Shredding the Avoriaz Halfpipe

Well, today was not my first run through the pipe, due to a half hearted effort the other day, but it still felt like my first time! It is rock solid, icey and just incredibly intimidating…you stand at the top looking down, watching the people in front get out the pipe and pull some kind of trick that just doesn’t make sense. Dave (tattoo) informs me of the basic principals of a half pipe, these being: only use your edges in the base of the pipe, board flat on the sides, do not jump as you will jump off the wall, and basically let it flow.
Simple…

Avoriaz half pipe…me the beginner!

I had my first run through, and it felt pretty good…no where near as hard as I was expecting. Managing about 6 turns until I got to the bottom..no falling! WOOO!
Obviously I headed for a second run, going faster and higher this time, still no where near the top, but enough to make me horizontal as you can see in the photo…it does’t feel like it looks at all! Another good run until the very last turn where I tried to force myself out of the pipe, thus making me catch an edge and land with all my weight on my knee…I am now looking for kneepads on the internet as it hurt a lot more than I would have liked it to for such a pathetic fall! I am looking forward to lapping the pipe once I have some knee pads and butt protector on me. It is an addictive feeling that’s for sure…bring it on!

Mint Snowboard instructor Dave (tattoo) rocking a tweaked grab in the pipe…looks easy….it’s not…

Au Revoir to the JR crew

Well, after an awesome (exhausting) week we waved goodbye to the JR lot that were up in Avoriaz. It was great to see some friendly faces and even better to get out on the mountain with them, everyone progressed a lot over the week they were here. The Jackrabbitt crew seem to encourage an atmosphere of pushing your own limits, and giving a “woop woop” when you get something right, an absolutely sound bunch of people to snowboard with and just as good to socialise with after the day is done.
Cheers for a good week guys…hope you can come visit again!

Last run with the Jackrabbitt lot

The long day is done

Well, that’s the day off over with…we made it to the chair before it opened, even if we didn’t get on it once it did open due to waiting around for the JR crew to hit the freshly pisted home run and escort us back up the hill. We had a good cruisey day today, just hitting a few pistes and having a play at the sides. All in all, a good days riding headed up by some food up in Avoriaz with the crew, my first experience of Tartiflette (heart attack food).
One of the best photos I have ever taken!
The morning started off pretty grim
Quick run through the stash with more people falling

Stop for early lunch

We did a little off piste…and regretted it…rock solid!

Tartiflette…lots of cheese and stuff…

Jackrabbitt peeps hit the stash

The stash is a completely eco friendly park, all the rails etc are made of wood are randomly hidden throughout the tree runs. Today along with some of the JR crew, we went for a ride through, pushing and pressuring people to try new things, and that is just what we all did. We hit the picnic table and some of the other big stuff, great fun in a big group getting the ooo’s and aaaaahhh’s as people fall or make it!
Here are a few photos from today, with a few more to follow, but it is day off tomorrow and I want to make early lifts, so need to sleep. All in all, an awesome day with the JR crew once again, looking forward to a much longer, less time watching day tomorrow! See you on the hill!

Grave showing us some old school moves

Ems trying some new age tricks

Simon rocking out on the old picnic bench in the stash

Wife on the home run after a good afternoon

Carlisle’s Jackrabbitt crew arrive in Avoriaz!

They arrived yesterday and hit the slopes today! It is fantastic to see some old faces and we had an absolute storm on the slopes today, meeting them at about 10am and riding til about 3. Such a laugh and such a good ride! Me and Wifey are well excited for the rest of the week! Bring it on!

Carlisle’s Jackrabbitt crew neatly tucked in at the side of the slope, well done guys!
I didn’t realise how many people were in the group til we hit the first corner!

Stu approves 🙂

Proudy approves 🙂

Skittles anyone? It is very hard to miss these guys on the slope….love it! 
Ems explains to the group that when you fall it can sometimes hurt, she relays stories of previous experiences

Lunch at the local. The staff here are legends.

More off piste in Avoriaz/Morzine!

As a staff treat, Olly took us out again, this time covering a lot more ground, fornet, over the swiss side, arrare, pilon 38, and a few other hidden gems. Keeping up was hard work (impossible actually) and my legs suffered a lot, but it was worth it. The feeling of fresh snow turns is one of the best things about snowboarding, so floaty and light with very little noise unlike the piste. Here are a few photos of our wednesday just gone.

Maverick outing including the legend that is Charlie

Ems and Mel shred the off piste, up near Arrare

“Cliff over to the left, cliff over to the right, don’t go over them…”

Trying to get a nice photo of Ems and this person just fills the shot with her derier! hehe

Legends, over the up and over Fornet lift

Dom shredding over at Pilon 38

Today we ride!

Olly our boss took us out first thing this morning to get some proper riding in, he took us off piste in Fornet…I learned that to follow and not think about what might happen next was the best way to approach today…hitting some bigger drops and jumps than I am used to just because the guys in front of me did it…however, I then learned that I could also do it as long as I didn’t hesitate! Had an awesome day ending over in happy valley in the Chatel direction, fantastic fun to be had! Bring on some more fresh stuff!

Todays riding guides, Olly and Charlie (Legends!)
Ems rocking down the Happy Valley

First day of nice snow and blue skies!

Ems n Wellsy over yonder in Fornet

Yesterday laid host to a horrible cloud with low visability until about 10:30 when it all lifted and left us with some amazing fresh snow and a beautiful blue sky! We rode hard all day and our legs suffered, but here are some photos, we basically just hit as much off piste as we could just using the lifts…best day yet!

Busy Busy Busy….

Looking over Avoriaz…it looks like an infestation of rats that Rells is about to battle!

We had an awesome group of people in the chalet over new years and 3 of them decided to stay an extra week along with the legend that is Bill ( I will explain about this awesome man later ). Had another amazing week, heading out on the slope with them and making some amazing friends, looking forward to catching up in london town when we return! Hope you are all ok guys, the snow is here now….where are you?!

A bad day for 154 Dominant

Mel/Ems causes chaos…no idea who started it..
Out with the other Mountain Mavericks hosts

Before everything went all pete tong!

Last day off I decided to take out my favourite little board Burton 154 Dominant, which suffered an injury last year on the snowball rally losing a lot of base right next to the edge. However, local snowboard shop sorted it out and patched it, but before they were finished I snatched it away to go to Tignes…mistake! Although the patch stayed in that week, a quick trip to Castleford xScape soon saw the patch fall out.
I intended to fix it, but didn’t think it would cause too much of an issue as I didn’t remember struggling in Castleford…so I took it out on the wednesday. Regrets! Every time I went on my toe edge, the damage acted like a brake, pulling down the heel edge and making me lose control, so I spent the whole day on my heel edge, almost like my first ever week away in Chamonix with my brother and peeps. At first I couldn’t decide if it was me or the board, but after a quick swap with Dom, he reassured me I hadn’t forgotten how to snowboard and that infact the board was horrible. So my first impression of the Les Gets side of things wasn’t a great one, we headed down for a Croque Monsieur at 3 and then got the bus back.

Nice day to start with!

Wifey didn’t have a great day either, with the rebel lift than caught me, dom and Ems by suprise taking out all our legs due to it being stupidly fast…as we laughed it off we realised that Ems was indeed not laughing, but crying. The lift had managed to catch her exactly knee cap height standing side on, possibly making the knee pop out and cause immense agony, such so that even a hot chocolate didn’t cheer her up. We eventually got her back on the board and she tentatively made her way down the slopes…still ahead of me as I was still being the falling leaf of Les Gets!

Not so much as time went by…

I have now decided to put my 154 Dominant to rest and create something interesting using my favourite board which now has no other use. However…this leaves me with a dilemma, which I shall explain in my next post….

Our lovely guests invited us out to eat with them that night, so that made it all ok 😀