After a very moving and healing weekend in Leavenworth and a wonderful day skiing with friends at Stevens Pass, we attacked our long drive to Taos, NM. Fortunate to have my good friend and freeskier Joey Smallwood on board to share the 1,400 miles/24 hour drive.
It took us 2 1/2 days and on wednesday night I rolled into Taos just in time for the mandatory athlete meeting. It was so great to see many familiar faces again, and be together with the freeskiing family knowing we are about to have a wicked time.
The qualifier went off on thursday starting with the Juniors, followed by the Snowboard, Masters and Skier categories. Fortunate to be pre-qualified, we took advantage of the good visibility and hiked up to Kachina Peak to inspect for the final day.
On day 1 I inspected an area called ‘Heavy Timber’, which is a no-fall zone due to the exposure over cliffs and rocks. There was barely any snow in there to begin with. I decided the consequences were too high in case of a fall, and chose to play it safe and not ski this risky line. Now the clock was ticking and I had no time to inspect another line. Visually I inspected a different run from the bottom and just winged it. One decent size cliff right off the top and another small air with fluid skiing got me sitting in 5th place.
Kachina Peak was the venue I was excited to ski the most. Wide open, lots of cliffs with steep landings, tons of options! I had inspected exactly what I felt comfortable skiing as fast as I could. A fun run with a hit at the top, a double drop in the middle and another hit right before the finish line. I came blasting out of the double with a lot of heat, missed my bottom cliff and went straight into the finish. Meaning… that drastically effected my line score and the one point I was behind the leader was now impossible to make up. Everyone cheered for each other with the most stoke ever, and I was happy to receive many compliments and high fives for my run.
It was enough to land 6th place here in this extraordinary event. Mega stoke for all the amazing skiing this weekend, the strong field of women competing, and everyone who threw down and made the podium. Can’t wait to come back next year and share the experience with all the great people here. This place is awesome.
Check back for updates from the road. Heading towards Snowbird next, one of my favorite competitions!
After a healing powder session at Mt Baker with my good friend Eli Lee, we made our way to Leavenworth to say goodbye to the fallen legends that have touched our hearts and have given us constant inspiration over so many years.
The only remedy to help work through this deep pain in our hearts is being with the freeskiing family that Jim Jack created and brought together with all the love he had to give. My heart goes out to everyone that has known Jim Jack, Johnny and Chris. Our family will grow closer and stronger than ever, with the greatest spirits watching over us.
On saturday I skied some of the deepest pow all year. Mount Baker got 25 inches in 24 hours. Deep, light, incredibly fun!
Check back for upcoming stories, photos and updates from the long road ahead !