After taking a very much needed break from contests this past month, it was time to start the second half of my contest year beginning with the Aspen Open. This was the second time I have participated in this contest, and very thankful it was much better then last year.
For our practice we had two sunny days with a little bit of wind, which made for some interesting times hitting the jumps. For some reason I wasn’t skiing anywhere close to where I wanted to be in practice, and I sadly was getting frustrated. By the end of practice on the second day after I calmed down a bit and started to get my run together. After I was done skiing the slope course, I headed over to the pipe to take a couple of laps with the boys.
Last year a mixture of snow and a little wind greeted our qualifiers, this year it was just a lot of wind. So much wind that clearing the first jump in the course became a difficult task, after that jump you could still clear the rest of the course much better though. On my first run I decided to tone it down a lot and not even do a double flip. While proceeding to fulfill this run, I was greeted by the deck of the first jump, and led to a not so fun double ejecting from my bindings, along with me flying down the landing of the jump. This unfortunate crash did not help me feel any better about the day, and for the first time in a contest I even considered pulling out of competition. But if I did that I knew I’d be a complete pansy, and decided to take my second run still. Before dropping in, thanks to Coach Aaron Anderson, I was able to get my skis very fast thanks to some wax paste. During my second run I felt like Ricky Bobby, cause I was going fast. Thankfully I was able to put down a run and ski away safely.
The rest of the day was spent eating, hot tubbing, and watching the women compete in the Olympics for halfpipe. Congrats Maddie Bowman for bringing home the Gold!
The last day of our competition, we had by far the best weather of the entire event. The forecast called for high winds and snow, but we were greeted with sun and no wind at all. There is nothing better than hitting big jumps on a good sunny day. For my qualifier runs I was able to land both of them, with the highlights being a left double 10 on the third jump, followed by a right double 12 on the last jump. This put me first overall going into finals.
During the second heat of qualifying, I ended up climbing into the announcing booth with good announcer buddies Simon Elston and DC. It was a lot of fun calling out tricks, and just hanging out with those guys to see all the fun they always have behind the mic in person. Had so much fun that I even got to announce a little of the big air contest with them after slopestyle.
After watching the rest of qualifiers and women compete, it was time for finals. The entire field of competitors was so stacked for this final, and with such good conditions it wasn’t going to be easy. I was the last person to drop for the first run, and like typical Noah I screwed up on the first rail a bit. Thankfully this was my first and last screw up on that rail. During my second run I was able to land a much better run. Got my rails clean, and even landed probably the best right double cork 1260 I’ve ever done. The only part of my run I wasn’t happy on was going too big on the third jump and landing a bit backseat. This hurt my score and as a result I just missed the podium and got 4th place.
Still very happy with how I skied and just missing the podium makes me want to work even harder so I can get up there at the next couple of contests. Major props goes out to Matt Walker, Evan McEachran, and Chris Laker for taking the podium for the guys and to Alex Hackel for grabbing best trick with his Double Cork 7. On the girls side I was so happy to see good friend Nikki Blackall grabbing second.
So happy the weather improved for all of us that last day. We all had a blast, and now for me I’m looking forward to my next few contests in Europe. Hope everyone had an awesome weekend.
Till the next update Cheers,