It’s February 23 and I just arrived back home in Tahoe for the night. I’ve been traveling the since January 12th and it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I guess I’ll start at beginning. It’s the morning of the day before I head to Europe and my new Kastle’s are still en route. Holiday season and tons of new snow does not make for timely deliveries, but we did get dumped on in Tahoe so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining.
2:30 pm on the 11th of January and my boxes of new skis have arrived! Immediately I head to Elite Feet up at The Village at Northstar where my good friend Keith was kind enough to mount three pairs of skis for me on the spot.
4:30 pm last minute packing for a month long trip to Europe. Yes, you might say I procrastinate a bit.
6:00 pm head to reno and pick up any last minute items, and enjoy dinner with my good friend Danielle. Finding time for my Tahoe friends in the winter is so hard sometimes. I miss them.
January 13th Travel day! Reno to Geneva -
Two smooth flights, one plane malfunction and two lost bags.
I arrive in Geneva early in the morning and my bags are missing. For some reason they are in Frankfurt even though Frankfurt was never a connection for me. Oh well, I have a few hours til Angel Collinson arrives and then my bags. Ha ha, after waiting at arrivals for a good hour after Angel’s flight came we get in touch via facebook. Apparently there is a French and a Swiss side. I was on the Swiss and of course Angel was on the French side.
The next flight from Frankfurt comes in and my bags are no where in sight. Not only are they not there, all of a sudden they have no idea where they are. After nagging the baggage ladies for hours I decide I’m going to check every flight from Frankfurt. Finally eight hours later they arrive!
7:00 pm shuttle to Chamonix with Angel
9:00 pm meet up with Trey Cook from the FWT who was nice enough to let me crash at his place for the night. My housing in La Clusaz didn’t start til the following night.
9:00 am Meet up with some of the Swedish ladies in Cham for a ride to La Clusaz for the first stop for the Women for the FWT. Hmm, just kidding. Turns out there won’t be room but they were nice enough to arrange for a friend of their’s from Finland to meet me a half hour later.
Finally after two days of traveling I arrive in my first destination La Clusaz, France. There was barely any snow!
La Clusaz, France finals venue
There was talk of the finals maybe not happening due to snow conditions. After a some what heated riders meeting the decision was made to hold the contest. Most areas on the venue were closed and there was a nice layer of crust on top. My first option was to go lookers left. After word from one of the men who had skied that side of the venue I made a last minute decision to go lookers right. Unfortunatley the route I chose did not work out so well. I made a right turn where I should of gone left and ended up over a sketchy double with not enough speed to clear it smoothly. I knew I was going to end up skiing some rocks but would still make it through safely. Just probably not on my feet. I was right, I got through the rocks with a core shot on my brand new skis and managed not to tumble til I hit the snow.
FWT stop #1 – DEAD LAST
I went in the top ranked female and came out somewhere far from the top. Next stop Chamonix
The group arrived in Chamonix a few days after the La Clusaz event. We had just been hanging out in the town of La Clusaz until the arrival day in Cham. Conditions were so bad it was hard to justify buying tickets to ski the piste.
The men of the FWT met up with the women for the 2nd stop for the women and 1st stop for the men of the FWT. Condtions in Cham were even worse then in La Clusaz. So bad that the organizers of the FWT had to move the contest to Courmayuer in Italy.
Compared to the anticipated venue on the Hotel Face in Chamonix this looked amazing. The group was a bit skeptical of snow conditions. It was low tide in Europe, line choice was so important.
With a heli lift to the top and what I thought would be a good line in mind I was at the top of the venue looking to redeem myself from my first fail in La Clusaz.
My view from the start gate
I dropped in and was happy to find that the snow was pretty nice. As I approached my first drop I noticed another guy had been there before me. My take off was now rocks and I had to make the call to bail on that drop. Trying to make up for the first mistake I got below the cliff only to find that every other turn I found myself skiing rocks. Damn!! Meandering my way down the gut I dropped of a tiny rock and clipped another rock in my landing. Once again I found myself tumbling down a venue.
FWT stop #2 – DEAD LAST
Two contest down and luck was not on my side. I stood at the bottom and watched the rest of the ladies come down the venue. Looking at options I should of chose over my own. I love to send it, but sometimes I have to play the game. Ugh, the competition game. Play it safe and make in on the podium, at least that’s what I’m told to do.
Hochfugen, Austria the site of the third stop for the women on the FWT. With two falls in my past staying on my feet became my main focus. It was no longer about picking the line that looked like the most fun with big fun hits, now it was just time to go to work and come home with at least one good result. I’ve won two big mountain comps in my past and both times I was at the bottom knowing that I won. That’s what I do, pick the line that is pretty much a gauranteed win if I nail it. For this comp it was time to swallow my pride, pick an easy line and not fall.
Normally I’d look for the biggest cliff and pick my line of that. This time it was all about finding some ten footers, maybe something a little bigger and not fall. Making sure I followed all the advice I was being given I took it down a notch and picked my line, right down lookers right. AKA, the boring side. I skied my run, hit my cliffs, found a few rocks that slowed me down a bit but stayed on my feet! Finally, I didn’t fall. You’d think I’d be happy, instead I was wishing I had done more. Waiting all day for the results wondering if I had done well enough to make podium.
FWT stop #3- 4th place
Hmm, 4th. I’ll just keep my thought’s on 4th to myself.
It’s February 23rd and I’m at home for the night before I head to Kirkwood for the 4th stop of the FWT. I’ve moved from 25th or 29th place in the rankings (not really sure) to 9th. 9th wont get me to the finals in Verbier, so I’ve got some work to do.
This time I’m going to find something that looks like fun!