Competing Against All Odds

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JAWS Scholarship Recipient Rob Vandervoort recently competed at Revelstoke Mountain Resort for a 3rd place standing. Read his unbelievable story below.

Author: Rob Vandervoort

I always have a funny feeling when I leave Crested Butte in a snowstorm. This was exactly the case on January 6 as I struggled to depart for the Freeride World Qualifier 4* competition at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Despite blizzard conditions, a questionable knee, and my own personal reservations, I pushed on and eventually made it to Denver International Airport.

After two flights I had lost my Driver’s License, cell phone and had arrived at my destination, the Kelowna International Airport, where I was promptly hassled for over an hour by immigrations and customs. I eventually connected with a friend and made the last leg of my journey to Revelstoke. (In hindsight I realize that it would have taken just as long to have just driven myself.)

Upon arriving in Revelstoke I quickly learned that Crested Butte was being overwhelmed by feet upon feet of snow. The kind of storm that British Columbia usually experiences. I, on the contrary, was enjoying clear blue skies, a rarity in BC. The clear weather gave me a good chance to line up my competition runs as well as enjoy a day of pillows on the infamous Roger’s Pass.

As well as some light snowboarding I spent my week rehabilitating my knee at the Revelstoke Recreation Center. (I had tweaked my knee less than two weeks before traveling, and nearly canceled the whole trip.) By the first competition day I was feeling quite a bit better.

The first day of the competition took place on a run called Separate Reality. My run consisted of two cliff drops, followed by a frontside 360 on a hip, and was finished with two tree airs into the finish. A score of 33.00 put me in 3rd place.

Finals took place in the North Bowl area. I had more trouble than normal choosing a line for this venue. I had two unique, technical lines picked out. However, with a lot of talented snowboarders dropping before me, a lack of local knowledge, and a questionable knee, I decided to practice the KISS rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). I settled with a more predictable line that had less variables. I jumped off of a decently large cliff up top, followed by a pair of backside 360’s in the middle, and finished with a small air through the trees at the bottom.

I knew that my week’s performance wasn’t enough to win the competition, but I also felt it was strong enough for a top 5 finish. In the end I held onto 3rd, which is very satisfying considering the amount of effort that went into the whole adventure, as well as my less than perfect knee.

The winner was a local, Kai White. This really was his competition to win or loose considering his local knowledge and absurd skill level. He rode fast and fluidly mixing in some playfull hand-drag 360’s and a backflip, as well as riding a large, very technical, high consequence line in finals for a well deserved win.

The next competition will take place Feb 10-13 at our very own Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The incredible snowfalls of late ensure that this should be a very high quality competition filled with inspiring performances. Come check it out!

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