I started off skiing this year under the impression I would return to the sport just as I had left off. That means to train for competition during the early season, compete in the middle of winter, and then film as much as I can for the rest of the year. I didn’t know what the year held in store for me, and wanted to approach it just as I would any normal winter.
I trained half-pipe in Colorado for six weeks during November and December. It didn’t come back to me very naturally. I was having a hard time progressing and was not enjoying myself with it. By the end of December, I had to acknowledge the fact that I was not skiing half-pipe strong enough to compete in it. I was happy about the fact that I did give it my best shot. I can look back on that time and although I did not get back to where I wanted, I put as much effort forth as I know how to and I am proud of that.
I did get to spend one week in November at Mt. Baker, Washington. I went up there with Tanner Hall and our friend Ian Provo, to film for Tanners new film, Believe. It snowed incredibly hard every single day, the lightest pow I have ever skied. It was a great beginning to an awesome year of pow shredding.
After December, for the next six weeks I traveled to all the competitions I would usually be competing in. I kept my presence felt, weather I was competing or not. I did not want to just disappear from the competition scene, so I traveled to them and spectated. After a while I knew I wanted to get back into filming.
I was very fortunate and got the opportunity to return to my roots, and began to film with MSP again. I went on many heli-skiing trips. We did not see much sun, but that was because it was dumping everywhere we went. I spent a lot of time in British Columbia. At one time, I spent five weeks in a row up there. While we were there for those five weeks, it snowed 30 feet. It snowed as hard as I have ever seen, every single day except for one sunny day. We took advantage of that day, and I was able to ski some of the best lines of the year. It was far and away the best day I have had in a helicopter. The conditions were ideal; deep light powder, perfectly blue skies, and avalanche conditions that were as stable as they are going to be.
I didn’t get as much blue-bird as I wouldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve hoped for this year, but I got to ski more powder than I have in the past few years combined and also got a lot of amazing powder footage with Matchstick. This year was really about establishing a positive and productive mindset, and discovering which direction I want to take my skiing in the future. I know now that I am going to focus on filming for the entire year, each year. I always wished I couldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve focused my energy into one aspect of the sport, and now I get that opportunity.
This year was anything but easy. I have never had to return to skiing after taking a year off. I also have never had to get back into the sport, after it nearly took my life just a year before. The mental hurdles that I had to face were very overwhelming, but this is the sport I love and I am willing to do what ever I have to in order to participate in it. I took on the overwhelming fear and overwhelming frustration, and continued to pursue the dream I have for myself.
The dream that I have for my life is anew. I always wanted to be the best skier ever. I wanted to be as good as I possibly could at every aspect of skiing, and recognized for being just that. Now, I want to participate in the sport that I have so much love for and just be recognized as myself. I lost site of exactly what I was looking for from skiing, but have found what I am looking for again. I am looking for the exact same thing as everyone who skis: the feeling of cruising down the mountain, taking as cool of a line down as I can muster with the present skills I posses, and simply enjoying myself every moment of the way.