|The look of pure satisfaction of getting faceshots in your contest run.|
|After hours of travel a makeshift office in the airport.|
|The ride into Hakuba Valley, enjoying my PHGB trailmix!|
|The "Japanese Alps"|
The contest was supposed to happen within the first 3-4 days we were in the Hakuba Valley, but with heavy snow continually falling through the week making the venue unsafe for competition, the event
organizers had to do some crafty thinking and rethink a venue with very short notice. They did
everything in their absolute power to keep the contest and spirit alive, keeping us updated with constant emails and meetings throughout the week. Thanks Alicia for being so on top of that :)
|One of my favorite buildings in Hakuba|
A few days later the weather and snowpack was finally stable enough to have the contest in the backcountry of Hakuba Happo One Ski Resort. By this point I think half the field forgot we were there for a contest, because we were all grinning ear to ear all day every day with the meters fresh snow accumulating.
|Possibly one of the best days of my life. Hakuba 47|
The morning of the competition the sun greeted us for a little while, just enough time to give us the vitamin D we were missing from the huge storm that we were submersed in for the last week. By the time we were at the lodge to get our avalanche equipment checked, the storm moved back in, and made visibility a little bit more difficult.
Since they had to move the venue last minute they ended up giving us a snowmobile ride up a couple miles almost to the top of the venue. Lucky for us or we would have had to boot pack nearly an hour and half to the top of the venue. I'm amazed how efficiently it all went given the number of competitors and limited snowmobile usage, not a single person missed their start.
Women snowboarders were the third group to drop, I was the third person to drop and I ended up in 3rd place on the podium! It was difficult to find my line after getting a faceshot first turn into the unbelievably steep venue. I lost my line I inspected the day before nearly immediately, and just went for a soul inspired run, nearly blind. Congrats to all of the athletes and especially the ladies battling challenging near white-out conditions, and persevering with smiles on your faces. It was amazing to watch all of the competitors in their elements and especially watch the ladies absolutely SEND IT! Special shoutout to my friend Michaela Davis Meehan for her aggressive line that put her in 2nd place and the Russian sensation Anna Orlova for charging her way to the top spot!
|Pure stoke with my girl Michaela Davis Meehan!|
Another highlight for everyone was the fact that not only Travis Rice decided to show up to compete and absolutely dominate, but he was one the nicest people at the contest, kudos to him for being a humble human being and inspiring so many to do what we do.
|The legend himself|
|Girls just wanna have fun!|
A big thank you again to the FWT organizers, Hakuba Tourism, and the Japanese people. Without whom this contest would not have made history the way it did. I am so honored to be a part of this event, and to stand atop the podium with some of the world best athletes is just a bonus! Thank you to DISCRETE HEADWEAR for helping me to get to Japan as well as PlayHardGive back for your support and keeping me fueled up and ready to ride. Another huge shoutout to NICHE SNOWBOARDS for shipping me a board suitable for these conditions all the way to Japan. As well as Aura Optics, XS Unified, Outdoor Tech, Polar Pro, and Shred Betties.
|I love JAPAN!|
|A burning cleanse before entering the temple|
|Big city lights. Tokyo, Japan.|
|Near the famous Tokyo Scramble|
|Sake Barrels in Tokyo|