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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

FWQ 4* KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN, B.C.



 The Canadian Rockies are every bit as magical as you may have imagined, Kicking Horse in particular is a special place. A relatively small resort compared to the mega corporations that seem to be expanding year by year, Kicking Horse Mountain has a total of 4 lifts that access some of the most incredible in-bounds terrain i've ever been privileged enough to ride. Graced by some fresh snowfall, the venue chosen for the qualifying and finals venues had every single athlete very enthusiastic to get the competition underway.


Leading the charge up the boot pack as the first athlete eager to ride this venue, I wasn't even tired at the top of the relatively short but steep hike to the top of the aptly named Terminator Peak. I was second to last to drop in and was elated to watch the rest of the field dance down the mountain in front of me. There was still quite a bit of snow left on the venue regardless of the open inspection where all of the athletes can go and "check out" their line and landings prior to the start of the contest. Due to the lack of visibility and possible weather coming in, the judges made the tough call to split the judging into 3 separate portions of the hill, instead of all collectively watching and judging a top to bottom run from the bottom of the venue. Although its not ideal to be judged like that, it was the right call to make and helped the contest run very quickly and smoothly. I was able to find my line with ease, execute my airs and keep my fluidity and speed up through my run, landing me in second place going into the Finals venue the following day.

Last year on the same finals venue, I made two almost fatal errors that were haunting me all morning while trying to choose my line. Last second before dropping in I decided to switch my entry point and chose the slightly less technical chute to ride into the main chute. Mentally I wasn't totally there, and it was probably apparent in my riding. However, I was able to make it down, ride the traverse over the rock island to the other chute on the course, and find my bottom air into the powder field below. I wasn't completely happy with how the run went, but I had a decent point lead on the competitors who qualified behind me. Its always nerve wracking not knowing exactly how you ended up until the awards, but regardless we all have to play the waiting game until later that night when they hosted the awards party at Whitetooth Grill. I am so proud of Kiana and Michelle who placed in 2nd and 1st place, and deserved every bit of it. I am also delighted to come in 3rd place knowing I could have done a little more on the finals day, now it all comes down to the last event at Crystal Mountain next week. Wish me luck!



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