Saturday, January 30, 2010

Skiing some amazing Pow in Chamonix! Comp tomorrow...

Today was one of the better days I have had all season! Only in Europe can you get onto the mountain at 12 and have untouched chest deep pow. I had some amazing faceshots today down into the village! The sun was just peaking through some clouds and as I was skiing I had amazing views of the Aguille du Midi and Mont Blanc. (pictured here) I do not know if you can beat that view and that steep of skiing anywhere.
Last night we had the bib draw for the competition in the middle of town, which was pretty awesome to be downtown Chamonix with you and your bib flashing up on the big screen. I drew bib 46. Girls go second and they alternate between snowboarder and skier. I hope the boys don't take all of our new snow! The face that we are skiing which is pictured here has received 2 feet of snow which is so exciting! Tomorrow is my first big mountain competition in europe. I am really excited about my line and just hope it goes well. It is supposed to be cold so I am excited I have my arcteryx clothing and warm hestra gloves. I also hope my legs are as strong as they feel, thanks to Rob at Mountain Athlete. Training at Jackson Hole hopefully has also given me some amazing confidence!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chamonix and My First French Couloir!!!!

Today I awoke for my first full day in Chamonix in bluebird conditions! I looked out my window and saw just one side of the valley and my jaw dropped! The mountains were unbelievable. Jess and I were still a little jetlagged, but so excited to go skiing. We walked up to the Brevent, which is one of the many resorts in the Chamonix valley. We loaded the gondola and rose up out of the valley and into the most amazing cirque of mountains I think I have ever seen. Glaciers and ice everywhere, I had seen photos, but nothing had done them justice until I saw them in person. Steep spires and rock walls. We went first to scope the competition venue, which looks pretty awesome, but the snow conditions are not as good as we hoped. I found a few lines that jumped at me so that was comforting. We then cruised around for a couple hours in the sun with amazing views and long runs.
When we had come up the Gondola and loaded the tram Jess and I spotted this couloir across the way that looked amazing. The only problem is we could not see the entrance, we decided to go check it out on our last run down. We skied over to it and it did not seem to bad, except the entrance involved a little two foot mini air into a strait line into a 45 degree slope that went for a while. (you did not want to fall.) I went in first and hesitated for a little and then went for it, I came in a little hot and was a little scared for a moment but was able to get myself stopped. (The picture here is where I finally stopped and just the top of the couloir.) The snow the rest of the way down was actually really nice! From the top of the couloir to the valley floor was about 4500 vertical feet. The couloir itself was about 1500 ft! Did I ever say how much I love couloirs!!!! What an awesome day! Can not wait for the next adventure....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rogers Pass

Rogers pass is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. After the competition five of us headed to the Wheeler hut on Rogers pass for three nights. The hut was only about a mile from the parking lot, but it felt like we were out in the middle of nowhere. We had the entire hut to ourselves, which was really fun. The avalanche danger was a little high, so I was not sure what we were going to be able to ski. The first day we skinned up through some really steep trees toward Glacier Crest. The temps had warmed up so much that there were tree bombs going off all around us, I have never seen anything like it. (just huge clumps of snow falling from the trees.) We decided for safety reasons to just ski back down in the vicinity of the skin track. It was the steepest tree skiing I had ever experienced. The snow was a little heavy, but I could only imagine how awesome it would be on a powder day. The next day we ventured into the Asulkan valley and had some clearer skies. I could not believe the terrain and amazing views of couloirs and mountains. Long runs that went for days. We skinned up to the Asulkan hut and skied the tree triangle, which was some nice powder! My goal is to hopefully go spend a week at the Asulkan hut, because the access to terrain is endless. We did not get to ski as much as I would have liked, but it was still and amazing time and great scouting mission. This couloir I have pictured is on my list for next time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

There is a first for everything.

So today did not go exactly how I was expecting, but a lot of times it never does. I decided I wanted to push myself a little out of my comfort zone today. I picked a line that had a little higher risk than usual. The last five competitions I have podiumed which is awesome, but i felt like I was ready to step it up just a little. I picked out a line that had two pretty exposed airs, the first one was only about five feet, but I had to shut it down so that I could make it directly fall line below me to a 20 foot ramp. I came out a little to hot and shot past my entrance. I was then positioned above a 50 foot cliff and had to hike out of my line. I have never had to do this before, so it was a great learning experience. I am bummed that I did not get to ski what I wanted to ski, but am excited to watch and root on the rest of the field! Revelstoke is amazing and the people are so accommodating and friendly.