Maelle Ricker 

Team on tour

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There has been more action in the last couple of weeks for the snowboard team. All three disciplines, halfpipe, boardercross, and alpine, are separated around the globe. Tracking the progress this month will be tricky!

The trickiest group to keep track of is the alpine squadron. They are still in Europe chasing FIS points and World Cup quotas. After the Nendaz World Cup in Switzerland, the team went east for a World Cup in Bardonnechia, Italy, the 2006 Olympic venue. Matt Morison and Kimiko Zakreski both made finals at that PGS.

Some of the crew then flew northward to Russia, while the rest of the group went to Alberta for four NorAm races.

The racers that went to Russia were very speedy in the slalom. Matt raced for gold in the semi-final to try for his first World Cup title ever! He ended up impressing the crowd with a silver medal, a nice match to go with his bronze medal from Nendaz. He’ll have to wait to complete his set with a gold next week in Japan. Mike Lambert also threw down in fifth place, a nice way to come back after some shoulder issues this autumn. Caroline Calvé was 10 th in the women’s field.

The pipe team has been riding in Whistler for the last stretch. Most of the team resides in the Sea to Sky corridor so it made for a perfect break to take some time at home to refuel and dial in some new runs for the March contest craziness. I managed to make it up Blackcomb for a day of pipe and park riding with the crew.

I forgot how fun it was to ride in the slushy winter conditions in Whistler right now. Sarah Conrad, Justin Lamoureux, Dominique Vallée and I drove up from Squamish to join up with Mercedes and Brad Martin for the day.

It was raining pretty high up on the mountain and the fog was moving in and out all day. The rain was trying so very hard to turn into snow at the top of the Solar Coaster chair. Sounds bad, but I can honestly say that I absolutely love these conditions. Obviously, riding powder is my number one love, but ripping rainy West Coast slush might just be my number two. The misty coastal mountains are so beautiful… you just have to accept the moist feet and go with it.

It’s easy to have fun in that Blackcomb terrain park. There are so many options to choose from and variety of for all riding abilities. The pipe is in great shape too. We all spun laps on Solar until closing that day. Sarah, Justin, and I drove back to Squamish that evening with ear-to-ear grins.

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