Team Update: Vanessa Aadland Catches Us Up
Alright, Vanessa Aadland here, reporting in from SLC! Just got back from a comp in Kirkwood California and now headed to Jackson Hole this afternoon for Powder Week! Woo! The excitement in my life has quickly elevated since my first SIA ever in Denver. It was great to finally meet people that I’ve e-mailed a hundred times, see some fresh gear, and party down with new and old friends.
Utah got some big dumps and I finally started feeling strong and stoked again! Then last week I took off to Kirkwood for the first time to compete in the first ever collaboration of the Freeskiing World Tour and the Freeride World Tour. Kirkwood was an awesome mountain with a super friendly vibe. Locals would just walk right up to me, noticing I was a competitor, and wish me luck! I did have to qualify first, before I could compete on the daunting and permanently closed cirque where the finals venue is held. Luckily the qualifying venue suited me and I ended up placing third and was able to move on!
There I was, day 1, jamming out to my music at the start gate. With the most stacked line up that the Freeskiing World Tour and The Freeride World Tour has ever seen, there was a lot of pressure going into the day. It was an insane feeling having all my heroes lined up next to me! With a fresh, extremely intense venue, I was feeling very excited and very nervous. This was my first time doing a visual only inspection but I was able to pick a fun line that fit my style and strengths. Plus, I was dropping 4th so I knew I was going to ski pow the whole way down! I came out of the first chute hot and made some slashy pow turns in the sun. I cruised to my next feature without hesitating, lined up my take off and popped. Once I was air born I realized the cliff was much larger then I thought. I didn’t stomp it but I was stoked. It was a great take off and a soft landing. I wish I could go right back and hit it again! I skied pow the rest of the way down and gave all my friends hugs. I ended up 16th and honestly I’m stoked! It was a beautiful day of skiing with my friends and heroes.
I would also like to recognize my friend Ryan Hawks who died yesterday morning from injuries due to a hard hit on the day 1 venue in Kirkwood. He was a remarkable guy with a fun, send it attitude! He died sending it with more passion then anyone. Cheers to you Ryan, we LOVE you so much!
Check out this sequence of Vanessa dropping a cliff at Kirkwood taken by Dana Allen: