Travelling to Canada for the second time I was really excited to get to Whistler Blackcomb after hearing so much about it my anticipation levels were high. It felt like I was heading to a place that is at the epicenter of some of the best snowboarding and big mountain riding on the planet.
Whistler did not disappoint, the Aussie team and I were there for a bit over a week and we were treated to fresh snow every morning. We fell into a daily routine of heading up the mountain in the mornings hunt out some fresh lines, tree runs and then some laps through the terrain park. Our coach Lu had to adjust his training plans to suit all the snow and that suited me just fine.
After our week in whistler we headed inland 4 1/2hrs from Vancouver to Big White ski resort for the next stop on the Para-snowboard world cup circuit and a two week training camp around the event.
The drive up was a bit sketchy with a lot of snow falling on the way but my team mate Simmi did a good job of getting us to within 50 meters of our accommodation before losing traction on the slippery drive way. After a few attempts I called out confidently "give me a crack at it". I jumped in the drivers seat, put the car into gear, gave it some gas and promptly sent it into a snow drift. We got the car out after half an hour of digging and with Simmi back in the drivers seat we managed to get car up the drive way with a bit of pushing from the boys.
The following week was spent training with the team spending a lot of time out on snow we entered the nor-am comp up against able bodied riders I did alright but it was more to get experience on the course. We did nine days straight before a rest day two days out from the comp.
Big White Day 12
SBX World Cup
The day started out nice with the sun popping its head out briefly from the clouds. The course was looking nice and fresh no snow overnight so it was running pretty fast. Training felt pretty good I took it a bit easier. First qualifier was my fastest time with a 1:10:42 and I was fairly clean on the second qualifier but was slower by a second.
I did a run in between to stay warm as there was a long wait before the finals started. My first heat was against the Chinese rider, my time was the 6th fastest so I went up against the 11th placed rider in the round of 8. I just beat him through the start section and got the holeshot into the first turn. The Chinese rider made a mistake after turn 1 and I cruised the rest of the course to the finish.
2nd heat I was up against my buddy the Canadian rider Curt Minard he took a nasty fall in the heat before so I thought he might've been out but he fought on. Out of the gate we were both evenly matched I had the inside line to the first turn but Curt managed to close the door on me for the holeshot. I could of held my line but I would've crashed into the back of him instead I backed off and lost a lot of speed. It was catch up from there I reeled him in going over the step up and through turn 5 but I made a mistake in my line choice through turn 7 and he pulled away again. I couldn't catch him and lost the quarterfinal.
I jumped up to 5th after one of the faster qualifiers got knocked out in the round of 8. Pretty happy with the day my best result in SBX so far.
Big White Day 14
Bank Slalom World Cup
Really nice start to the day the course was set up through two halfpipes so it was a leg burner we only had two runs with the fastest time taking home the choccy's.
My first run was pretty smooth but I didn't push as hard as I could because I expected it to be a bit more rutted after training the day before. 1:19:43 first run. DQ second run and was pretty bummed but still came away with a 7th from my first run time.
With the event being the last stop on the circuit we had a prize giving ceremony where the overall champions were given a crystal globe for having the most points accumulated at the end of the season. With a solid season my team mate Joany took out the overall women's crystal globe.
After a month on the road It's time to head home via Vancouver. I have spent 25 out of the last 33 days on snow and I'm looking forward to a quick break at home before the next adventure. Japan!