Posted by on Friday, February 05, 2010
...I've been meaning to do this for ages. Each time I go away there are normally a few photos that I really like. I just wanted to drop them into a web album that I can update as I go; a collection of my favourite snowboarding pictures.
Labels: photo collections
Posted by on Sunday, October 25, 2009
I took a bunch of photos of the Arare park in Avoriaz: January 2009. The Arare park is the biggest park in Avoriaz, or at least, it has the biggest features. It's setup mainly for advanced shredders, but there are still a few features that may entice less experienced freestylers.
The park team at Avoriaz are unlikely to have it all finished early on in the season: first, a lot of snow is required for the bigger features (see some of the photos below), and second, when it's still cold in January this park is quite hard and icy, and not many people want to ride it that way. So if you're interested, look for them to them to start getting it dialled by February/March.
Posted by on Thursday, October 22, 2009
Back in Janury, 2009, I was in Morzine. We spent quite a bit of time shredding in Avoriaz, and I was particularly impressed with the Stash. In addition to making numerous runs through this natural park, I got the chance to meet with the head of the Avoriaz Park Team - Jean Noel - the connection being made as part of the review I was writing for the wsg. He gave me the low-down on the current design, future plans for the stash and some general info on all of their parks.
Over and above what I've wrote for the wsg, I wanted to post the majority of the photos I took, to try and give a good impression of what type of features are available. With it being spread out over a large area I didn't get everything, and specifically, I didn't get any good photos of the more advanced features. I did take a couple of runs through the more difficult sections, but didn't have the camera at the time...
So the Stash was originally built back in 2004/2005, and at that time it was for advanced riders only. Since then they've added additional runs, like "Main Street" or "BioTop". With 3 or 4 routes through, the Stash now caters for all levels of freestyle ability. The park team has designed it as a freestyle "run", the aim being to provide good lines that flow. I think they've achieved this. They shape it every night and there're easily 20 hits from the top to bottom: rails made from logs, boxes, pic-nic benches, rainbows, wall-rides, pow-slashes, hips, jumps through trees - it's awesome.
All the wood they use comes from California - they couldn't get it carved the way they wanted in France; all of the natural feature are smoothed off so they're safe for jibbing. Also from America is the grading system they use. The runs through The Stash are rated from 3 levels - as the parks are in the states. It's good for all shredders.
And they're not sitting back. Each summer when the snow's gone they look for new lines, places to put new jibs. Jean was explaining that they'll have the diggers out, moving dirt, building up take-offs and landings, he even showed me a one or two ideas that didn't quite work out the way they wanted them too. Constant effort. It's evolving. And there are potential plans to build a new, separate Stash, for kids, somewhere below the Chapelle Park.
I love The Stash. Seriously, it's really good. There's a lot to explore and its jibby-design complements the other parks they've got - especially the nearby Chapelle Park. You won't find any kicker lines in the stash, or metal rails, but that's ok because they're available in the park. What you will find is something pretty damn close to a natural, freestyle run. Lots of hits, lots of fun. It's got a new, 6 man chairlift servicing it too - so getting back to the top is quick...
Posted by on Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Since then I've been hoping to get out there this season - unfortunately that's not going to happen. That stupid thing called money, or lack of, is getting in the way. Still, I've been keeping in touch with Jason and how his season has been progressing; he sent me these shots just last week - with the caption "some days are better than others". No arguments there :) It seems he and his crew have been finding some sweet powder!
Powder Heaven... by Dave Blackburn // Riders: Simon, Dwayne, Jason // Arosa
Posted by on Thursday, November 15, 2007
Here are some of the shots we (Martin Cornally) took of the local riders at 'Cas last Friday.
Labels: photo collections
Posted by on Monday, September 17, 2007
Saturday was an excellent day: the session at Halifax was great. But it didn't start out that way. To be honest, in the beginning it was somewhat of a test!
You see, the main lift was off; not working. This meant using the smaller lift which is way more inconvenient. You gotta unstrap a lot more and it's simply not as good. Also, with the sun and the wind, the slope was really dry, so really slow. Add to that the look of the place, which is a little shabby, and we were thinking why have we driven two hours for this?
But that changed. The run-in to the main kicker always seems to be better than that of the smaller kicker, so once we started hitting that, things improved. Martin produced his new camera too; it was met by oohs and ahhs and juiced things up a little.
It wasn't a particularly long session but it was good. I haven't ridden for a while and I wanted to spend some more time working on backside 1s. I still don't think I'm hitting the jump with enough speed, but it's coming. Towards the end I was definitely more comfortable with more speed, which was a nice improvement.
Of course it's one of those things where hitting it with more speed actually makes things easier: you've got more time in the air to do stuff and you land farther down the landing where it's steeper. Try just telling yourself that though! It might work for other people but not with me... I think I need to build up to it.
I also wanna start getting more comfortable with backside 3s (and maybe even 5s) - but on Saturday I was happy enough progressing with the 180s. Just keep hitting it over and over, trying to make it feel natural. I experimented with a couple of different grabs and also attempted to bone the front leg out. Some of it was successful, some of it wasn't. But I was learning for sure.
We capped things off sitting at the bottom of slope, just chilling out. Two good friends and the mossy snowflex hill to ourselves - it turned out pretty well!
I was well impressed with Martin's new camera - the pictures are awesome. He's uploaded them to Picasa but I don't think I can embed his album, so I've duplicated it in my area. Maybe I'm missing something? Anyway, I've embedded it below, but here's a link to the original set too. I've also included a few choice shots...
Posted by on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Back in March I posted about a backcountry tour that we did in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Since then I've been sent some more pictures from the day, so I'm going to put them here. Looking back through the photos reminds me of what an amazing day it was...
(Click on the photos to enlarge them)
Posted by on Friday, May 11, 2007
I've talked about Snowmotions quite a bit over the course of this season - and with good right too. If you've been following this blog you'll know that a group of us spent two weeks in Laax/Flims back in March, staying in one of the Snowmotions chalets. One of the things that really made the trip great was the local knowledge, specifically off-piste and back-country knowledge, passed on to us from Jason - owner of Snowmotions. In fact this trip provided the majority of the group, including myself, with our first real taste of riding off-piste, something that I now want to do more and more...
One of the options available from Snowmotions is to have them organise a Heli-Trip. It's not something that we did while we were in Switzerland, but not long after we'd gone home, Jason and some others did a day with a heli. They passed on a quick review of the action, partly to make me jealouse I'm sure, but also to give an indication of what a heli-trip can be like. Here are some details and photos from that day... take a look, it really does look awesome.
- Date: 5th April 2007
- Location: Hoeffi Firn / Toedi, Switzerland
- Take Off: 8am Tavanasa, 20 minutes from Flims
- Altitude of landing points: 3000m and 3200m
- Conditions of north east hang towards Linthal: perfect, fresh cold powder!
- Conditions of Val Russein, south hang: powder to icy crust, to sulz, to slush, to no more snow. And a long walk out!
- Mountain Guide: Paul from www.alpventura.ch
- Heli firm: www.airgrischa.ch
- Cost: CHF420- per person for 2 flights, including an excellent mountain guide
- Verdict: great day out in high alpine terrain...
Thanks to Snowmotions for the info!
Posted by on Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The SNO!storm park nights that Xscape put on produce a better park than the regular freestyle nights. Here are some pictures showing the Castleford park setup from the 4th May. My camera doesn't work brilliantly in there, but the pictures should give a good enough indication of the park features...
(Click on the pictures to enlarge them)
Still hungry for more? Check out the archives.