Sunday, February 26, 2017

FWQ 4* Crested Butte

Crested Butte has been having a record setting season, with 100% of terrain open for the first time in years, it was an awesome time and place to have a the 4* Freeride World Qualifying event! Upon arrival, we were greeted with some unusually warm temperatures and we got a taste of spring riding during our inspection day.

Mother Nature decided to give us some fresh snow for the qualifying rounds and luckily they kept the venue closed and we only had visual inspection of the course until the morning of the competition to preserve the snow. Unfortunately, after about 60 competitors inspected the venue the morning of the contest there was little snow left covering up the rocky features hidden just below the surface.
I felt confident about my line choice, I knew exactly where to go and how to get into the chute I chose for my run. The bottom of the chute funneled into a little cliff zone, with a mandatory air at the bottom into a less than ideal landing, but I was feeling positive that I could pull it off. I put on one of my favorite Cypress Hill songs, dropped in and was feeling the flow. I felt solid in my execution, made it through the technical entrance to the chute, sent my bottom air and came out of the chute going FAST. Somehow, I was able to hold on and not tumble through the mogul field that I ended up jumping into. I cruised into to the finish corral with a smile on my face, and some good friends waiting to give me a hug and a high 5!

Qualifying for finals day in 2nd place, had me feeling calm, cool, and collected even though they weren't sure exactly what venue would be chosen for the actual contest. Since these contests are a cumulative score of your qualifying score plus your finals day score, I knew that I just needed to put down a solid fluid run. The event organizers were scrambling trying to provide us with most technical venue while also putting our safety first. A task much easier said than done. At the end of the day they made a decision that all competitors and spectators appreciated, giving us one of the longest venues possible, a top to bottom run that included everything from technical tight chutes, drops, open powder fields, and an amazing place for athletes to really shine at the bottom.
I chose the line less ridden for my finals run, only one other female athlete chose the same line. I found some good snow, dodged some potentially life ending rocks through a chute and found my way down to the bottom more technical section of the run.

My original plan changed on the fly when I got to my arrival point where I could either choose to get into a more dangerous zone, or keep up my fluidity and make it look good. Making a split-second decision when I was at the point of no return I decided to take the "easier route" after feeling the snow conditions on the other route. My gut instinct was right and I was able to put down a really solid top to bottom run, and come out with a 1st place finish! A big congratulations is in order to all of the other competitors for handling these conditions, venue changes, and mother natures' inherent ability to make your second guess the run you've chosen. Thanks also goes out to my sponsors, family, supporters! And a HUGE thank you to all of the event volunteers, organizers, and Crested Butte for hosting yet another historic freeride event. Now off to Taos for the next one!

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows