Finally back on a mountain

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2013 ended well with our first trip to the mountains since March 2010. The Boyf and I decided to go away for Christmas and so we hopped on the Eurostar and headed to Les Arcs. It was the first time we had been to this resort and we had a great time, even managing to get some powder on Christmas Day & Boxing Day (on piste or just to the edge). We treated ourselves and stayed at the Mercure Les Arc 1800 (review here) and we were really glad that we went for the half-board option as it took away the stress if self-catering (pasta every night gets a bit boring but options are generally limited when you have one hob ring and one saucepan to magic things up with). Breakfast was a buffet with a good mix of meats, cheeses and carby things if you fancied them and dinner was more of the same with extra meat & veg options…..we certainly didn’t go hungry!
We would definitely go back to the resort and the hotel, hopefully we’ll get that chance before go another 3.5 years without getting a mountain snow fix!

Some photos here, I will try and embed a slideshow when I am on a browser that plays nicely with Flickr.

Hold the front page

Red Nose Day Paper

Yay! Super stoked to have made the front page of the MK News, Milton Keynes’ local newspaper.  Check out the screenshot of their online version showing me jumping over the Red Nose at the SnozoneMK charity evening.  It was great fun once I got the courage up to go for it.

Wham Bam, Yes Please, Jam

Kat on lift

After an early start of 5:30am on Saturday 22nd, we arrived in Castleford in plenty of time to grab a quick breakfast from McDonald’s before heading in to register for the Wham Bam Thank You Jam (AKA the British Indoor Snowboard Championships). The new format seemed to be eagerly anticipated by the riders & there were about 70 snowboarders taking part over the course of the day.

After registering I bumped into fellow SNO!zone team mates Jade Walsh & her dad and we headed out to the slope for Jade’s age category comp…..this year all the under 16s had the chance to fight it out amongst their own age groups with 2 judged runs, before joining the rest of us in the jam session. Jade rode really well and was stoked to find out at the end of the day that she had placed 3rd!

The main jam session kicked off at 10:30 and we all shredded the 4 zone course for 90 minutes, they then made the first cut. As there were less of us all the girls made it through to the first zone session, only 22 guys made the cut though. I was especially pleased that 9 year old SNO!zoner Will Gilmore made it through though as he’d been riding well above his age level!

We then had half an hour sessioning the top of the slope, typically this was my least favourite section and not having the guts to hit the gnarly side on rails I resorted to working through my trick list on the pyramid box. Not the easiest of boxes to really get styled out on as it has quite short sections but I was pleased to get some nice switch tricks laid down including a switch-frontside over it. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get me through to zone 2, but at least I know what I need to work on for future comps. If I can keep progressing on the side hits then I may stand a chance of holding my own against the youngsters.

The cuts kept coming with 50% of the riders being culled at each stage until only 4 remained in both the men’s and women’s category. In the end the style & experience of Becky Menday & Andy Nudds won out and they were crowned champions.

Kat Switch Nose Slide

It was a really fun day and I think it proved to be a winning format, the youngsters not only had the chance to face the pressure of 2 runs and beat their peers but everyone got to session a really good course in the jam section for at least 90 minutes (much longer if you we’re good enough to make the cuts). It was definitely the most riding I have done at any British Champs since my first one 9 years ago….in fact a couple of the youngsters were moaning about being tired they had ridden so much (of course this tiredness didn’t stop them beating me!).

So now it’s back to practicing, let’s see if I can build on my current skills and beat a couple of the kids in Tignes.

Results

Massive thanks has to go to VitaCoco UK who sponsored me with a months’ worth of coconut water….it really did help keep me hydrated throughout the comp and kept any major girly-leg moments at bay!

All hail the kickertastic park crew

Just a quick shout out to the park crew at SNO!zone MK for Friday night’s set up. With 2 really good kickers and a mix of boxes and rails that meant the intermediates & experts could both get 4 hits a run if they wanted it was a really good night.

The Boyf, who is normally in photography mode, was especially stoked to be riding with a double-kicker line out as he’s not really a fan of rails at the moment….he has especially asked that the kickers can be out again soon some doesn’t have to wait until the end of the winter season before he can continue to get his kicker legs back!

I was enjoying hitting the Nike box at the top, once I got my head round the kicker on (the angles all looked a bit weird to me), I settled into it and got some smooth tricks laid down. I’m looking forward to this Friday’s Park Strife so I can keep the progression going. With the British Indoor Championships in 20 days, and with 2 work trips scheduled to Munich & Madrid I need to make the most of my snow time.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the kickers as I was using a rubbish phone camera and couldn’t get the button to press at the right point on the lift, but they were big, smooth & fun! Can’t wait for the next double-kicker line 🙂

 

Upcoming Event: Park Strife & Airbag

If you fancy a bit of freestyle fun then get booked in to Park Strife on Friday 3rd August….5 hours of serious shreddage and if you pre-book then you get a free 45 minute session on the airbag too!  The last Park Strife was great fun and the kicker onto the airbag was perfect for practising spinning.

See you there!