Andorra - El Dorado Freeride FWQ 4* Top 10 Finish

Last week I went on a really rad excursion down to the tiny Nation of Andorra to compete in the El Dorado Freeride 4* event.

The comp ran as a two day event with a qualifier day and a finals day.
I skied a solid smooth run on day one with a medium air at the top leading straight into a tight technical double and then finishing with a bigger cliff at the bottom.
I really enjoyed my run and was just stoked to have one finally finished clean with no major mistakes.
Only 9 of the male skiers went through to the finals day, and I was number 8!
We got to ride up to the top of the venue in a heli for our runs, any time I get to fly in a heli is a huge highlight!

Heli Time!!
Standing at the top of the face I was feeling really good, I was totally confident and looking forward to skiing my line, it looked like a lot of fun.
My line started out with a small air into a tight chute which joined onto a bigger chute leading into my first proper air.
The tight chute went perfectly but I ran into a problem on exit.
I didn't plan for the compression I would get due to the angle change at the bottom of the chute and when I tried to shut down and control my speed to set up for my cliff I collapsed onto my back and lost control.
I was lucky I had the presence of mind to try and redirect myself away from the fall line both just before and during my roll otherwise I would have tomahawked off a substantial cliff.

My final result from the competition was 9th.

Overall a really positive experience. My confidence is high, my day one run was a good solid finish and getting to ride in a heli will make any day awesome!

Here is the link to the finals day highlights video -
My crash is at 1:50

Andorra is a tiny country in the Pyrenees alps on the boarder of France and Spain and the mountains there are sick!

I travelled there with fellow NZ big mountain competitor Michael Norrie.
We drove down from Verbier through the France.

The drive down was pretty focused on getting from point A to B, but on the way back we had a little more time to spare so we went and got our tourist game on and took the long way home.

We ended up driving one of the more interesting routes home through a bunch of little old towns in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Along the way we had the opportunity to check out a couple of cool sights, an fortified town and castle ruins on a cliff top in southern France and the highest bridge in the world in Millau!

I am now back in Verbier preparing for my next competition which is a 4* at Nendaz, a resort that is part of the 4 valleys and is accessible by ski from Verbier its self.

Here is the link to another edit I made recently -

Photo - Nils Johansson

A church on a hill in Spain
A Viaduct somewhere in Southern France
Southern French Village
Not Castle Ruins

It was refreshing to be amongst some evergreens and warm weather in the south of France

French Pyrenees

Castle Courtyard

Cool Bridge in Andorra

Castle Ruins Somewhere in the South of France

Myself - Getting Upside Down

Joakim Sending a Backy