Alaska, the dreamland of Freeriders. Full on mythical, with like, minotaurs and stuff. You wouldn't believe it.
Having the opportunity to compete in Haines was amazing, and I am bloody rapt to have skied well enough to finish in 3rd place!
By far the best result I have ever had.
Initially, the idea of landing a podium in my rookie season seemed unlikely, and honestly, when I left Europe my plan for Alaska was to push for the top 10.
However, once I saw the venue and started to think more about my line I realised I really had nothing to gain by skiing safe, I was already qualified for Verbier and FWT 2018, so why not just send it and try for the podium!
Skiing in Alaska was everything I hoped it would be, the competition venue was epic, and the surrounding mountains even more so. Now that I have had a taste, I will be back.
I am still coming to terms with the idea that this all actually happened because the whole concept of competing in Haines is so wild!
Yesterday was my first day back in Verbier and it was spent power lapping the park in the slush and practicing my stunts!
There are now only a couple of days left until the grand finale of the FWT, the Verbier Extreme to be held on the Bec des Rosses. Probably the most intimidating competition venue I can imagine.
Although I plan to go out and give it my all, the motivation for this comp is definitely focussed more on the personal achievement of nailing a run on such a nuts face, rather than aiming for any specific result.
If I can ski fluid and in control with a few good senders and make it to the bottom feeling like I have had fun then I will be happy!
Also in other news, The last FWQ 4* of the European season happened in Obergurgl while we were in Haines, and I am so stoked to see Kiwi young gun Craig Murray cleaning it up and winning the comp! And with a badass line at that.
This means that Craig has qualified for FWT 2018!
The dude is talented, and it is going to be great having a second New Zealander on tour.