The start of this year has been nuts!
Somehow, it is March already and this is the first to blog post I have been able to get out!
Usually, writing gives me the opportunity to reflect on the things I have done as I move along, and it helps me to learn and move forward.
This season has been weird though, I have travelled to so many countries and moved around so often that the logistics have been so time consuming it has been far more productive to just focus on social media.
I've been away from NZ for over two months and it feels more like two weeks!
Since leaving Wanaka on the 28th of December I have trained in Revelstoke, Canada for a couple of weeks, competed in the Revelstoke FWQ4*, Travelled to Japan for the first FWT stop which was unfortunately postponed, bounced back to Revy for 2 days, competed in FWT Kicking Horse, as well as FWT Japan (re-staged in Kicking Horse the following day), travelled to Whistler to hang with my folks for 2 days, flown to Austria to grab skis and boots, trained in Verbier for 5 days, competed in the Jasna FWQ4* in Slovakia and finally made my way to Andorra.
I am full nomad at the moment, and maybe biting off a bit too much..
In another post, I'll review the first 4 comps of my winter, which is actually as useful to me as it is to anyone. The most interesting bits are that after a happy 10th at the first stop and a pretty messy 14th at the second stop I am sitting right on the bubble in 13th place. It’s a solid spot to be in, although I will still need to work to hold my position to qualify for the final in Verbier!
Currently, I am in the Hotel Coma (best hotel ever) in Ordino, Andorra, hanging out with the crew waiting to compete in the third stop of Freeride World Tour 2018.
We have been here for almost a week now waiting for weather and snow conditions to line up.
Sadly, last Thursday while working to secure the venue, two of the FWT guides were buried in an avalanche, which ended in the death of the local guide Borja Ayed Capillas.
It sucks to lose people in the mountains, especially considering the situation, and it feels strange to have something like this happen on tour.
My thoughts go out to Borjas family and friends.
It's a harsh reminder of the potential dangers of the environment we work and play in.
With all of this in mind, the organisation took a few down days in respect of Borja and also to reassess conditions. It feels odd to just move on, but that's what we do, and honestly, it feels like a fitting tribute to a mountain guide, to send out the best freeriders in the world to light up a face!
Speaking for myself, mind you, that is what I would want, so I hope my opinion is shared.
In the last couple of days, we have had some additional snow and it all seems to be setting up nicely, so we are now aiming to compete tomorrow, Tuesday!
Following on from an awesome first year on the tour in 2017, I have certainly felt the weight of self expectation this year after a fairly up and down start to the comp season. That had a pretty big effect on my head game during the Jasna FWQ, and had me feeling pretty anxious about Andorra.
But fear not, the stoke is back!
Since arriving here, I have finally had some time to chill and reset and I feel like I am back to normal, which has me excited for the event!
The magic sauce appears to be the consistency of what and when I am eating and sleeping, some super good chats to friends and family as well as the most important thing of all, a few really productive high energy days of ripping around Valnord Arcallis with the crew!
The support I get from all of you and everyone following my movements is super cool!