Looking for the Jspot

Looking for the Jspot

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Euro month+ Maine

I guess I'll start my pretty awesome new blog off with a wonderful story of the past month.

So the past month has been the wildest and longest month of my life. I went to some amazing places where I meet loads of people from all over and made a lot of new friends. I started my trip of on the 26th of February when I left Utah for Laax Switzerland for the European Freeski open.
Top of Laax where Erik and I skied probably the best powder of our lives
There I meet up with good friend Erik Hughes and we ended up being 2 of the only 5 Americans that decided to go to the Euro open, Rad. The main reason was that the weather last year was so bad that both slope and pipe semis/finals got cancelled. But weather this year was the complete opposite, it was bluebird everyday! As for the competition it went pretty well. I ended up 5th in slope which I was really stoked on. The slope course was a really good and well built but a challenge to make it through without a mistake, mainly in the rail section. As for pipe it didn't go as well haha, I ended up in 13th in the semis and top 12 went to finals. But I was still stoked because the pipe was cut super well and was really fun to ride. 

Here are all the runs from Slope finals-

BUT the coolest part of the whole event was that they used a pic of me from pipe last year on all the posters and banners. Literally I was everywhere around town! haha it was really sick.

Me on the start gate banner
After the Euro open Erik and I headed just down a town to Chur to go ski at Arosa ski resort for the Andri Ambuhl Invitational. We got lucky enough for Andri to invite us just the day before. In Chur we all stayed at a pretty nice hostel that was across the street from about three whore houses and a few sex shops ;). To get to the resort everyday we took a train that weaved through the mountains for miles and surrounded us with amazing views, no better way to start they day huh? For the next four days we had sled laps on one of the sickest jumps I have ever hit. There was a crew of about 8 of us so we hit the jump 20+ times every session it felt like. During those four days I learned a bunch of new tricks that I was really eager to learn before Euro X. STOKED. But unfortunately on the first day Erik came up a bit short and bruised his heal leaving him to shooting photos for the next few days. That wasn't good. 

Andri's jump
One really exciting part of this trip was Elias taking me for a ride in his Austin Martin. I think it was the fastest car I have ever been in, you could say it blew my helmet of my head.   
Elias' sweet ride

On the last day we were in Arosa Andri planned a Heli shoot in the afternoon. We only had the heli for 30min so it was pretty intense, we were all scared of falling and waisting the heli time. After my first jump my adrenaline was bursting through my veins it was crazy!

Heres the shot of my first jump with the heli, its also one of the new tricks I learned while there :)

Untitled from Joss Christensen on Vimeo.

Then later that night we all took part in a tri annual festival in the village of Arosa. There they had us hit a sketchy 10ft jump in front of roughly 2,000 people. Along with us hitting this jump with fire shooting around it there were many other skiers performing cool acts down the run. One of the groups were all dressed in ski gear from the early 1900's and skied on wooden skis, it was really sweet.

The money booter
After the sweet show Erik and I caught a train to the Zurich airport where we stayed up all night til Erik caught a flight back to the States and I got on a early train to the Geneva airport. After struggling to stay awake on the 3hour train to Geneva I finally made it and meet up with Mike Hanley and Nick Geopper. Where we got on a shuttle to take us to Tignes, France for the European Xgames.
Train station in Zurich
I think its lake Geneva, or Annecy 
Damned up lake below Tignes

In Tignes I competed in Xgames for the first time. Im am so stoked that I got invited to compete. The slope course was super fun, kind of smaller jumps but the rails were really sick. It was forsure one of the cooler courses I have skied. As for the weather the first few days during arrival and training were amazing, sunny and warm. But unfortunately for the day of slopestyle eliminations the weather gods decided to have it snow the night before and be pretty flat light all day. They ended up having to take the last jump out of the contest due to slow speeds. But after training the course got pretty skied and it was possible to make it down while tricking all the features. I was really stoked on my runs, both my runs were different on the jumps and I did tricks I didn't train. So for me just landing my runs was an accomplishment! I ended up 15th out of 24. I couldn't be happier with where I ended up, the whole experience and chance to be at Xgames was a dream come true and I had an amazing time.

Here is a video of all runs in Eliminations thanks to Jacob Wester-

European X Games 2011 slopestyle qualifiers from Jacob Wester on Vimeo.

At the end of xgames I was trying to figure out my shuttle back to the Geneva airport and I figured out that I was supposed to make a reservation two days before not the night before... that was good... So the next morning while trying to figure it all out Elana, the coach of the vail team, told me that they could probably squeeze me into their car to La Plagne where they were headed for the World Cup. So my trip then became loose cannon steeze. While driving to La Plagne to make training and qualifying for the World cup we ran into the super awesome saturday traffic. After moving half a mile in about an hour we decided to start passing cars. David Wise and I would run ahead and find gaps in the traffic for Elana to snipe into. It got real intense, we would hold Torin's and Anais' Xgames medals to try and get people to understand why we were cutting them off hahah.

The Flashing of medals

Elana ended up getting me into the World Cup right before it started so I was really pumped on that. I didn't have any pipe skis but the pipe was super slushy so it ended up working out. The pipe was about 18ft and a bit oververt so everyone was having a bit of trouble getting used to it. I ended up getting 10th in the qualifier and made it to the finals the next day, I was super surprised on making it! I wasnt able to land my full run in the finals but still finished in 6th which I though was awesome. The world cup finals went down later that night and was wild to watch, most everyone in finals were throwing up to two doubles in their runs in the small pipe. The french get super pumped up and stoked on skiing its nutty.

View of La Plagne from my room
After a few fun days in La Plagne I decided to snag along with the Sun Valley team/crew to head to Chamonix for 2 last days. They were nice enough to let me come with them and Im super happy I went. I ended up laying on top of the ski bags on the drive over which was actually pretty nice because my legs never cramped up. In Chamonix we stayed at this nice little house with and awesome guy named Gary. Gary was probably one of the funniest guys I meet on my trip. AND he made us super nice dinners and breakfasts both days we were there. What a great guy :). We went skiing the first day there on one of the many resorts in Chamonix, the terrain there was nuts. Every run we took lasted for about a half hour, and we were skiing fast haha. At the end of the day we meet up with Gary who took us on a run through the glacier. The views from the run Gary took us on blew my mind, I think my mouth was wide open the entire time. Its definitely one run I will never forget.
Gary and Tai chilleeenn

At the end of this valley is the boarder of Italy, Switzerland and France.
Cool fact, the water from this glacier is the main source of water for Evian.

 After skiing and having my mind running a mile a second in happiness, we headed to take a tram up to the top of Aiguille Du Midi. The trams were pretty crazy, the second one that took us to the top had no lift towers between the top and bottom. Just a straight shot to the top. 

   Straight shot to the top, not scary... View from the top looking over Chamonix

There was no better way to end my Europe adventure then with going to Chamonix. It was just really cool to go to more of a real town and experience France better than in a small resort town up high in the mountains. They were sweet don't get me wrong haha but this felt more like "europe." After Chamonix we all headed to Geneva to part ways and fly home to America! I flew straight to Maine for the 3rd annual Dumont Cup at Sunday River. After traveling for ever I finally made it to Maine but my ski bag unfortunately didn't have the same luck. But lucky I didn't have to compete til finals since I got 2nd last year. It was fun too, I got to use alex schlopy's(pro) ski gear for a day. Made me feel like a pimp. As for the contest, the course was really good. Three rails into three jumps, the bad part about it all was that on the day of finals the wind did not want us to be skiing. Finals started a bit late due to connection errors for the live feed. Along with that the wind picked up in literally every direction it was nuts. SO Simon being the man he is would watch the wind and radio us to tell us when the wind was good to go. I was barely able to put a run down but was stoked that I was in one piece after the comp! I ended up in 9th, wasn't able to make it a 3-peat of 2nd places sadly. But I was really stoked for Nick geopper, Gus Kenworthy and Jacob Wester for throwing down and getting that podium.

                            The Dumont and the final jump

So after traveling for a bit over a month I finally headed back home to Utah. I woke up at 2:30am to catch a ride to the airport and take my final two flights of the longest trip ever. :D

And then I found $50 dollars.....

No comments:

Post a Comment