Over the weekend I competed in comp number 3 of my return, The Open Faces 4* at Obergurgl, Austria. Home of the famous “Fabi Lentsch Airliner” run.
I turned up with the continued plan of skiing safe and sure, but it ended up being far more conservative than I had in mind.
I chose a fun line with a few small drops and a technical section at the bottom.
The comp day started out sunny and all of the women were able to finish in good conditions, but by the time the men started the clouds were beginning to come in.
After about 20 guys had dropped the viz disappeared and I guess the comp went on hold. We sat around at the top of the venue for what felt like close to an hour waiting for things to get moving again.
Eventually the comp restarted and from then on it would go between no definition and light on a whim.
I dropped in only a few from the end and managed to catch it at its dimmest.
The snow had also changed a lot and become quite heavy, especially low down.
On another day I might have been able to deal with the conditions, but at this stage in my comeback it just was too difficult.
Overall my run was pretty disappointing. I decided to take it easy through the tech section and then basically decided I didn't want to take the risk of airing anything into difficult snow with no definition so I skipped my last air and pretty much didn't leave the ground during the run.
It felt pretty lame, but in some ways I am glad I didn't risk it for that particular biscuit.
Due to the amount of crashes and mistakes from others a slow run on my feet was able to scrape up 20th place, which is still a valuable result seeing as the long game is to gather enough points to qualify for 4* comps next year when I am ready to go for it.
On a much more positive note, I went skiing on Monday at Hochfugen with fellow Head skier Jochen Mesle who showed me some cool spots.
We hiked a small face a few times and scored some banger turns!
I finally decided I was over skiing cautiously and stamped out a wind lip and sent my first 4 backflips of the season. The first was a total failure, the second was a big back slap which to my surprise hurt my knee less than expected, the third was small but solid and the last was just generally whack. That one hurt.
Crashing a few time got me amped up and I went and charged around for a while and crashed a few more times finishing the day with this amazing unintentional high speed reverse scorpion.
Everything still hurts, so all in all I consider it to be a totally successful day!