After many years of trying, I was finally able to compete in the Aspen Open. To finally hit the X Games course, and see if I could hold my own against some of the best skiers in the game. This was a very fun and much needed experience for me since I’ve never hit a slope course that big, and so close together. When I say close together, I mean how you would land one jump and in a manner of seconds you would be going off another jump.

The Slopestyle course

The Slopestyle course

For the practice days I tried to get used to the jumps and hot lap the course as much as I could. By the end of the second day practice day I felt like I had a good run down. On the first qualifier day we got over 8 inches of fresh powder, sadly this was my first pow day of the whole year.

Psyched after getting my first 69 bib

Psyched after getting my first 69 bib

As we reached the top of the course with the wind blowing and the mass accumulations of snow everywhere to be seen there was a feeling that the comp might not happen. The first run through the course only a total of 3 or 4 people were able to actually clear every jump. So the event organizers decided to postpone the comp till the next day.

Misty 6 Sequence of me by: Henrik Lampert

Misty 6 Sequence of me by: Henrik Lampert

On the actual qualifier day everyone was much happier to see sun as we reached the course. Then as soon as the competition started the bad weather started to roll in. The first heat wasn’t affected much by this, but the second, and third heats were. I was able to land my first run and that put me in 5th place for my heat, and enough to get me to Semi-finals.

Top of the course 

Top of the course 

Semi-finals were held the very next day, and this turned out to be the best day for me. For once I was able to clear every jump with plenty of speed and the landings were much softer than earlier in the week.  Happily I was able to set down a run and that put me through to finals in the 6th place spot. Then in finals I decided to try and take my run up a notch. Sadly I wasn’t able to land my desired run and had troubles with my 3rd jump.

Nicky Keefer before dropping in - Photo by: Me

Nicky Keefer before dropping in - Photo by: Me

Maroon Bells on the backside of Buttermilk

Maroon Bells on the backside of Buttermilk

Even though I wasn’t able to put down the run I wanted this was such a good experience for me, and motivates me to learn bigger and better tricks so I’ll be ready for the next competition.

-Noah

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