Les Arcs 4* and Verbier

 This is the cliff I undershot. I landed just short on the last section of rocks.

This is the cliff I undershot. I landed just short on the last section of rocks.

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.

 Conditions at champoluc were pretty rough while I was there.

Conditions at champoluc were pretty rough while I was there.

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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. 

 The cliff with the red crosses is the big cliff referred to. The lowest x is where I was hoping to land and the one just above is where I actually landed. the top x is the take off.

The cliff with the red crosses is the big cliff referred to. The lowest x is where I was hoping to land and the one just above is where I actually landed. the top x is the take off.

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. 

 

 a bit of fun at bruson last week

a bit of fun at bruson last week

 Pow Day at La Thuile in italy

Pow Day at La Thuile in italy

 Finding the fun stuff at Champoluc

Finding the fun stuff at Champoluc

 

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.

 we skied the awesome tight couloir between those two hefty cliffs. it was one of the coolest lines I have ever skied!

we skied the awesome tight couloir between those two hefty cliffs. it was one of the coolest lines I have ever skied!

 Looking down into the top of the couloir from the photo above

Looking down into the top of the couloir from the photo above

 Joel riding another cool line in Gressoney

Joel riding another cool line in Gressoney

 Pow day at La Thuile, Photo: Joel Burman 

Pow day at La Thuile, Photo: Joel Burman