17th Apr 2014So I came down to the Alps this season with the aim to follow the Freeride World Tour Qualifier circuit. For you who don’t know what the FWQ is I’ll explain is shortly. The FWQ is a series of freeride/big mountain/extreme skiing, a beloved child has many names right? If you are a good girl and do well in these comps then you have the chance to qualify for the Freeride World Tour, where the cream of the cream is competing. The FWQ comps can be 1-4 stars and the more stars the more points you get from your result and also the harder it is to get in. I started this season with zero points so I had to start with the lower level comps. I got into some 2* in France, Sainte Foy and Les Arcs. I was so nervous before start and couldn’t really pull together any good runs. I picked ok lines but either crashed or hesitated too much. Disappointments. That’s something that comps does to you, in one run they can make you feel awesome or that you suck. This is because I don’t go out there to just have an average run down, I’m doing this so that I can progress and learn something new. And I like pushing it. [caption id="attachment_1447" align="alignnone" width="662"] Sainte Foy with rippin' Birgit Ertl, although we didn't really prove that in this comp since we both crashed.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1448" align="alignnone" width="662"] Wondering where the heck I should ski[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1449" align="alignnone" width="662"] Team Sweden at the Les Arcs comp[/caption] Anyhow I did some more 2* and didn’t have a very good time. Just wanted too much I think. Things started to change when I went to the 3* in Chandolin in Switzerland. I had some good friends around me, the snow was amazing, the vibes where positive and I wasn’t very nervous at all. I just wanted to ski 2 runs and have as much fun as possible, I picked lines that I would ski any day and just played around. So I finished 6th and was happy with that. Remember, have the most fun :) [caption id="attachment_1458" align="alignnone" width="467"] Scoping lines[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1450" align="alignnone" width="662"] My second line in Chandolin, almost missed my last drop because I was too into those deep pow turns[/caption] Next adventure, Slovakia! The trip here was really something special. We rented an apartment from an older couple and as soon as we arrived they brought out the Slivovitz (homemade plum spirits). We went to a place called Tatralandia which is this super duper water park, the perfect preparation for a comp! I met Planks team-mate Leo Taillifer who also athought this was a good idea. I had a great feeling I my body and was again trying to find a line that made me pumped. This paid off, I ended up 5th. [caption id="attachment_1451" align="alignnone" width="662"] Happy chappy before start in Slovakia[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1452" align="alignnone" width="662"] Hoppala[/caption] Next up, Silveretta Montafon a 3* comp not so far away from Innsbruck. The venue was cool and there were a lot of options to choose between. With help from coach Williman I picked a tight entrance and then a fluid fast line with some nice drops. The snow was varying from slushy, refrozen spring snow to powder. It was quite tricky and a lot of people crashed. You could tell that the Swedes where used to these conditions because I ended up 2nd and sharing the podium with another Swede. [caption id="attachment_1454" align="alignnone" width="662"] Stoked!
Photo by: Mia Maria Knoll[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1455" align="alignnone" width="662"] That little check payed half my rent for the season :D[/caption] By this stage I’ve gathered enough points and got myself into the highest level, a 4* event in Obergurgl, The face was very convex and hard to find your way down. I felt good but my ski got stuck under the tricky snow and I crashed. I would have liked to finish the season better but all in all I’m very happy. [caption id="attachment_1456" align="alignnone" width="662"] Beautiful face ay?[/caption] So how to wrap this up? Comps are good, they push you to become a better skier. What I really fancy about them to is that you meet so many cool people. Sometimes it doesn't work out the way you've planned it but hey that's life, just have to learn how to deal with it.