Blog: August 2010

it's my birthday!

when you have a birthday at the end of august, a good powder day is pretty much the best present ever.
Spent the day at treble cone with 30cm and riding with my aussie mates (damon hayler, nate johnstone, chumpy, and big ben wordsworth) and a new friend alberto from italy.
super fun day.

attack of the nutcracker!!!

After a few days of riding at snowpark, we started thinking of a quick trip up to one of the club fields around christchurch to ride some pow. The weather was looking good, new snow, and a fun crew. Will jackways, abby lockheart, their friend ruoriu, photog greg roebuck and myself heading out from wanaka and missioned up to My olympus.
The club fields are notorious for their nutcrackers. Generally the hills are rope tow access only. And in true kiwi fashion, the rope tows are fast, steep and run through several pulleys. So you need a nutcracker to hold on. You wear a harness around your waist, and have a metal clamp attached to it via a chain. as the rope passes by you grab on with your hands, and clamp the nutcracker onto the rope and hang on. and a big tip is don't get anything caught (ie your fingers) in the pulleys. Neither Abby or my myself had been on the nutcrackers so we were stoked to check it out.
we navigated the hours of dirt roads at night, in the fog, with dark glimpses of cliffs right next to you, to find ourselves at the bottom hut. Basically a bunk house built for club members and visitors at the bottom of the acccess road.
We woke to new snow, semi clear skies and a slight dilemma as we'd forgotten out chains (chains on 4x4 to make it up). We easily hitched rides up with the few cars passing by.
We were greeted up top with a series of rope tows, and a whole bunch of awesome lines all around the ski hill. Our first trips on the tows worked out real easy, and our crew was all smiles as we got some good powder runs in bounds on the hill.
Then my day drastically changed! On one of the top tows, i put my nutcracker on crooked and thought i could make it up no worries. after a few sketchy pulleys, the nutcracker finally ripped out of my hand on the last one and whipped straight into my knee! It seemed to hit the perfect spot and my knee just swelled right away. Bummed, my knee wasn't that stoked on bending. into the top hut i went to try and ice my knee and so i could get a few more laps in. A few hours later, my knee was feeling a bit better and i went out for a few more runs as the crew were out hiking and getting some shots.
Our next day dawned super clear, and my knee was even bigger! i did all i could to convince my knee that riding pow would be good for it, but it was just too stiff. With all the swelling, I was scared of doing actual real damage in my knee so i sat the day out and went for a mellow walk around the valley. Pissed that i missed an awesome day. The crew got some sweet lines in and had a great day. ahhhhhh. stupid nutcracker!
Back in wanaka for a few days now, and the swelling is going down in my knee, and i'm hoping to ride tomorrow. we'll see what the physio say tomorrow morning.

will and abby scoping lines from the top hut

this is busy for mt olympus!

dinner time in the bottom hut

sidecountry lines at mt olympus.

patroller out scoping the snow

fat right knee.

out for a paddle on lake wanaka

greg, abby and will down day mini golf in queenstown

nz open and down days.

NZ open was this past weekend. the slopestyle riders had a pretty crappy foggy day for jumping, but for saturday and the pipe it cleared up and was super nice. Pipe was riding pretty good. a few weird kinks in it, but in general it was riding sweet as.
They were trying out a new judging system for the contest where each trick is given a score (instead of the whole run). I think it's good in theory but really hard in practice. For slope a little handrail suddenly has the same value as an 80 foot jump, which it shouldn't. and in pipe there's no way to fairly compare someone doing 4 hits versus someone doing 6 hits. It needs some work still, but right now i'm still a fan of overall judging.
I'd planned on arriving in NZ so i'd have a week of riding before the contest day, but due to poor weather i'd only managed to get 3 days in. Which kinda sucked. Not feeling extremely on point to do really well in the comp, i tried to challenge myself and do runs with tricks i hadn't practiced yet. I tried 2 different runs. i fell on the first one on a switch backside 720. Then for my second run started with a mctwist 720, switch backside 540, cab 900, switch backside 720 and finished with a backside 900. The run went ok, but with it being pretty tech and me being out of practice it was a little lower than what i would have liked. So i ended up in 15th place. All good. Was a good way to kickstart my trip.

The following day i headed up to snowpark to take some jump laps. After a few warm ups I ended up hitting a step up to the bagjump airbag a few times before they shutit down. red bull had the setup for a few weeks for some of their team shreds. Pretty cool setup with a step up into the bag and a step up to snow right next to it. and now its open to everyone for their hucking delight.
We tried to go up there yesterday to hit it again but the weather was turning and it was way too windy for the bag. So we messed around all over the park. couple jump laps, hit some rails, over to the pipe. SNowpark is pretty fun as it's really small, everything is usually pretty good and chair rides are entertaining as you can watch people huck themselves all over the place.

new zealand has pretty unpredictable weather and we're on another crappy weather day. When it's thick cloud or snowing here it's really hard to ride as there's no trees or anything to give definition. So generally we go skating, play golf or everyone's favorite blogging!

I'm staying with Will jackways and abby lockheart in they're sick little house right on the lake and has a small mini on the side of the house. which gets hit up whenever it's dry out, which is not today! mini golf in queenstown.

We might head up to some clubfields this week to chase some pow and get a few shots.
we'll see what the weather brings!

abby with a rock to fakie with will watching

me with a front rock

back in NZ! waves and powder

2 of the lines from the video, pre-shedded, just getting light.

post shred on the tight line

first chute in the video (lookers left one). i was kinda scoping that middle tight one, but the runout wasn't the best. as you can hear in the video.

mellow hike and voila

mmm powder

me, myself and i. enjoying my first real day of shredding in NZ for this year. and my first day ever at lake ohau. 30cm and blue. loving it!

jumped off the plane and went looking for surf on the banks penninsula

magnet bay post session. the wave gets fat when the tide comes up (as in this photo)

most roads have no guard rails, in other places they like to pretend with wooden 2x6s..

what i did this summer..

so far this summer has been pretty sweet. got rid of my glasses, learned some environmental stuff in nashville, went surfing and snowboarding. all awesome. what else went on?

got some climbing in. usually bouldering in squamish but here i'm on lead on some whistler rock

biking in squamish

and had a great trip to quebec with kimmie to see my parents. lots of canoeing (day and night paddles)

haven't water skied in years. so we got on that one evening

and i learned how to hover. can't go up yet though...

more summer adventures coming

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