Sunday, November 14, 2010

Journey's End

Great day on the glacier, the best in the two trips here. James put down an impressive run that should end up top 20. Hunter struggled to land his run, but rode quite well for 4 days into the season. Its a busy day with the comp and preparing to depart, so I just have time to post a few shots from the last few days. See you all back in VT on tuesday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thank You; Kaltsas Family.

For many years of leadership and support, thank you for everything and may the community you have fostered be a help to you in this challenging time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hunter Would

Today it dumped up on the Dachstien Mts. The snow was much needed, but it caused a delay in course building and practice was cancelled. That meant more rail laps in the side park. Now these guys can annihilate rails all day, and while its not my job to shred, I have to try a bit. Gotta say though, two days into the season I am not itching to jump on tall kinked rails like my crew is. I was happy to film and cruise, but I struggled to find my place in the lineups. So I was quite happy when Hunter Wood, who can kill rails all day, told me he wanted to rip around the glacier and get the feeling back instead of waiting in line for the rails.
We crossed the glacier where we found a short pow line. While we looked down, Hunter looked up and spotted a tight chute leading into the pow field. Off we went and quickly reached a narrow chimney that we struggled to ascend. I went first to check snow and risk, and Hunter followed. It was a heavy situation, but it was great training for big mt riding. Hunter enjoyed it and got a nice fast run down the chimney, followed by a river of slough. This side adventure was unexpected and we were stoked.
Practice resumes tomorrow and it looks like we will have to use the weather day on sunday. Rider meeting tonight, where we will get the lowdown.
Contest nonsense aside, it was cool to see Hunter's eyes opened up to true snowboarding. It was his idea to explore, and his idea to hike the chute. It was great to see his impetus rewarded. Big ups to Mike Perle for spotting our runout and giving direction from below!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back at It

Today turned out much like I hoped it would, with the exception of no jumps up yet on the glacier. Comp practice tomorrow, so we only have to wait a day.
That is what was missing, here is what wasn't:
First-class breakfast with Leikka (dog).

Insane gondola ride for our first chairlift ride of the year.
Legit rail lines (these guys only rode the advanced line of course).
Scenic country bus ride.
Wienrschnitzel for lunch (I know I spelt that one wrong).
VT Skates/House Company film/photo session at the local park.

As I write this we sit and await our first dinner with Veronika, which would surely make the above list.
James and Eric were already sold on Austria, and I think Hunter and Mike are seeing the light too. Comp practice tomorrow should be chill. They had to build the course today which means they won't have time to build anything too monster. Not that these guys can't handle it, but I don't mind starting the year with low consequences on the hill.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Must Return

Some have questioned why we returned to Schladming. The stress and consequence of last year's trip did indeed mess with my head and put me a bit behind the 8 ball for a month or so. I certainly would take last year's trip back simply to save Makayla's season.
So why return? Because the accident that happened last year wasn't able to fully overshadow the amazing trip we enjoyed.
First of all we have the Pension Tiefenbach and it's proprietor Veronkia. Great lady and top-notch lodging. I sit at the table now across from Beauchemin. The house dog is perched next to him and we are feeling right at home.
A second reason is the majestic scenery surrounding us. The town of Schladming rests under the shadow of the Dachstein Mts. Even if we were not imagining the riding up there, we could appreciate the towering backdrop.
Reason #3 is the Horsefeathers PleasureJam itself. This early-season comp is laid back yet competitive. The cultural aspect of competing in Europe at such an event provides worthy, worldly experience for us all.
The food is good too as is the coffee. TTR points for this crew are also important and why not rack some up before mid Nov? Having another shot at this comp after missing it for a hospital room last year is important to me too. So is some quality travel time with senior and 5 year riding partner Hunter Wood. Its great to be back with James and Beauchemin, and who better to round out a small SWAT team than Mike Perle?
I guess there are other reasons too. European females, a possible Jeremey Thompson sighting, castles and historic buildings, the skatepark, the gondola ride, lots of things, just not the exchange rate!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BURTON Queen City session

The level of talent on the snowboarding scene today is insane!Burton Snowboards has hosted a long standing event that is a showcase of this talent.The event is called the Queen City session. It is pre-season rail contest smack dead in the streets of Burlington Vermont. The set up could have not been any cooler,your on a closed off street in Burlinton right next to city hall, snowboarding! Burton was kind enough to invite two riders from SMS to the event.Those two lucky riders were Ezra Racine and Jamie Charron.With type of honor I thought it might be a good idea to get someone to document all the hot snowboarding action.I called in the'multi-media man' Chip Linton.With 80 heavy hitters on the start list;the mayhem began.Most riders were attempting tricks well over their heads trying to impress the judges. With clean and executed runs Jamie and Ezra made into to the semi-final round.Unfortunately riding against heavy hitters like Shaun Murphy,TJ James,and Dylan Dragotta or people half your age;it's hard to make it to finals!I am super stoked on how these two held their own and represented Stratton Mountain School.