Posts Tagged ‘snowboard’

I have just returned to the USA after my preliminary trip around Europe.  I was honored that my maiden voyage included four weeks competing and traveling with the Freeride World Tour. I was unsure what it would be like and I came into the event feeling like I was going into a pretty serious season, but I soon realised all the riders on tour were there to have fun and enjoy and I started to relax into it.  My first weeks were spent in Chamonix hosted by kiwi ex-pat snowboarding/climbing legend Andy Lagan and good friends Antoine and Camille.  This valley is home to some of the most insane lift accessible backcountry in the world and I barely had time to scratch the surface.  It was great to experience such a spot with great friends and the FWT.

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First day in Cham.

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Riding with really good friends!

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The legendary Aguille de Midi in Chamonix.

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Checking out Verbier.

Following Chamonix the first event was held on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif in Courmeyer.  My strategy going into the event was to leave nothing on the table as I felt I had short changed myself competing in major events the season before and coming short of the podium.  I picked out a fun line with a very similar top section to my mate, Ruari MacFarlane, who was also new to the tour this year.  We dropped first and second and were pumped to light it up!

I had just broke my competition board the day before so I sized down to my spare board which, in my opinion, did not aid my riding for the rest of the season so far.  Dropping into the first section of my run, I decided to do an air into a fairly high speed straight line through a tight coulior and I had a slight control issue getting my speed down before my first feature.  I went into a three drop sequence with a frontside 3 tail, a straight air in the middle and spun around for a cab-5 at the bottom which I was unable to ride out of cleanly, costing me a decent result on the first stop.  However I was pumped to give it my all and know that if I had landed the trick I would have probably been on the podium.  My good friend Antoine was there with me to celebrate and we headed off for the next stop, Chamonix.  To review the replay of the Courmeyer run, click here and fast forward to about 30 minutes into the run to watch Ruari and I make costly mistakes!

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Front 3 tail to stomp next to Ruari’s line.  First two tracks down the face!

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Frontside air mid-run.

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Cab 5 to mistake.  

Back in Chamonix I was motivated to put a proper run together.  I had seen the face before and picked out a natural line I would ride anyway if I were to hike it myself.  I found a bit of a rocky entrance into a cornice air with a tight landing, a hip further down and some fun features at the bottom.  The day of the contest we took the 6:15 AM tram and rode to the face in the dark.  We saw the sun rise over the Mont Blanc Massif and hiked through the still and crisp morning air.  At the top the contest moved quickly and I realized later that I spent too much time watching my fellow rider’s top sections and not focusing on my own.  When it came time to drop I was relaxed, but almost too much and rode into my line in a mellow manner. I lined up the backside 3 off the cornice, landed, but shut my speed down too quickly, as I wanted to hit my next feature.  This was a mistake as my next feature was a vertical wall of snow and I couldn’t air it as I intended.  I rode out of the coulior searching for my airs at the bottom, however I made a costly mistake here and missed my bottom rocks and rode into the finish line feeling largely disappointed with my performance.  I was granted a score in the 60’s and ended up in 12th place just in front of the two guys that fell.  It was definitely one of the lower points in the tour, not because of where I ended up, but how I performed on the day.  However, I learned a few things about myself and my strategy so have used this going into the next contests.  I also learned that things can always get worse as I contracted a violent 24 hour stomach bug shutting down my system for a few days.  To view one of my worst competition runs in recent years click here.

Heading into the last of the European leg, I was in the back of the tour and needed a result.  The Fieberbrunn face was not very inspiring and fortunately the face slid during avalanche control, leaving the FWT Management searching for another option, which was found at Kaapl, a tiny resort on the other side of Austria.  The competition face has been used in the Qualifiers, but looked fun with a lot of options.  I picked out a line on the main face, but then decided that 98% of the riders including male/female ski/snowboard would probably ride that section, so I went for something on the complete other side of the venue.  This turned out to be a really fun option, however the windlip I had scoped from the side appeared to be a monster from the top.  When I questioned my friends if they would hit it about 5 minutes before my run they agreed it wasn’t a good idea.  I should have taken their advice…  My run was pretty good up until the windlip where I went into a high speed corked belly flop (which should have been a rodeo 7)….  Once again I rode through the arch disappointed with my decision to risk so much, but happy to have attempted.  Check out the full run here.

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So the first leg of the Freeride World Tour has not gone as well as it could have for me.  However, I have had such a blast riding with some of the top freeriders from around the world, checking out some amazing places and living the dream.  Keep posted for the next update.

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I am a bit late in getting this post up, but I wanted to share some of the amazing content that was generated during the 2013 World Heli Challenge.  I was not sure whether or not I was going to compete, but a last minute phone call had me running out the door to attend the rider’s meeting in just 15 minutes.  From there, it was two weeks of filming and fun.

 

Unfortunately, the competition did not run for both days and the results were taken just off the freestyle day rather than a combined score with the extreme day.  We only had two runs and I was stoked with both of mine as I landed all my tricks.  My second run was good enough to put me in third place behind Kiwi snowboard legend Will Jackways and X-Games Gold medalist, Antti Autti.

 

I have posted a few photos below, both my own and some from the World Heli Challenge.  At the bottom of this post, you will find all of the World Heli Challenge Edits.  There is a lot to take in, but I do recommend checking out each videographer’s perspective on the event.

 

 

 

 

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Better late than never….  Here I waltzed up after my phone call just 15 minutes before letting me know I was in!

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Training up at Treble Cone.  Photo – Taylor Rapley

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HELI 1!

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HELI 2!

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HELI 3!

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The method never fails in competition.

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Surf Day

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Another TC pow day with the posse.

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Stoked to be on the podium in third place!

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Lachlan Humphreys and I stoked to bring home the bacon! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruari Macfarlane and I spent our final day in Squaw Valley shredding with Sammy Luebke who took third place in the North Face Masters and is currently ranked 4th on the World Freeride Tour.  Sammy’s local roots shined as he navigated from hit to hit while also finding the shortest lift lines.  The freshly manicured halfpipe filled our morning with shakas, methods and floaty indie grabs, a must after having ridden the ice riddled contest venue for a couple days.

We didn’t get too carried though away as we were facing the 15 hour drive to Montana which was looking like it was going to be a mission to say the least.  We departed by about 1:00 in the afternoon and hit Reno to fill the car with gas, the tires with air, and our bellies with In ‘n Out Burger.  We soon crested the remaining hills and found ourselves traversing the great Nevada desert plains in sunset.

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Prepping for departure in the green machine.  Photo:  Ruari Macfarlane

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Ruari Macfarlane behind the wheel 

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Doing what I do best, adventuring.  Photo:  Ruari Macfarlane

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Straight lining through sand

I hadn’t pulled an all night cross country driving mission since I was about 17, so I was firing on all cylinders throughout the evening.  As neither of us had a cell phone, we hopped from various McDonald’s along the way for wifi and coffee ensuring that everything would be on for the next few days!  The night wore on like a time warp, but fortunately navigated the desert without any major mechanical issues or other road related dramas.  When we showed up at Tim’s place in Big Sky at 7:00 AM we headed straight for the couch and floor for a well earned power nap.

We awoke to Tim’s smiling face, hashed a plan for the day, and rummaged through the gear stuffed boot of the car to find our avalanche and shredding equipment.  Once this chore was dealt to, we were soon at Big Sky‘s base checking out Lone Peak (11,166 ft) cloaked in a fresh foot of snow over the previous two days.  Fortunately Tim had hooked up tickets to both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin allowing us to access all the mountain’s 5532 acres of skiable terrain, which happens to be the most amount out of any resort in the United States.

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Stoked!

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Lone Peak from the Big Sky angle.  Photo:  Ruari Macfarlane

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Time Cowie is a serious shredder.  He goes through a minimum of four boards a season navigating this place!

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Ruari Macfarlane stoked to be riding the Big Sky Tram

 

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The crew waiting for the tram.  Photo:Ruari Macfarlane

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Ruari Macfarlane dropping into the first run from Big Sky down to Moonlight Basin

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Freshies for miles

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Tim explaining some of the lines on the backcountry face in the background 

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Hiking up the Headwaters, Moonlight Basin‘s premier big mountain terrain

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Big terrain out here.  Photo:  Ruari Macfarlane

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Ruari sneaks a line through a wee chute in Moonlight Basin‘s Headwaters

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Tim Cowie knows where all the stashes are.  Photo: Ruari Macfarlane

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Another view back to Lone Peak from the ridge joining Big Sky and Moonlight Basin

We had a blast ripping around these resorts.  The terrain is big and there are loads of lines that you would struggle to pick off in a week of good snow.  With close access to both Bozeman and Jackson Hole, this is a must stop for any shredder touring the area.  A lot of people may just ride Big Sky when visiting the area, but Ruari and I agreed that Moonlight‘s Headwaters offered some of the best extreme big mountain terrain on the mountain.  It is no wonder that the March stop of the WFQT is on this venue.

Thanks to Tim Cowie for hosting us around these rad resorts and thanks to Big Sky and Eric at Moonlight Basin for making it happen.  Hopefully we’ll be back for next year’s WFQT event which includes snowboarding!

Last week I competed in the Final leg of the New Zealand aspect of the 2013 World Freeride Qualifying Tour.  It was held at Ruapheu which is located in the Central North Island of New Zealand.  The mountain is one giant volcano so the snow, weather and terrain are all very unique for any ski resort.

I competed in the event last year so was familiar with just how icy the snow could be and what was necessary to win the event.  I was stoked to put it together for the 2nd year in a row coming away on top.  The run highlighted in the video above and the photos below are not from my winning run!  Sorry I don’t have any footage of it!

 

For more news check out:

 

NZSnowboard.com

 

MSN Sport

 

Coming around on a back 3 at the top of the venue. 

 

Setting up for a pow slash on one of the only pockets of deep snow on the venue.

Final drop.

 

Check out the montage I put together for the 2012 Surf to Summit contest in New Zealand.  We were asked to submit a short video as to why we should be invited on the 5 day surf/snowboard road trip and this is what I came up with.

 

Although I never really film the best aspects of the trips I am on, I am pretty happy with the result.  I guess it is difficult to try to get the shot whilst attempting to have so much fun.

 

Let me know what ya think!

Boyd-Blog has been neglected for the past few weeks and months, but not without reason!  Please find some other links/photos on what has been occupying my time as of late.

 

I finally joined the IPhone crowd and am relishing the Instagram game despite my tardiness.  New Zealand is a fantastic place to be an amateur photographer and I am enjoying the social aspect of it all. Check out my new Iphone photo blog at http://adventurephilosopy.tumblr.com

I officially entered man-hood after gutting and processing my first deer.  I still have yet to shoot a deer as I am a horrid shot, but my dog Lola is a savage….  Story told in full bloody detail at some point!

I began writing for two different ski-field operations in New Zealand this year, Treble Cone and Chill (a 12 mountain ski pass).  Check the links for a few different posts:

Colin Boyd on Chillout – Splitboarding at the Garden of Eden, The Forgotten Club Field, Soul Shredding, Big Mountain Riders at Chill Series

Colin Boyd on Treble Cone – Injuries 101, NZ Snowboarder Banked Slalom, Soul Shredding

I have also been trying to get my legs back under me and snowboarding when I can.  My competitive circuit has begun and thus far I’ve ended up in 5th place at the NZ Snowboarder Banked Slalom and 2nd overall at the K2 Big Mountain 4 day Chill series.  Visit Chill and the Daily Dump Snow Report for videos and press.  Here are a few photos from the past two events:

Buttress in the background.

First competitive cliff drop of 2012.

Mons Royale neck warmer birth

 

These guys portray the NZ lifestyle pretty well.  If you think your life is lacking a bit of fun or adventure, click play for some inspiration.

Awesome

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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After arriving at home the itch to get out in the hills I grew up on became overpowering.   The $17 St. Patty’s Day lift ticket special for Waterville Valley, Attitash/Bear Peak and WildCat was an easy sell, especially upon discovering that you could ski Attitash and WildCat with the same ticket.  All the ingredients were lining up for a mid-week road trip – my mate Brian was easily convinced so we split at 7AM up good ol’ Route 16, listenin to The Shark and yarnin about Sixth Grade Sunday Ski Trips.

Attitash was fun, it seemed a bit smaller from my junior highschool memories.  After bashing around both Attitash and Bear Peak and checking out some of the local outfits, we decided to hit the road up to where the party was really at – Wildcat – meow!

What makes Wildcat so special is its steep pitch and its neighbour – Mt Washington, home of the worst weather in the world and Tuckerman’s Ravine.  This mountain is New England’s big mountain epic, it is our Grand Teton, our Denali, our Cook and maybe even Everest – no that is going way too far…

Anyway, it is a big mountain haven, with only foot access during the winter/spring.  Many a fond memory hath been made up at Tucks for anyone who has bathed in its glory.  There are many lines in both Tuckermans (the main bowl in the middle), Huntington (bowl on lookers right) and the slide paths (on the left).  I am looking forward to getting back up there this year as there is plenty of snow and plenty of Tuckerman’s Beer to drink.

Speaking of Tuckerman’s Beer, the local Conway Brewery came out for the St. Patty’s celebration at WildCat and chucked us a few rounds of samples.  As I knew one of their best customers, a fine gentleman living just up the road in Conway named Daddy-O, the sample cup never seemed to empty.  Thanks again Tuckerman’s, you always make me feel at home!

 

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Power Trip, Round 2 – FIGHT!

I ran another Power Trip around Hokkaido this week and was blessed with some of the best weather I’ve seen in Japan.  After 15 feet of snow, the skies opened for the crew and delivered a week of bluebird.  The trip started in Niseko,ended in Sapporo and was jam packed with stops  in between.

Here are a couple of photos from the trip.  Check out the Black Diamond Blog to get the whole story.