Following a much needed holiday break with loved ones, I came back to Colorado for a week of training before heading to Aspen for the next set of Olympic Qualifiers. During the first early morning, Ted and I arrived to the mountain ready to go, unbeknownst to us, the evening before the internet had crashed. So we had to wait in a long line to finish up our registration and get to practice a bit late. At least we had an amazing view on the way to the mountain :)

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Most of the time for my first day of trainings I usually spend the majority of my day just hitting the jumps and doing straight airs to figure out my speed. As soon as I have that factor dialed, I start to do tricks. For this course we have an interesting selection of features. Starting off with three different rail features which include; A shooter rail, down-flat-down, and a gap to down rail. 

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The Following feature is a QP with a flat rail on top, that leads to a down red rail

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Jump 1; A poppy, jump that will most likely be the main jump for any big tricks that go down.

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Jump 2, while big has the shortest landing and requires us to watch our speed more carefully so we don’t overshoot it.

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Jump 3; the Slant take-off’s. Introduced to our circuit following the Korea Olympic Test Event two years ago. This is our final jump, and with a long landing, people will be going large to finish off their runs.

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Day one of practice, was an awesome time. Even with the late start it still felt very productive. Weather was prime, and the course was running smoothly for most of everyone. For me that day the biggest thing was figuring out the speed for the first jump. Rarely have I hit a course where the first jump barely needs any speed any speed at all. The amount of times I’ve gone to the moon on this jump are numerous, although thankfully it has a very long landing so you always land on some part of transition. After getting that figured out, and continuing some fun laps with Willie Borm, the day went by quick and it was already time for our practice to end. 

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On day two the slope skiers had afternoon practice. This day unfortunately wasn’t as productive as the previous day for me. With flat light conditions and wind moving in, I decided to turn my focus onto the rail section, mainly the second feature. With the first rail feature being very straight forward, the QP seemed to be the one that most people were focusing on. After an hour or so on the feature, I was still pretty clueless on what to try. Almost everything seemed to not lock in or flow. Due to the amount of people hitting the feature, the top rail even was taken out with 30 mins left of practice and closed off. This added to the frustration, but at the same time helped me to focus on a line that I believe will work for me in the contest. Looking forward to seeing how it goes. Tomorrow should be a good one, with the weather looking like an improvement over today’s current snow showers and high winds. 

Starting tomorrow morning! I'm first to drop on Heat 4. 

Till next time,

-Noah

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