First Month Recap & 2nd Place Les Arcs FWQ 4*

It’s been almost one month since I landed in Europe, and things have been moving so fast it feels like I'm strapped to the front of a train.

The plan is in motion and I am still so grateful to have the opportunity to give the FWT a nudge. 
I have always had goals and a solid idea for the direction I want to move, but right now I feel like my head is clearer and the steps necessary to improve are more obvious.
It is awesome to be skiing with so much purpose!


This year I am once again basing myself in Verbier, and I am stoked to be a Verbier rider throwing out the good word for one of the coolest freeride resorts around.  

My winter actually started in Montafon, Austria, another super fun resort which I will definitely be spending more time at in the future. 
It is full of rad cliffs, wind lips and other junk that can be lapped quickly from the lifts. This has since made me realise that hot lapping zones over and over is my favourite way to ride.

I was also pretty lucky to time my first day on skis with the first snow storm in a while.
By the end of the week, the pow was mega, which allowed me to spend some time in the air, jumping big cliffs and practicing tricks.

Next I hot stepped down to Verbier, for a week of riding choppy snow and dodging sharks. That switched my mind back onto ski technique and had me feeling like I was back up to speed with my skiing, after floating around in deep Austrian pow.

Feeling pretty top notch on the twigs, I met up with Yann, Carl and Elisabeth (the other FWT rookies from Europe) and we headed to Chamonix for the first stop of the FWT.

Unfortunately the lack of snow in all of the potential Cham venues meant the event had to be postponed, it will now run in Andorra a few days before the official FWT stop at Valnord Arcallis.

Even though we didn’t compete, we kept busy with an ISTA snow safety day, a bit of skiing and an impromptu day of ski touring to scope a potential venue.

The next move saw a group of us travel over to Les Arcs a couple of days early in preparation for the FWQ 4*.

The planets aligned once again and we had a small dump of fresh snow on Monday and Tuesday, which set up the venue well for the comp on Thursday.
Even with the new snow, the venue was still full of barely covered rocks, just sitting there waiting to snag you right in the livelihood.

I skied one of the most fun runs of my life with a bunch of big drops and the first backflip I have sent in a comp. I placed 2nd with a score of 88 and that included hip checking the snow after landing on rocks, which would have cost me a fair amount of points.

It feels pretty awesome to nail a podium this early in the season, and although it feels weird, I am stoked to be able to score so highly even with a mistake.

After a bit of pow riding in Verbier I am now on my way to Andorra with the other Euro Rookie skiers for FWT stops 1 and 2!

Getting my nails did at the @head_ski HQ. #tothekore

A photo posted by Sam Lee (@sam_ibex_lee) on