After the Chamonix event that resulted in no competition,
I traveled home to spend a week with my handsome husband Ryan and pup Lana, I worked a couple of days and rode some epic Utah powder. The trip home was short, and I was quite busy, but it was also very relaxing. Since there was no event in Chamonix, the plan was to have two competitions in Andorra to make up for the missed event. We were asked to arrive a day early in order to allow the best chance to have two events. I arrived in Barcelona on Tuesday afternoon, caught a ride with Anne-Flore to Ordino in Andorra, arriving at about 11:00 pm to the Hotel Coma. The next morning was inspection day with the first possible contest day Thursday. Up at Vallnord-Arcalis, the mountain hosting the events, it had rained near the bottom the day before and now it was stormy with incredibly high winds, closing most of the mountain and making venue inspection impossible. A few of us braved the only lift, a t-bar, to ride wind scoured ice with the occasional pocket of powder in extremely flat light. Despite the conditions we managed to find some fun. That evening we learned that the next day was confirmed for competition and we would inspect in the morning, with the venue still to be determined, and 3 possible choices, depending on snow conditions. We awoke to a beautiful, clear morning and headed to the mountain before sunrise, I was lucky to catch a ride with Jackie and Reine. We all waited in the lodge for the first riders meeting of the day and were told that the venue is still to be decided, with option one being Baser Negre, one of the faces ridden in 2015. Shortly after the meeting, we all geared up and headed to the chair. Luckily the winds had settled and it had snowed about 10 inches the night before, all of the athletes were treated to pre-public pow laps! The riding was incredible and I was happy to ride pow with Tom Burt while waiting for a venue decision. After a couple of runs we were informed that the Baser Negre was too wind scoured and sharky for a safe event and the venue from 2016 next to it was logistically too difficult. The venue decided upon was Smoothy's Garden, named after Sam Smoothy who had a mind boggling run there in 2015. The athletes gathered to inspect at the judges tent and we were informed the contest would start at noonish. Ski men were to start, followed by ski women, snowboard men and finishing with snowboard women. I was 3rd to the last to go and still had plenty of waiting for game time. I had difficulty deciding my line, for this event, I wanted good snow, but was also concerned about ice and sharks. I looked at line that I was excited about, but talked myself out of it due to it sitting in the sun all day, turns it out was the winning run by Anne-Flore and she rode it beautifully. I picked a line that I thought would be fun with good snow. I was able to watch the men skiers, and then headed to the start gate. It was a gorgeous day in the Pyrenees mountains and I didn't feel overly nervous. I rode the line that I chose and managed to "white room" myself above two of my airs, hurting my fluidity. I ended up in 5th place with a clean, but not very aggressive or technical run. I am not unhappy with my run, but feel that I sold myself short on my abilities and was determined to shake off the rust and ride stronger in the next event. After the awards ceremony at the finish line, it was announced that there was the possibility of holding a competition in the morning and that we should go to inspect the venue that was used in 2016 before the sun sets. I was exhausted and it was getting cold with the sun dipping behind the mountains. I went to the next possible venue to have a look with Reine and Jackie, but I was having a hard time focusing on inspection, being so tired and cold. I decided to wait and see what morning would bring.