May 27, 2009: Hot Mammoth

Mammoth, California – I’m up in Mammoth to work on some things in my riding before our next camp at the end of June. The weather here is amazing – sunny, clear skies with temps in the 60s and 70s!

My first run on my slalom board was a little timid. I’m still wearing my brace so that wasn’t the issue. I changed out the levers in the back of my boots for a more adjustable spring mechanism and right away I noticed that my boots were a lot softer (not good, especially in the warm temps). I tightened the springs as much as I could but still they were too soft. I’ll have to order the stiffer springs when I get home.

Throughout the day I got more comfortable with my runs and worked on things that I had worked on when I was in Calgary: quiet upper body, driving the hip down into the snow at the top of the heelside turn before the fall line, bending the nose of the board. But it’s difficult to know if my technique is correct when I don’t have anyone watching me and telling me what’s right and wrong. So I just kept riding and working on these things, but equally important working on getting more comfortable and confident on the board.

There are only three lifts open and a handful of decent runs, but all in all the day was very productive. I did notice however that I would tire quickly and would have to stop mid-run to catch my breath. It didn’t occur to me until later that the altitude (9,000 feet at the base of the mountain) had an affect on me (also contributed to my lack of sleep last night). After two hours on my race board I switched to my freestyle board to enjoy the slush.

Tomorrow I’ll be riding my GS board and working on the same things, mainly driving my hip down at the top of the turn before the fall line and getting the pop out of each turn. Until I get the stiffer springs for my boots I’ll just have to use what I have and make it work.

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