time knowing that my true passion may lie behind them. Between the freeride series, getting out in the mountains and earning my turns, I feel that riding park may be a thing of the past for me (at least until the summertime.)
I was coerced into coming with some friends to do the BANZAI in Tahoe which is another event that I had heard of, but never thought I would have an opportunity to do with my heavy slopestyle contest schedule. Luckily I was able to sneak over to Alpine Meadows and participate in this one, and man was it intense! I've never done any racing on my snowboard, let alone racing with 3 other people next to me, down what was basically a Giant Slalom course covered with giant icy moguls! The event was all time and so were the people. The format was insane, I still can't wrap my head around it, but I do know that I somehow managed to get 4th for women! Congrats to everyone who participated and survived that icy hill of death! Special shoutout to Daron Rahlves for hosting the event and showing us all what a great skier he is by absolutely crushing the course on his warmup run.

Making new friends at the burrito stand 

Top of the course! 

Podium shot! 

Squaw Prom was all time. Thanks Kaya for the VIP hookup! 

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows