BettyGoHard - Taking the Intimidation out of Action Sports - providing the tools & information to build confidence, skills & friendship to help women of all ages, levels and lifestyles Get Out and Be Active!
LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (24 August, 2011) – Day 12 of the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw many of the world’s best snowboarders hit the Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Canada’s Maxence Parrot and Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller taking the gold.
Winds picked up in the morning, delaying the competition but in the end mother nature cooperated and it was all go with a small but strong field competing for this year’s Winter Games NZ titles. With the delay the format was changed and competitors went straight to a three run final with the best two different jumps counted.
Everyone including the judges was happy to see the conditions improved. “We saw some good tricks,” said Iztok Sumatic, head judge “The wind didn’t the affect the level of the tricks from the top competitors but it probably did affect the size of the field with some of the less experienced riders opting out today.”
After a challenging season with a dislocated elbow followed by a rolled ankle, Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller was happy to turn a page today taking the top spot amongst the women.
Mittermueller attributed her success today in part to a desire to avoid hitting the knuckle and further injuring her ankle. “I knew I had to go big today to avoid injury,” she said. “After a series of injuries and some bad luck I am really happy with today’s results and hope I’ve shown the German national team selectors that I’m capable.” Silvia also has her sites set on competing in the new Olympic discipline of slopestyle in 2014.
“Silvia was a surprise,” said Sumatic. “During the practice she was only doing straight airs but when it came to the competition she boosted out with a lovely switch backside 180 mute grab followed by a frontside 360 tailgrab which was also performed very well, with big amplitude.”
New Zealand’s Abby Lockhart and Shelly Gotlieb placed second and third respectively.
Lockhart said that after taking time away from serious competition the inclusion of slopestyle as an Olympic discipline and the additional funding that will be available to New Zealand athletes has prompted her to refocus on competition. “This is a trial year,” she said. “If it all goes well then I hope to be named to the slopestyle team so that I can afford to compete at the level I need to get to the Olympics.”
“Abby rode really well putting down two good jumps, a backside 360 melon grab and a backside 180 melon,” said Webster. “It’s good to see her stepping up her game.”
“Shelly landed her first backside 360 tailgrab but fell on her two subsequent attempts at a backside 540 leaving her in third place,” said Sumatic.
Tomorrow brings the Adaptive Slalom racing at Coronet Peat and Day Seven of Curling at the Maniototo Curling Rink in Naseby.
With the sport on the brink of being included in the Paralympics, 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games today its first WSF Para-Snowboard World Cup at Cardrona Alpine Resort, featuring a strong international field from both sides of the world.
It was an all-American victory with world number one, Amy Purdy, taking out the women's in a combined best of 202.69 and Evan Strong, also world number one, taking out the men's in 148.25.
"I'm surprised at how fast I went in my first run as I was taking it easy and just wanted to stay upright. My second run I somehow lost time in the middle section but it was my final run that was the quickest. It's great to see an improvement overall and that's what feels good, to know that you can improve and do better all the time. You're always racing against yourself."
Amy said the athletes were just waiting to see if snowboard cross would be included in the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. "It's not a Paralympic sport at the moment but we're due to find out any day. I think to bring a sport that a lot of our generation relates to will definitely benefit the Paralympics and it will really blur the line between able bodied and adaptive sport. We all raced really well here today and showed the sport has the ability to be included at Paralympic level."
The men's race was incredibly close between X Games gold medallist, Evan Strong and Carl Murphy (NZL), world number two, who took silver.
"That was one of the most fun World Cups this season," said Strong. "It was nerve wracking in the morning with low visibility and the practice was rough as we couldn't see very well. But the sun came out, softened up the course and made it way faster. It was fun racing with Carl, he's an amazing snowboarder. On the first run he had 4/10 of a second on me so I had some pressure to push through. The second run put me in the lead by 2/10 of second but I know Carl is a fast racer and that he could easily take that up so I had to make sure I made my last run count and pushed through to take the win."
Both athletes agreed Cardrona's World Cup course was the best they'd ridden for an adaptive competition.
"The course was built beautifully, probably the best the world cup snowboard cross course we've ridden," said Purdy. "It was perfect for all abilities - having prosthetics on both legs I don't compress very well but once you get on long berms it's fun to ride. It was a perfect mix and open enough for us all to ride well, no matter what your strength."
As well as the competitive World Cup competition, today's race also included the demonstration sport of sit ski on the gravity cross course. Corie Peters (NZL) clocked the fastest time in 190.97 after just three weeks in a sit ski. In the women's Gemma Fletcher taook first in 222.40.
The snowboard cross competition continues tomorrow with the FIS Continental Cup snowboard cross at Cardrona Alpine Resort from 9.00am.
LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (August 18, 2011) – American’s Gus Kenworthy and Devin Logan repeated their success at Winter Games NZ taking out back to back victories in both yesterday’s freeski halfpipe and today’s freeski slopestyle.
The Air New Zealand Freeski Slopestyle course at Snow Park NZ included an urban rail set with three rail options for the first platform followed by a jib jump platform with a pole jam, tractor tyres and a 45 foot jump, next a 55/45 jump, a 65/55 jump and then finally the Air New Zealand Lily Pad at the bottom.
The women’s field of ten elected to go straight to a three run final with AFP’s overall champion Logan topping the podium for the second day in a row having won yesterday’s halfpipe competition.
“Her run today was solid,” said Beattie. “The cork seven was a stand out trick.”
Logan started her run with a lip slide to switchout on the downrail, then frontside to two seventy out on the up cannon box and then a switch five to cork seven to a straight on 360 out of the last feature and scored 79.75 points.
An amped Logan was thrilled with her win, “It was great to win again today as I have my sights set on both both the halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.”
In second, it was Kim Lamarre , the top ranked slopestyle skier in today’s competition. Lamarre was tight on the heels of Logan with less than one point separating them. Her run which oozed with style included a lipslide to switch on the downrail and then switch on to switch out of the cannon rail to a switch five safety to a big five forty mute to switch one in to a one eighty out on the bottom lily pad. She ended with 79.25 points just .5 off of Logan’s top score.
In third place was Canadian Dara Howell finishing her day with 70.5 points.
New Zealand’s up and coming skier Rose Battersby just missed the podium, skiing strongly and hitting the big side of the jumps with a big seven twenty on the final jump. She’s someone to watch out for in the future.
Those seeking full results can log on to http://wintergamesnz.com/results/.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games continues tomorrow (August 19) with Snowboard Cross at Cardrona beginning at 9am and Ice Hockey at the Dunedin Ice Stadium from 7pm.
I am about to give you the key to speed. One phrase. Are you ready?
Don't use the brakes.
Don't look so disappointed. What were you expecting, Magic? I don't mean to not use them at all, just use them less.
One of the best ways to improve your riding is to go with someone that is faster than you. Not way faster, so that you get discouraged, but a bit faster, so you really have to work to keep up. Once you've found someone that fits the bill, try following them through some downhill singletrack. Notice how the gap keeps getting bigger? You're not doing much pedaling so it's not likely a strength issue. What could it be? I'll tell you, the faster rider is using their brakes less.
Have you ever been on a ride when, for some reason, you had no brakes, or a lot less than you wanted? Maybe a cable broke or your rims iced up or something. I know it was scary. Careening downhill, unable to slowdown to a comfortable speed, you thought you were going to die. But you survived, and you went down that hill a lot faster than you otherwise would have. If you want to go faster every ride you need to harness a bit of that experience and apply it in a more controlled manner.
Moving out of our comfort zone can make us apprehensive. To try to calm the fears of your rational mind have your irrational mind tell it this: Speed is our friend; Speed brings stability; Stability is good. The wheels underneath do more than just hold us up. They also act as gyroscopes, like those spinny things you may have played with as a kid. They're also the things that keep spacecraft stable in the vacuum of space. The faster a gyroscope spins, the more rigidity it has. This means the faster your wheels are turning the more they will fight to stay upright and pointed straight ahead, just what we want. Now you know why sometimes when you get anxious and slow down you biff, but if you stay fast and ride it out you make out okay and look like a hero.
The hard part is knowing how fast is really too fast and when to say whoa. You can set yourself up with an exercise to explore these limits. Find a section of downhill singletrack steep enough that you won't have to pedal much and fast enough that you definitely have to brake for the corners. (Keep IMBA happy and make sure you won't encounter any hikers or horses on the way down). Make your first run at your normal blistering speed. Try to note where you apply the brakes for each corner. On the next run, each time you reach for the brakes fight the impulse for one second. Remember that every bit of speed that you can carry through the turn is speed you don't have to gain back on the next straight. And that's energy in the bank, my friend, better than money. A little bit saved every corner can really add up over the course of a trail.
In all your subsequent training runs try to brake just a tick later than the time before. It is super important to ensure that you are only using one or two fingers on your brakes - no three, four or five fingers - what are you holding on with? Although some might suggest that a tip to avoid the temptation to brake too early or when you really don't need to is to ride with all eight fingers wrapped around the bars. I personnally subscribe to the theory that you should always be brake ready including uphill climbs.
The key to pushing the envelope is to do it gradually, in small increments. Riding a downhill with your front brake disconnected may make teach you how to go really fast. More likely, it'll teach you just how brittle collarbones really are. Even though improvements may seem small one corner at a time, it will add up and it will make a difference. You worked way too hard for that speed to just turn it into heat for no good reason.
Good luck and stay safe!
Thanks to Dirtworld.com Staff for more tips and biking information visit them at www.dirtworld.com
LA GRANDE PLAGE, Biarritz/France (Friday, July 15, 2011) – Carissa Moore (HAW), 18, has just made ASP history as the youngest ever ASP Women’s World Champion, clinching her maiden title today at the Roxy Pro Biarritz.
“I dreamed of surfing at this level my whole life since I was a little kid and I don’t think you can ever expect or anticipate the feeling,” Moore said. “It is amazing. There is no place I would rather be right now.”
The clinching came when then-reigning four-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 23, dispatched of the remaining title contender Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, in the Semifinals of competition.
“I’m not really feeling anything right now I am just so happy,” Moore said. “It was really stressful watching that last heat and I was trying to just listen to my songs and zone out. It is kind of weird to win on the beach. I have always visualized and imagined winning the Final or a heat and coming in and winning but I’m so happy and excited. I have been thinking about this for a long time since I was a little girl and just to be here right now and being world champ is pretty crazy.”
In only her second year competing amongst the world’s best, Moore has had a stellar run, making the Finals in every event thus far and scalping three wins along the way.
“I have had this goal written on my door and it has been waiting there for a long time to be ticked off so I can’t wait to go home and cross it out,” Moore said.
2011 ASP Women’s World Tour Results:
Roxy Pro Gold Coast: WIN
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach: Runner-Up
Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival New Zealand: Runner-Up
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic: WIN
Billabong Rio Pro: WIN
Roxy Pro Biarritz: Runner-Up
Nike US Open of Surfing: TBD
This year’s stellar run set another record for the youngster as the only ASP World Champion in history to make the Finals in every event this season, and sees Moore as the first Hawaiian ASP Women’s World Champion since Margo Oberg (HAW) in 1981.
“I definitely first and foremost want to thank my little sister Cayla, thank you so much,” Moore said. “I wouldn’t be here without you. There are way too many people to thank but my Dad, he has been here every step of the way and I could not have done this without him. It is so much sweeter having him part of my team. I want to thank my sponsors Nike, Target and Red Bull I couldn’t do it without them. My family, my uncles and aunts and my grandparents.”
The next and final stop on the 2011 ASP Women’s World Title season will be the Nike US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach from August 1 – 6, 2011.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
What an amazing week at the Roxy Pro Biarritz. Team Roxy enjoyed everything there was to enjoy about the quaint French town and surfed and swam their hearts out! Lily Wood and the Prick and the Sounds played a free concert for the town and over 6,000 people came to boogie down!
Team rider Jennifer Smith finished Runner-up on the World Longboard Event as she took down her fellow team rider Kassia Meador in the semi-final in 2-3 foot surf at the Cote d’ Basques.
For some other exciting highlights straight from the ROXY PRO in Biarritz, France take a peek at these ROXY PRO PODCASTS:
Check out this ROXY ART backstage clip and fall in love with the world of Surf throughout the generations. (pretty cool stuff!)
Wishing ROXY a very HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY is Lisa Andersen in this short clip (HAPPY BIRTDHAY ROXY)!
For some silly clips of the surfers (produced by LeeAnn and friends) have a look at the ROXY PRO X-TRAS
Last but not least, we’d like to share a big congratulations to Carissa Moore, who was crowned the 2011 Women’s World Champion during the event!
Cant wait until next year!
Skiers and boarders rise to the challenge in an action packed day of competition
LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (July 17th, 2011) – A quality field of skiers and snowboarders turned out for the BASE Triple Comp yesterday at Treble Cone to showcase their speed, creativity and precision over three events in one day.
Vanessa Aadland of Washington was the female champion of the day producing some top level skiing keeping the men on their toes.
“What an awesome day and a great start to the season. There was a great vibe amongst all the competitors with a great local turnout for the first event of the season,” said Brent Harridge, Managing Director of BASE Wanaka.
The POW Banked Slalom took place in the Lower Gunbarrel offering steep natural walls and heaps of snow for the competitors to negotiate their way through. The Dreamweaver played host to the Rossignol Expression Session offering the perfect playground for competitors to show off their skills and creativity. The BERN Downhill took place in Treble Cone’s popular Powder Bowl where competitors demonstrated style and speed over the full length of the piste.
The day was drawn to a close with a prize giving at Mint Bar in Wanaka which saw all competitors rewarded for their efforts and winners revelling in their achievements.
This week Treble Cone stages the ABSOLUT Ice Competition (Tuesday 19) and celebrates TC Cat’s birthday (Thursday 21 July).
A shakedown in women’s surfing is happening now..we’re shakin’ people, Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore are battling out points in a race to the finish of the Women’s World Tour. With only 2 events left on the schedule the competition is heating up! In all five event’s of the Women’s Tour this year it has been either Fitzgibbons or Moore that have taken the event title. The two girls have met each other in three Finals so far, and Sally has taken Carissa out on two of those occasions. Total event win tally this season: Carissa: 3, Sally: 2.
The Battle now moves on to the Roxy Pro Biarritz, France and one of the biggest stories in modern women’s surfing will again be at the forefront of surfing news. If Sally can manage to hold Carissa off the winner’s podium, the race will end in 2 weeks at the last stop in Huntington Beach, California. GO SALLY!!
Here is the breakdown of possible outcomes:
If Carissa gets 1st in France, she clinches the World Title.
If Carissa gets 2nd or 3rd in France, Sally needs to win to still be in the running and World Title in Huntington Beach
If Sally gets 2nd she is still in the running for a World Title
If Carissa gets 5th in France, Sally needs a 2nd or better to still be in the running.
If Carissa gets 9th in France, the title decision goes to the US Open.
Tune in to the Roxy Pro Biarritz event live on Monday to CHEER ON SALLY!!!
o May 8th – Mothers Day Ride Clinic
o May 27-29 - Cindy Devine Skills Camp
o June 4th –Ladies Introduction to Off-Road Riding
o June 5th – Ladies Park Clinic
o June 4th – Ladies Introduction to Off-Road Riding
· Nelson – Working with Gerricks Cycle to create clinics for Nelson
o May 13–15 - Ladies Off-road Tri Clinic –focus on running and biking
o June 11th - Ladies Intro to off road riding Clinic
o June 12th - Ladies Intro to off road riding Clinic
· Silver Star
o July 15,16&17 – Fourth Annual BettyGoHard Loeka Silver Star Biking Weekend
Local Summer Camps
o July 5,6&7 – Rossland beg/int – 8-13yrs Girls
o July 11,12&13 – Rossland int – 10-15yrs Girls
o July 18,19&20 – Trail beg/int – 8-13yrs Girls
o July 21&22 – Trail beg/int – 8-13yrs Boys
o August 15&16 – Castlegar beg/int – 8-13 Girls
o August 22&23 – Castlegar beg/int – 8-13 Boys
· Working with Grand Forks Recreation & Gerricks Nelson to develop camps for Grand Forks and Nelson
Local Ride Series
o April 6th – 27th – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate – strengthening and conditioning
o May 11th – June 1st – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate
o May 23rd - 13th – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate
o May 24th – 14th – Four Week Beginner Downhill Biking and Chocolate
o May 26th – 16th - Four Week Intermediate Downhill Biking and Chocolate
Local Hiking Series
o April 21st – 12th – Four Week Hiking Series
o April 19th – 10th – Four Week Hiking Series
o August 13th & 14th – Camping retreat: Hike to the Natural Arch and Dogwood Falls on the Arrow Lake just North of Castlegar
As humans we expect a lot of ourselves. Regardless of what you do, striving to be the best you can be has its highs and lows. I find it humbling to be put in a position where I do not perform to the level I expect of myself. Regardless of the situation I have high expectations of my abilities and when I don’t meet those expectations I get discouraged. A fun ride with friends can quickly turn into a competition of me against the world; it’s not that I am comparing myself to my friends so much as comparing myself to my unreasonable expectations. Quickly that little voice in my head starts to berate me on not being good enough, fit enough, fast enough, ballsy enough whatever fits the particular situation. Instead of giving up I have started to embrace these feelings of discomfort and use them to propel me to the next level. It is also great to know how it feels to be left behind, without these experiences where is the motivation to keep getting better?
I don’t think it matters what level you are at, this happens to the best of us and as a beginner don’t forget that everyone starts somewhere, and for most there is always someone better. It is important not to hold yourself back by thinking you are not good enough; honestly how are you going to get better? If someone wants to get out and have fun with you that is what they want to do. I have found time and time again that people will decline an invitation to get out stating that they are not good enough and they don’t want to hold me up. That is not a good enough excuse. So take on the challenge, embrace the discomfort and use it to your advantage. One of the things I love about the BettyGoHard participants is the way they feed off of each other; all of them turn up thinking they will be the weakest member of the group. Pushing those boundaries and challenging those assumptions is as easy as seeing another at the same level as you do something you never thought you would do. That same competitive spark flares up and the rules of the game change. Suddenly, things not imagined become possible and new doors open. I dare you to feel uncomfortable and love it!
Another fun week playing in the snow. Betty got out Cross Country Skiing with the ladies day trip and with friends. As well as meeting Anna Segal, World Slopestyle Freeski Champ and ending at the BCSA Snowcross event at Red Mountain Resort.
Ski Bum – the musical. Wow what talent we have in our little community. The script, the cast, the music it was fabulous! My friend commented ‘it’s like watching a show about my life’ and yes it was. We all know the characters in the show; the ski patroller, ski instructor, newbie and of course the quintessential ski bum. Whether you are talking about a mountain town or beach town any culture that centers on a source of fun has their version of these characters. Even better was sitting in amongst my fellow ski bums, those characters and personalities that make up our own ‘Big Snow Peak’.
One thing I took from the show was what is important to the enthusiasts in this world. Many a newbie has shown up at the mountain, the beach or wherever the addicted live to try it out for a season, it changes lives. Like any junkie their perception of life is changed. Suddenly their horizons expand and the things that seemed important in their previous reality slip away all things becoming second to the equivalent of a ski bums 30cm powder day.
Some of us take the well beaten path; school, job, house, kids, others make their own trail. Life is hard off the beaten trail, but can be so rewarding. Years ago I was driving up to Rossland wondering at the many jobs and craziness of my life and what it was all for. I looked up at the mountain and saw the first snow of the season, it’s an addiction, not always the easiest addiction to maintain but worth everything.
For me I will always be a ‘betty’. Whether I am on a mountain or at the beach, life to me is not about how important I am at my job but how much I enjoyed the last powder day. As the curtain drops at ‘Big Snow Peak’ the cast bow for a standing ovation, a great performance by a talented cast, thanks for summing up what is important to us and the culture we love being a part of.
Bettygohard has one last Cross Country ski day trip this coming Saturday. Explore the trails around the summit and then finish with lunch at a cabin. Beginner to intermediate skiers welcome. Check out www.bettygohard.com for more info.
Happy Valentines Week!! I hope it was a fun day had by all. I thought maybe that Ullr had left me a valentines pressie on the hill, but alas there was little fresh snow; however always fun turns to be had. Maybe they will be belated presents if the current forecast holds true, fingers crossed.
Talking about snow, BettyGoHard has wrapped up what I think was the best snowshoe season yet. We were super lucky with the conditions, the snow fell at all the right times and when it didn’t we found fresh snow off the beaten track. I have discovered that I have an aversion to the groomed or well beaten trails and with snow as well as life I seem to head for the road less travelled. I also tend to prefer looping trails to those going out the same way as they return, which may explain how I ended up in Rossland.
One of my joys when it comes to snowshoeing is the peacefulness of the snow, being out under the stars or even better a snowstorm, quietly making my way through the trees. The ability to take my own path and adventure out beyond the conventional trail, knowing that if I lose my way the tracks will lead me back, provided it is not the snowstorm of the year. When introducing others to a sport I so very much enjoy I like to share those trails and give the ladies a true sense of what snowshoes are all about; trails where if you take your snowshoes off you appreciate why they were invented in the first place.
So thank you to all the ladies that joined us this year, I hope you all enjoyed the experience as much as I did. There is something special about sharing the trails with a group of fun ladies out to explore and connect; although there are some days where I suspect it is more about the chocolate shop than it is the walk, but that is ok too! Join us Saturday 26th, February for our last Cross Country Ski adventure at Nancy Greene Summit, we will be exploring the trails then finishing at a cabin for lunch and treats. Sign up at www.bettygohard.com.
So I started out trying to write a daily blog on my experience at the 15th X Games in Aspen, Co held Jan 26th – 30th, however I was too busy being at the X Games that this is going to be a summary instead.
It was an amazing experience! I got to meet Torah Bright while hanging out in the Athlete lounge, she is super nice. Unfortunately, she did not end up competing in the slope style; it would have been great to see her win gold. I got to speak with Spencer O'Brian one of Canada’s rippers. Standing at the bottom of the half pipe I realized that Kelly Clark and Trisha Burns were hanging out and they asked me to take a photo of them, I did and forgot to get one with me in it - silly! I was super keen to talk to Jenna Mayan and saw her briefly, with no reason to interrupt her I kept going - I feel that the pros deserve their privacy, however moments later checked my phone to see my brother had asked me to say hi to her as he lived with her one season in Tahoe - darn it!! The only autograph signing I managed to get to - they were always so busy and standing in line is not my thing, was Jamie Anderson, I got her to sign my Betty Shirt. She loved the 'it doesn't matter what you ride....as long as you ride it hard' and was stoked to sign next to the snowboard, now I have a goal to fill that one up with more signatures. Shaun White parked next to us in the athlete parking area, I so wanted to get an autograph, but he looked like he was trying to avoid being harassed so I contented myself with being that close.
Just hanging in the athletes lounge was a treat! They treated us great - there was always good food, lots of hydration and snacks. Looking around there was generally someone famous sitting next to me, I missed a couple of opportunities to speak with my heroes, once again though I didn't feel interrupting them was really the way to win them over:).
The purpose of this trip of course was not for me to run around harassing the pros and handing out stickers - although I did hand out a lot of stickers! I hope people stick them in cool places and share the Betty love. The purpose was to support the first ever Adaptive Boardercross exhibition event. There were 6 riders; two standing paraplegics, one above knee amputee and three below knee amputees. They were grouped with the mono skiers, who have been wowing the crowds with their performance for the past few years and are fearless - watching them is crazy, they are crazy. At first we thought they would be on a different course from the able bodied riders but at the X Games there is only one course. They do take out the jumps that are not really doable for the adaptive riders and mono skiers but for the most part they are on the same course doing the same big jumps and crazy gaps. At the beginning of the week I really thought we were going to kill someone. After seeing the boys on the course a couple of times I realized that although the course was gnarly and had the potential to kick someone’s ass, it was made perfectly and ridden with speed as it was designed to be ridden it was a challenge but they were all up to it!
Standing at the finish line waiting for the big moment was nerve racking. ‘Why am I letting my husband compete in this?’ ran through my mind several times and after seeing one of the mono skiers explode through the finish and into the bee netting I was grateful that one of the boys needed me to run down in search of a tripod. Waiting was killing me! The race was great, the boys did great, Evan Strong won by a clear margin, followed by Mike Shea both below knee amputees. Dan Monzo came third closely followed by Tyler Mosher a standing paraplegic from Canada. Keith Deutch fell off one of the jumps so missed a gate but crossed the finish line. My husband unfortunately fell in the first section and dislocated his shoulder meaning he was unable to finish the course. It was very sad as he was doing great in training, but that is racing and I was just thankful that it was only a shoulder - it will heal and he will be back and strong for his next race and eager to win next year! And yes there will be a next year, the event was very well received by the crowd and ESPN so next year it is all on, it will be a medalled event with prize money. This means more athletes, qualifying rounds and an opportunity to draw more top level disabled athletes out of the woodwork, we know they are out there but to date there has not been a good reason for them to admit their disabilities and show what they can do! Live Beyond Limits! These guys truly do.
Thank you to Adaptive Action Sports a non-profit organization out of the US devoted to creating opportunities to get disabled athletes back into sports they love and find new sports after injury and loss. They are one of many organizations working towards making Adaptive or Para Snowboarding part of the 2014 Winter Olympics and this has brought us one step closer. Also thank you to ESPN for welcoming the adaptive athletes to the X Games, it means so much to the athlete’s competing as well as giving inspiration to the able bodied athletes and spectators to see what these guys can do. They are truly living beyond their limits and I guarantee it is going to be interesting to see the line up next year - there are some amazing disabled snowboarders that have been waiting for this opportunity.
So we went, we saw and we experienced the X Games. Seeing all the events live was amazing; being in the athletes lounge watching as Shaun White competed in slope style for the first time in a couple of years and got beaten out by the young up and comers. Being there to see the boardercross boys come flying over the last jump at the finish and the highlight watching the Men's half pipe final. Yes Shaun White won but Scott Lago came close - it was amazing to watch. The girls were inspiring, the boys made the jaw drop - thanks to all the athletes for putting it all on the line to inspire and wow us in their bid for gold.
Not to be left out was the experience of being in Aspen, what an awesome place. With the reputation it has I was not sure what to expect, it is a lovely little ski town, nestled in the mountains. Aspen Mountain itself is big and steep, we didn't have time to ride it but we were on the VIP list for the Top of the World Monster Party. We got to ride up the 20 min Gondola to the top of the mountain, at 9pm at night, it is a long way up and it is steep! We watched the lights of the town disappear far below and just when you think you are getting to the top, you realize you are only half way there - wow, next time I am going to ensure I get a least one run down that mountain it looks insane! Of course Aspen mountain is not the only mountain in town; there is also Aspen Highlands, Snowmass - which is huge and Buttermilk where they hold the X Games. Buttermilk is the smallest however the runs are long and fun and I would love to see the park when they were not holding the games - it looks well made with lots of progression and lots of challenge.
So that was the X Games - I'm looking forward to next year!! Thanks to my husband and his determination to live beyond limits for making it possible for us to have that experience.
This year I will be missing the Winter Carnival as I am off to a Winter Carnival of a slightly different nature. Every year the elite athletes from various extreme winter sport disciplines converge in one place to compete against the best of the best. It is a dream of many snowboarders, free skiers and snowmobilers’ to be invited to the X Games. The X Games is extreme, the jumps are bigger, the courses longer and I imagine the party at the end will be a celebration of making it out in once piece!
The guy that gives me the inspiration to get out and do it, whatever it is to the best of my ability has been invited to go to the X Games. My husband Ian is a standing paraplegic; a snowboard accident in 1998 left Ian in a coma with a broken back and partially severed spinal cord. He came out of the coma within 12 hours of the injury, thankfully with few effects. His spinal cord injury was incomplete leaving him with paralysis and only 50% of his muscles from the waist down. His stubborn and determined attitude(as Mom says”you cant kill weeds) had him walking within 3 months of the injury and three years later he got back on a snowboard.
Since coming to Canada, Ian has been involved with the Canadian Adaptive Snowboard Program (through Snowboard Canada. There is an organization in the US called Adaptive Action Sports, which was started by a girl who lost both her legs to Meningitis. After losing her legs her dream was to see adaptive athletes compete at the X Games and this year she has made her dream come true. On Sunday the 30th of January, the X Games will host their first ever Adaptive Boarder cross race. Six of the best adaptive riders in the world have been invited to compete. They have one six man start race; whoever gets to the bottom first wins gold. Simple.
Stay tuned to www.bettygohard.ca for daily updates on Ian’s training and information on when the race will air on ESPN. Ian will be there representing Bettygohard, Red Mountain, RossVegas, Gerricks, Snowboard Canada and of course Rossland, BC where he gets his inspiration. Don’t forget to cheer him on, Sunday afternoon, wherever you might be.
Athletes need more protein than inactive individuals. While high quality food sources (milk, meat, eggs, cheese, soy) can easily meet their protein needs, athletes often turn to popular protein supplements as a quick fix. They may also be confused about the effectiveness and appropriate use of other amino acid supplements, such as L-glutamine, creatine, and possibly “weight-gainers.”
Protein is an essential nutrient needed for growth and development, to maintain muscle, to produce hormones, enzymes, red blood cells and white blood cells/ immune
system. Dietary protein is required on a daily basis, especially on days of physical training. Supplemental protein (in powders, bars and drinks) is not superior to protein-rich foods, especially since many protein supplements lack essential carbohydrates, vitamins (e.g. B-vitamins) and minerals (e.g. iron, calcium, zinc) found in natural foods, hence the use of supplemental protein as an “extra” rather than as a replacement in meals. Individually, athletes should have their diet assessed by a Registered Dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition to determine if extra protein is warranted. A dietitian will design a customized meal plan that ensures optimal energy, protein,
carbohydrate and fat are balanced to meet desired body composition and training goals.
Protein supplements, in the form as whey, casein and soy, offer a portable, convenient source of protein and calories for exercise recovery or a bedtime snack, especially when combined with a mixture of milk/soy drink, fruit, yogurt/ice cream and/or possibly juice. In comparison, 125 ml (1/2 cup) of dried skim milk powder provides the same amount of protein as 1 scoop of most whey powders; skim milk powder also contains both whey and casein proteins.
If building muscle is an athlete’s personal goal, be aware that a high protein diet or protein supplements alone are not the answer. Instead, to gain muscle athletes equire enough calories (energy) from fibre-rich carbohydrates, and healthy fats, in addition to adequate high quality protein, and regular strength training, i.e., 2 – 3 times a week.Excess protein from the diet and/or supplements will be either used for extra energy (if calories are too low), excreted as waste, or potentially stored as body fat; excess protein can also be dehydrating unless ample fluids are consumed.
Popular “weight-gain” types of supplements usually provide 600-1200 calories (or more) per serving and while convenient, they are expensive and not recommended for young athletes. Most weight-gainers contain a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fat with or without added vitamins and minerals. Consider this less expensive, quick and easy recipe:
Homemade High-Protein Shake:
50 ml (1/4 cup) dried skim milk powder
OR ½ scoop of whey
1.5 cups ice cream
1.5 cups 2% milk
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
Blend for less than 1 minute
1 serving = 953 calories, 35 g protein, 139 g carbohydrates, 28 g fat
The most abundant non-essential amino acid in our body is L-glutamine. It has received popularity with athletes since research has found that during times of exhaustive exercise glutamine levels in the blood are reduced. It is inconclusive if supplemental glutamine helps to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and/or boosts the immune system. Proteinrich foods contain sufficient glutamine (e.g. 4 ounces (120 g) meat, fish or poultry = 4000-5000 mg glutamine). Milk, soy beverage, tofu, legumes (i.e., kidney beans, chickpeas, baked beans) and nuts also provide glutamine and help keep the immune system strong.
Supplemental creatine has been used by athletes for decades, usually under the premise of building muscle. While indirectly it may help promote muscle gains, specifically creatine works by restoring energy (ATP) faster than normal recovery between high intensity exercise efforts. Therefore, if an athlete can recover faster after lifting a set of weights, or recover faster between sprint intervals, they may in turn be able to do more training and subsequently build muscle. But it’s not all great news. There is no research to conclude if creatine is safe to take by those under 18 years of age. Also, some athletes may experience weight gain/water retention, and increase the risk of tearing tendons or ligaments. This “short cut” to building mass is not a quick fix solution to training hard and eating well.
While product manufacturers may make grandiose claims about the benefits of supplemental protein and related supplements, it is strongly recommended that athletes seek expert dietary advice by a sport dietitian before reaching for these or other dietary supplements.
With the winter carnival quickly approaching I thought this would be a great time to share a few thoughts on our town. It has been said that Rossland is one of the last true ski towns; a community made up of well qualified ski bums that in looking for a ‘real life’ have found their way here.
Living at the Red Shutter Inn I feel I have been privilege to an insight into the times of old and the things that haven’t changed. The sticker that reads ‘old ski bums never die they just move to Rossland’, still holds true along with the many great stories that confirm the nature of our town.
Among the posters chronicling the history of the Rossland Winter Carnival littering the walls of the Red Shutter, there is a notice posted on the wall. It was here that my husband and I gained our understanding of the little ski town we had moved to and knew that we were among kin. Let me share with you ’The One and Only Complete and Unabridged Heretofore Unpublished Rossland Code of Conduct’
1. Be prepared; always take your skis, skates, bike, golf clubs, kayak, skateboard, hackysack or running shoes with you.
2. Use your sporting gear with enthusiasm whenever and wherever you can
3. Enter in good spirit every race you a capable of finishing and some you are not
4. Cheer the winners and the losers
5. Support your local bands and places of revelry
6. Honor thy dancing waiters and garter girls for they are your friends, neighbors and … parents
7. Where ties to costume parties only
8. Embrace life and the living
9. Share the bike trails of life
10. Welcome all visitors but keep some powder runs to yourself
So with that in mind enjoy the Winter Carnival to the fullest; appreciate that we are lucky to live in the ‘Kootenay Bubble’, one of the few places left that understands the ‘20cms rule’. Thank you Rossland for supporting the dreams of those that live here and continuing to be true to your roots!! Remember the heart of our community is the businesses within it; shop local and keep the bubble alive.
I love hanging with the girls. Before sitting down to write this week’s column I got out on the hill with a friend. There is something different about riding with other females. The energy is different and so inspiring. Back in 98’ I spent a season at Lake Louise, I found a posse of girls that loved to ride and no matter what the conditions the days we went out together were always my favorite. That was where it all started.
Returning to Canada many years later and riding at Red I was surrounded by boys. Lacking my girls I went looking for inspiration in other places; magazines, movies, anything I could think of and it was sadly lacking. The girls that were in the magazines were standing with their gear looking pretty – that was not what I was looking for; I wanted to see them in action!
By the time we returned home I had come up with a plan to help others like me, girls looking for inspiration. We came up with the name Bettygohard and I set out to create a place where females could be inspired and inspire others. I figured out how to build websites and with a snowboard bums budget created the Bettygohard community. It was a great start but a long way from where I wanted to go.
The website has evolved over the years as I searched for a way to create the interactive community I had imagined. At this time Facebook and other social networks started appearing and I had a goal; to build a social network for females of all ages that are into action sports.
This Christmas Bettygohard launched the Bettygohard Social Network @ www.bettygohard.ca. Now it is time to get out and get you girls/ladies/women and even the guys involved in the dream of inspiring others to get out and go hard. No boundaries, No expectations, just getting out and having fun; however you like to do it!!
Please take a moment to log on and sign up, www.bettygohard.ca , it’s free and easy to do. Become part of the Betty movement today and be part of the action.
If you've never experienced the beauty or serenity of hiking in fresh-fallen snow, you're in for an adventurous treat. Snowshoeing is easy to and fairly inexpensive. With a little knowledge, buying the right snowshoes is a walk in the park.
REI categorizes snowshoes as follows:
While most snowshoes fall into these 3 categories, a few models are designed specifically for trail-running, fitness or climbing.
Shop REI's selection of men's snowshoes and women's snowshoes. Snowshoes can be viewed according to terrain, gender, brand, price or customer ratings. Choose your preference in the left-hand navigation column.
Here's another option: Many REI stores offer snowshoes for rent. Take a pair out for a test walk. (Please call first for availability. Snowshoes are not available at all REI locations.)
We will take a closer look at snowshoe parts in the next section in this article. If you're already familiar with snowshoe components, realize that one of your key shopping decisions involves selecting a snowshoe that is an appropriate size.
Aluminum-frame snowshoes come in multiple sizes, usually 8" x 25", 9" x 30" and 10" x 36" or something similar. Composite snowshoes come in 1 size (typically 8" x 22") and offer the option of adding 4" to 8" tails to help you stay afloat on snow. Why does size matter? It's a key factor in getting the right amount of flotation.
Snowshoe sizes and shapes vary as follows:
Recommended loads are based on light, dry snow conditions. But consider that on powder snow you need bigger snowshoes to stay afloat than you would on compact, wet snow. In other words, a powder-happy Utah snowshoer may want a larger size than a same-sized snowshoer in the wet snow of the Pacific Northwest.
Packed trails, brush and forest call for more compact shoes, which are easier to maneuver in tight spaces. Steep or icy terrain is also best explored with smaller snowshoes. Open areas with deep drifts require larger snowshoes.
Tip: Get the smallest size that will support your weight for the snow conditions and terrain in your area. As long as you have adequate flotation, smaller snowshoes will be much easier to handle.
Your weight, including equipment, is referred to as the recommended load or carrying capacity on snowshoe specs. This is a major factor in determining the right size. In most circumstances, a heavier person or one with a heavily loaded pack will require larger snowshoes than a smaller person or one carrying gear just for the day.
Snowshoes allow you to travel across snow-covered ground without sinking or struggling. They require much less effort than walking with regular snow boots. To do so, snowshoes provide "flotation" by spreading your weight evenly over a large, flat surface area. This flotation allows you to hike, climb or even run. Generally, the heavier the person or the lighter and drier the snow, more surface area of a snowshoe is required.
Historians trace the origin of snowshoes to Asia sometime between 4,000 and 6,000 B.C. As recently as the 1950s, snowshoes were still constructed from wood and rawhide.
Today, most snowshoes have aluminum frames and synthetic decking. These decks usually feature nylon or Hypalon rubber so they can be light and responsive. Another style of snowshoe, popularized by MSR, features a frame with an integrated hard decking material. This composite (or, plastic) decking supports weight on its own and is stable and durable. You can attach a 4" to 8" tail to these for extra flotation in deep powder. Both frame styles work well.
Snowshoes secure to your boots with bindings, which usually consist of a platform and nylon straps that go over the foot and around the heel. Two types are common:
You don't need to buy special footwear to go snowshoeing. Most snowshoe bindings are built to accept a variety of footwear styles, from hiking boots to snowboard boots. A few are made specifically for running and lace up snugly, while others are made for plastic mountaineering boots and secure with ratcheting straps.
Although your weight provides some traction by pushing snowshoes into the snow, snowshoes feature tooth-like crampons or cleats for greater grip. Recreational-style snowshoes will typically offer moderate amounts of traction, while backcountry snowshoes will generally have more aggressive crampons for steep, icy conditions.
Also known as climbing bars, these wire bails can be flipped up under your heels to relieve calf strain on steep uphill sections and save energy on long ascents. This feature gives the feeling of walking up steps and prevents exaggerated calf and Achilles strain.
Q: What kind of boots should I wear with my snowshoes?
A: Any waterproof hiking boot or insulated winter boot should work just fine. For long hikes, avoid loose-fitting boots with removable liners as the liners tend to eventually pack down and leave your feet cold. Consider wearing knee-high gaiters, too, to keep snow out of your boots, especially in off-trail or deep snow conditions. For details, see the REI Expert Advice article about How to Choose Gaiters.
Q: Where do I place my foot in the snowshoe?
A: Your foot should be centered with the ball of your foot over the pivot point of the snowshoe. This placement gives you the most natural feel when you walk and helps you maintain a normal gait.
Q: What makes a "fitness snowshoe" different from other types of snowshoes?
A: "Fitness snowshoes" are generally made with lighter materials, minimal traction and a tapered tail. This creates a lighter snowshoe that is easy to run with and helps you to maintain a normal gait. Some women's snowshoes have these same properties and can be double as fitness snowshoes.
Q: Can I use my alpine ski poles for snowshoeing?
A: This is not recommended. For most snowshoeing outings, poles should be adjustable for your comfort and safety. Trekking poles outfitted with large snow baskets work fine. Snowshoe poles are essentially the same thing as trekking poles, but with snow baskets already in place. You can switch these out to smaller trekking baskets for summer hiking.