First Podium!!!

Posted by piphunt on February 23, 2009 in Adventures of Pip, skiing |

Crested Butte Extremes Women's Podium

Late last Monday Andy Sabatier , Crystal-Rose Lee and I rolled into my hometown of Crested Butte, Co to compete in the 18th Annual Crested Butte Extremes. Crested Butte is a small, bike obsessed, ski-town nestled in the Elk Mountains of Southern Colorado. Crested Buttians take pride in the funky vibe that dominates the town’s spirit. It’s taboo to shuttle a bike ride, we tour because we love to hike, and love any excuse to get dressed up, hence the long time tradition of made- up holidays like Vinotok and Flauschink. I love going home. I am a product of the community in which I was raised, a little a bit of the adventure junkie in my mum, a little bit of the creative genius of Kate Seeley , the incredible athleticism of my coach’s Carrie-Jo Hicks and Wendy Fisher, and the compassion and understanding that comes from growing up in a small town and learning how to tolerate everyone because you can’t pick and choose your friends when your graduating class only has eight students. If your ability as skier is limited to the terrain you have the opportunity to ski, your potential is endless in Crested Butte. The steep, rocky extremes occupy about 75% of the resort and pioneered the big mountain competitions in the early 90’s.
The 18th Annual Crested Butte Extremes kicked off on Thursday, with qualifiers on the Headwall. The Headwall is an open bowl above Paradise lift, which the most prominent feature being “Angle Gully”. If you like to skis rocks, take pride in your core shots, and have a killer hop-turn, “Angle Gully” may just be your favorite qualifying venue of the FWT . The Qualifier weeds out the field, and those who made the cut moved onto the day 1 of the FWT.
Day 1 competitors ventured between Deadend and Slotrocks, from big airs, billygoating, and pillows to play the game to reach day 2. I skied Bodybag, which is the same line I skied last time this was a venue. It is my favourite line on the mountain, featuring multiple air options to bounce of, a tight, steep chute in the trees, ending in the “diving board”, a 15 ft. air onto the apron, sneak out the trees and through the finish. It also never ceases to bring my fear to the point of nausea before I ski it. After Day 1 I was in 2nd, and pumped to ski the Big Hourglass, a steep (40 degree) pitch filled with pillows, airs, and intimidation. My line of choice was Bed Bath and Beyond, a sweet ridge of perfect pillows that I’ve been dreaming about since I was 18. With my heart pounding in my throat, I bounced from pillow to pillow and miraculously found myself at the bottom of the venue and myself standing on the podium. Second place feels amazing with my entire hometown cheering me on from the bottom.

Check out more from the Crested Butte Extremes at http://www.smithoptics.com/news.html?c=52

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