Monday, February 8, 2010
Freezing, Windy Vermont and the Gatorade Free Flow Finals
I got up at 4:30 Am to catch my 7:00am flight out of Salt Lake on the morning of friday, Feb. 5th Talk about the most unnerving flights of my life! The turbulence was intense, and our little plane was bouncing all around and dropping hundreds of feet at a time in all of the bumps. When I finally arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio I was amazed to see just how flat it really is, and how funny their sense of humor is, I saw the most epic T-shirt ever.
I grabbed a quick bite to eat then got on my plane to Albany, NY.
After arriving in Albany, I met up with the Gatorade Free Flow tour people at the baggage claim. We all hopped on a 2 hour bus ride up to Mt. Snow and the Austrian Haus where we were staying. When we got there I was stoked to see that not only did I have the best room in the hotel, but I got it all to myself! So I was a happy camper, got some good rest and was stoked to shred the next day. I got up early the next morning, but didn't end up getting to the hill till about 11 after some good breakfast and coffee. Showed up at registration, forgot my insurance card, had to go back to the hotel, then finally got registered. When I walked out of the registration room I had to go and take a picture for the alli website. So I decided to not throw up a peace sign like everyone else, and made the goofiest face I could think of.
As soon as I stepped off I met Gill Montgomery, we clicked instantly and we did a little photoshoot together. I also knew a couple of the other girls who were there, like Nirvana Ortanez, and Jessika Jensen. We formed a 4-girl posse and dominated the mountain. It was so fun to ride with them- all of those girls get down!
When we finished riding, we booked it back to the hotel put on our swimsuits, and walked down to where we thought there was a hot tub. To our slight disappointment, there was not a hot tub in our hotel. So we opted to cruise up to the other hotel that was at the base of the mountain. We all hopped in for about 40 minutes, then waited for our pizza party to start.
It was like being in 5th grade all over again with a bunch of little kids running around, soda, and pizza party hosted by Gatorade. We wreaked havoc on the Snow Flake lodge for sure.
The next morning, we had to get up super early again cause it was time to compete! When we arrived to practice at 8:00am on the bulletproof course, they had to close down half of it due to the incredible wind gusts that were not safe to snowboard in. So the course now entailed just the down rail options, and the last two jumps of the Dew Tour course. The jumps were not that big, however with the wind gusting against us hitting 50+ ft. jumps, it was really scary. I have never felt like that at a competition before, and it was the first time in a long time that I was not having fun. I manned up though, after I saw a 16 year old sending both of them. Unfortunately, right before I dropped in the first time I had to watch a couple of my friends go down HARD. When you knuckle a big jump like that, the consequences are never good. I was not going to knuckle so I pointed it and tucked. As I came into the first jump my first practice run, a huge wind gust pushed against me right as I took off the jump. I was confident I was going to overshoot it, but ended up casing the jump by about 3 feet. It hurt my heels. So with a little bit of a mental block going on in my mind, I came around again and pointed it.
That time there was no way I was coming even close to clearing it, so I pulled out of both jumps. So I basically hit the jumps once before I took my run. First run was a wash out for everyone. I don't think one person landed their first run. Somehow I was in first place after that though. The next run came around and everyone stepped up a little bit. I had to watch my friend Nirvana go down hard right before I took my second run- she ended up having to go to the hospital.
I have horrible timing. I dropped at the wrong time on my second run and the wind was so gnarly. I landed my rail feature, and my straight air over the first jump ha ha and pointed it to the second, and bigger jump. All I have to say is with wind pushing you back on flat ground, and your charging into a huge jump, it was the worst feeling to know that I had to skip the second jump to save my knees. I love my knees, and I have huge plans for snowboarding, so I wasn't about to let this comp be a season ender. The first place girl did straight air- no grabs over both jumps, but because she and the other 2 girls who were in 2nd and 3rd could actually hit and clear the second jump they all placed higher up. I just barely got knocked out of 3rd place. I ended in 4th. Which considering the conditions, and I had to skip 1/3 of the course, and I did a straight air no grab over the jump that I could hit, 4th place is pretty sick:)
The girls and I all hit up the hot tub again after our long and FREEZING day. We had a super bowl party to attend, along with the One Life party at the Matterhorn, so we were ready for our night. After making our way back to the hotel, battling raging winds and negative temperatures to change and grab some stuff, we got a ride up to The Silo, where the superbowl party was. We ate a lot of really good food that was provided by Gatorade. THANKS GUYS! When we fininshed, we somehow finagled a ride over to the Matterhorn, with a van full of like 20 people. It was nuts!
When we got there, it was tough to get in. However, we still managed to get in. I was very tired though, and wanted to leave pretty quickly, Nirvana was nice enough to leave with me and the raddest girl ever Lynn Neil was kind enough to give us a ride home. I passed out HARD!
Woke up at 6 this morning, not feeling too hot and got back on the bus with a bunch of stinky kids. An hour and 45 minutes later we arrived at the Albany airport again. My flight doesn't leave until 4 this afternoon so I have a lot of time on my hands right now.....
Luckily I still have some friends around to chill with, while EVERYONE is waiting for their planes. All in all Vermont is seriously the coldest place ever!
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