Thursday, January 5, 2012

Europe Trip part 1, including Qualifier recap

Link to my photos from the first part 
of my Europe trip can be found at my Flickr below.

Photo: Scott Moline

So to start off I'd like to say a thank you to Max and the other O'Neill guys in charge of the jump and set-up. They have done an amazing job with what they had to work with. I know they spent lots of time and effort to make the jump the best possible. Multiple days and nights reshaping and trying do the best with the snow conditions. Now with that said I have to say conditions were absolutely miserable yesterday.  It was puking snow, and visibility was not good at all... This made things very in-consistent and sucky to say the most.  I'm not sure the actual amount but let's say the in run and take off needed constant slipping to make the jump even clear able, and it was getting worse an worse constantly.

I arrived down to the base of Jacobshorn nice and early, after a fun little shred from my hotel saint Josephs house. As the first eager group of riders and me stood atop the drop no one really wanted to test the speed...with tons of fresh snow and a bit of wind it was only a guess of what might happen.  As a few riders slipped the in run we all looked at each other to be the first one test the "big kicker" as they say here. With no body stepping up, and the fact I wasn't supposed to be practicing till later, I figure what’s not a better time than now to check the jump. As it's always better to go a little too fast, than a little to slow I straight lined from the top and barely made it too the knuckle. From there on the first heat started and riders began to trick between the medium and large jump. Conditions continue to get worse. Everyone in the later heats knew it was going to be a very interesting day.

Photo: Scott Moline

I was in heat 2 and we decided as a group immediately that the big jump was not going to be clear-able anymore. which meant moving things to the smaller of the two take offs. With that said the small kicker was still as any standard park jump and very trick able. Practice went down as if nothing was wrong, we all lapped the small jump at the quickest pace possible trying to get as many hits in as possible. Tricks ranging from your standard 720 to double corks and possibly even a 1260  everyone knew this was the heat to watch. 

Photo: Scott Moline

With the field being narrowed down from 25-10, the general consensus was land a good run and you should be good to move on... With lots of 720's done in practice I figured my BS 900 and a decent rail trick should get me in no problem... Unfortunately that wasn't the case. After scoring a relatively high first run and ranking second we all figured I'd be good to move on. With riders figuring out the conditions better the riders landed more and the second to last rider pushed me out of a qualifying spot.

With my runs over and the snow continuing to fall we grabbed a crew and headed to top to catch up some powder!!! The top of Jacobshorn was nothing short of a white out, but that wasn't going to stop us. With 5 good homies and only snow in our way, we began our adventure to the base. Face shots, pow slashes, and pillow lines awaited us on an epic first powder day of the season!!

May the snow Gods treat you as well as they have treated us here, and never let a line or condition take you away from what you love!

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