Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nike/Document snowboard magazine press camp.

The camp was a great success even though the weather was a bit dodgy most of the time.

On the first day the snow wasn’t that good and it was overcast the whole day. We made the most of it anyway and learnt about avalanche rescue in case one of us got caught in one. We learnt how to use transceivers, probes and snow shoes. We also learnt about crevasse rescue which I had never done before. That was brilliant because I got lowered into a crevasse! Normally it would be a very dangerous thing to do to go into one because they are very unsafe but I had a harness that was attached to rope with our mountain guide holding the other end so I was safe.

The next morning we woke up, looked out the window and overnight it had snowed over 2 foot! Plus it was a beautiful sunny day! We got ready and headed up as fast as we could and got most of the good shots on that day. I jumped off a cliff, that was cool and scary at the same time and I got a really sweet powder shot. We stayed that night in a mountain hut half way up the mountain which took an hour and a half to walk to which was tough after a long day riding. Once we got up there it was a relief to change out of our wet clothes and have some food. Then the realization set in about where we were. That we were in the middle of nowhere in a hut with no running water and not very effective heating. I was walking around wrapped in a blanket because it was so cold and when I went to bed I had three. I was very glad I didn’t need the toilet in the middle of the night because it was outside with no light and consisted of a wooden seat with a hole in it.

We got up at 6:30 am and hiked back out across the glacier to where we could ride the rest of the way down to the bottom. The rest of that day was pretty easy as we were all quite tired but we got a few good photos all the same. It was sure good to be back in our hotel that night, especially for me because I had contracted a cold at some point so wasn’t feeling my best.

Then suddenly it was the last day of the trip. The weather was great when we were at breakfast and then within the 45 minutes it took us to get to the top of the mountain it had turned bad, really bad, I mean it was foggy, cold, windy, even on and off raining. Fortunately we had got all the riding shots we needed anyway so we all had our portrait shots taken and then all went our own ways at the end of the day.

All in all it was a brilliant trip, I am glad I went up to stay in the hut as it was a one off experience that I won’t forget for a while. To be honest I am not sure if I would do it again though.

I am now on my way to Champery for a photoshoot there as that is our official resort next year where we will be based during the season. They are providing us with a boardercross track and everything we need to train throughout the season!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

British National Championships 2008 - Laax

Yesterday was my last comp of the season, the British National Championships (Brits).

There was quite a lot of pressure going into it because everyone expected me to win as I am the British No 1.

The qualifying went brilliantly with me getting the fastest time in the girls and 2nd fastest in the guys! Just behind my team mate and stand in coach this season, world cup rider James Foster.

In my first heat I got in front at the start and stayed there all the way down.

Eight girls qualified here so winning this heat meant I made in into the finals.

The final was closer at the start, we were all bunched together over the first set of rollers but I got out of the first turn well ahead and I stayed in front till the end. In fact I got further in front the further we got down the course.

This has been a brilliant finish to a great season for me and it’s great to finally be able to call myself the British Champion as the Brits this year has not clashed with world cups as it has done the previous three years.

My Mum also competed yesterday in the "Masters" category and got 2nd! Everyone here keeps saying it must run in our blood.

I am off again tomorrow on a Nike ACG + Document snowboard magazine photoshoot week which should be good.

I will put up a blog soon to say how the trip went.