Last weekend I competed in the first FWQ 4* event of the season at Les Arcs in France.
Since competing in the 3 competitions of the Verbier freeride week a couple weeks prior I was feeling pretty good, even after a week and a half of skiing on piste in Italy due to a significant lack of snow and very warm temps which meant skiing off trail was more like sneaking through a mine field.
Before we arrived conditions at Les Arcs were a little sharky although still much better than at Champoluc, as an added bonus it snowed a bunch the night before the comp and I was able to fit in some high energy warm up laps between inspection and my run. Doing a bunch of back flips and intentionally flat landings put me in a really good head space and I was fizzing at the top of the venue, excited to ski my run. I have realised that a good warm up is the key to me feeling confident on comp day.
My run was to be a technical section leading into a pretty big air at the top of the venue with a long jump lower down and some small poppers on the way.
I never made it past the first big air because I had slightly the wrong angle going off a small rock directly above and had to put an unwanted turn right on the edge to get the right take off but in doing so I lost all my speed.
I went for it anyway thinking I was good but failed to recognise a small shelf right at the foot of the wall. I landed on rocks only a couple metres short of the snow and dive rolled into the deep snow in the landing.
I was totally fine and my skis only had a few core shots to show for it.
It was pretty frustrating because the mistake that caused it was so small off a feature that was not totally necessary.
I had a sick day solo shredding Les Arcs the next day which made up for it.
So the trip became made for really good training.
This weekend I was supposed to be competing at the Axamer lizum FWQ 3* in Austria, but it was postponed a few days ago due to lack of snow in the venue.
It is pretty disappointing, and cancellation due to lack of snow is turning out to be a common theme in Europe this season, its not so bad though because the pay off was getting to spend a whole week in Verbier skiing powder and training drops and flips instead of the 2 day stop over I had planned on my way up to Austria.
As well as Axamer being postponed, 3 of the other events I was planning to do have been cancelled, Hochfugen 4*, La Clusaz 4* and the Verbier 3*.
Tomorrow I will leave Verbier and start the journey up to Norway for the FWQ 4* in Sogndal happening next on Friday 19th Feb.
While I was in Champoluc we had a day where we toured up to ski an awesome couloir between Gressoney and Alagna, it was a fun mission and good to get up high where the off piste was skiable. I didn't have any of my own touring gear so I was skiing on a borrowed setup, but it worked out pretty well!
There are a couple of photos below.