Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Queenstown Snow Cats

This was definitely the funnest day of my Southern Hemi Winter so far. With such a rad crew, I knew it would be a blast no matter what. Rachael Oakes-Ash, aka Miss Snow it All from theSydney Morning Herald was there to document our adventure, with Camilla Stoddart taking photos and Jase Hancox logging all the action on film.

The trip was based around two sets of sisters aiming large in the snow industry; Nat and myself from Australia and Janina and Maria Kuzman from NZ.

We met the Queenstown Snow Cats team, located in Kingston, 40 minutes out of Queenstown early in the a.m. to run through safety briefings and our schedule. We were then surprised with a heli ride up to our stomping ground for the day- obviously this was not your usual cat skiing operation.

Once we were up in the mountains it was time to play! We spent the day jumping off stuff, scoping lines and generally just shredding the gnar.

Before we knew it, we were being ushered back into the heli and flown back to reality.

Such an epic day with a bunch of inspirational people. Much love to Queenstown Snow Cats andRachael Oakes Ash for putting this all together. For the full story on the day, stand by for the northern season mags and Channel Nine in Australia (July 2012) for the one hour TV snow special.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Katya wins at Hotham

Remember we posted the edit of Katya's rigorous between-season training sessions ? well it looks like all those indoor and outdoor activities are starting to pay off BIG TIME!!!

She just had amazing results at the The Australian National Championships / Australia New Zealand Cup Ski Cross event which was held at Mt Hotham last week. The event attracted a number of international competitors to Australia - athletes from Japan, America, Switzerland, Finland and New Zealand. And Katya was on the podium both days!

Says Katya "A few days before the race we battled extreme weather conditions, with torrential rain almost wiping out the entire course before the races even started. Fog and high wind also prevented us from training on the course, so instead we just trained in the start gate. Luckily by Saturday the storm had passed and we finally saw the sun, giving Hotham a chance to build what turned out to be a fast and technical race course with plenty of big rollers, jumps and banked turns.

Being the first race of the southern winter season and the only ski cross event in Australia, I was very excited to be racing again on home turf. It’s always great to come home from a 4-month World Cup season in Europe / North America, and test out your skills on Australian snow.

 "My major competitor this year was World Cup racer Fanny Smith from Switzerland, who had a World Cup victory last season and is currently ranked number three in the world.

 On day one I qualified in second position, two tenths of a second behind Smith. I made my way through the quarter and semi finals, finding myself in the final head-to-head with Smith, a Japanese competitor and another Aussie. With a fast start, I managed to take the lead at the top of the course and maintained it all the way to the finish line, feeling Smith on the tail of my skis the whole way down. I crossed the line in first, and as you can imagine, I was very excited to have beaten such a highly ranked world-class competitor. A very proud moment for me!

On day two, I had another great day of racing however couldn’t manage to beat Smith to the finish line in the final, and finished in second place.

Overall, a very successful and enjoyable weekend of racing in the sunshine. I finished with a first and a second at the Australian National Championships…not a bad start to the season! It feels great to take the National title again, making me Australian National SX Champion two years in a row."

Katya is now in  New Zealand, competing in the New Zealand Winter Games. This event is held every two years, and attracts a large number of international competitors. The ski cross will be held in Cardrona, which is renowned for being a world cup standard course.

Good Luck Katya !!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Thredbo made an edit of the Chicks with Stix session!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Are you ready for the Chicks with Stix Throwdown ?!

Ok girls, here it is, your chance to enter an entry level, grass roots, freeride skiing event. The Chicks with Stix throwdown will take place in the Skyline Park at Mt Buller on the 4th of September. For girls that are regulars in park events, this is your chance to get some comp experience and nail a solid slope run.

For those of you that have never competed before this is a great opportunity to try it out in a fun and encouraging environment with CwS coaches close by, ready to lend a hand. The event will be a jam style format.

Please remember to register for this event by emailing CwS and let us know that you are coming. For those of you that are not part of TBR, or Team Xtreme, please make sure you fill out a waiver form (chickswithstix.skiing@gmail.com) and bring it along to the day.

We have some GREAT prizes up for grabs.......so grab some friends and head to Skyline, Mt Buller, for a fun session in the park with the CwS crew!

Baw Baw !

check out the sweet edit that Baw Baw put together for us !

Little Mountain: She-Shredders. Girls ski & ride days. from Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort on Vimeo.

thanks guys !

Friday, August 19, 2011

thredbo pix

Our new buddy Steve "cuffy" Cuff from website skitracks.com.au was on hand last weekend when we had our CwS session at Thredbo. He's taken some great shots which he very kindly sent through for us to use.

Cuffy is one of Australia's leading ski photographers and has spent every winter on snow since 1992. As well, he is the official photographer for SSA and has covered the last 3 Winter Olympics. Check out his site HERE for more pics from the slopes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

heading north - into NSW

The Chix took to the road for an adventure into NSW,  hitting Thredbo on Friday night and holding our first NSW session for the season. Zoe, Anna and I were joined by locals Karinya Turnbull and Hanna Fisher.

Luckily, we had quite a few coaches on hand because not only were we shredding the mountain with a whole lot of new girls, we had our own media contingent! Photographers, film crews and journalists all tagged along with us and we were feeling a bit like we had the paparazzi on our tails!

beginning of the day

Zoe gets in the swing of it

Anna chats to Reggae Ellis

We had a ton of fun, starting out easy with a bit of free skiing and finishing in the park where everyone really pushed it to the limit. Best part ? every chick went home having tried and succeeded in something new. One lucky chick even went home with a new pair of ARMADA SKIS!

Over the next few weeks we will try to post the stories.... but let us know if you see any media featuring us, please! We had a film crew from Thredbo who are editing a short segment about us, as well as Reggae's new show On The Edge, we had Ben join us from mountainwatch.com and Steve from brand new site skitracks.com.au and The Snowy Mountains Newspaper.

We were also joined by Miss Snow It All who was also celebrating a birthday- it was her 21st I think!

- Lorraine

Zoe says :

Wow! It was an awesome day at sunny Thredbo on Saturday where CwS awarded a brand spanking new pair of Armada Cantika skis!! This ski is the perfect all rounder for any chick who loves to shred. Although it is built for all mountain skiing, any lady who rides it will also discover that it loves being in the park!

Amanda, a local instructor for Thredbo won 'Chick of the Day' and will soon fall in love with this ski. It is a great ski for Amanda to perfect her switch skiing, 180's and 360's on.

skis matched her outfit - how awesome is that!

Thanks to all the girls who turned up to support chicks who shred. Congratulations again to Amanda for her brilliant effort on Saturday. We can't wait to catch up with you again next season at Thredbo!

- Zoe


PS: keep an eye out for Zoe this weekend - judging at the National Mogul Championships .... as well as Anna this weekend - presenting at the Slopestyle comp on Saturday night. Come and say "hi"!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

guest coach - KARINYA

Last weekend the Chix team hit Thredbo, with two guest coaches Karinya Turnbull and Hanna Fisher. Here, Karinya gives us her take on the day..............

"On Saturday the Chicks with Stix Team consisting of Zoe, Anna, Hanna and myself (KT) met beneath the sunny skies of Thredbo resort for the first ever Thredbo CwS session. Fifteen girls turned up for a day of freeride and freestyle fun and for my first session as a guest coach after judging last year’s throw down event it was a fantastic way to see how a team of girls can make a difference.

Heading up the Gunbarrel chair we skied across to Merrits where we split up into groups with those girls who wanted to learn 180’s, switch skiing and fast GS turns were able to get some one on one coaching from some of Australia’s top experienced freestylers. After some basics the group progressed through to the parks on High Noon and under the Cruiser chair for some rails, jumps and even some for their very first 360’s!! What an amazing effort!!

Zoe + Karinya give some pointers

We were very lucky to have four coaches there to share their hard learned lessons on park techniques, new jump progression, how to get through that scary first step of spinning and even a few awesome demonstrations.

at front : Karinya, Zoe, Hannah, Anna

We finished off the day awarding our Chick of the Day, which went to Amanda who was ecstatic to receive a pair of brand new Armada skis to help her progress her 360’s in the park. Bianca, a seasonal local won most improved and a Chicks with Stix T-shirt with her first 180 and 360s attempt and finally Kit also walked away with a CwS T-shirt for her positive attitude and determination.

All of us had successful day and CwS would like to thank Thredbo for their efforts publicizing the event, supporting the program and being an all round fantastic program partner.

From all of us at CwS in Thredbo we look forward to seeing you all next year!!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

girls on film

The CHIX have been all over the place this week, with Nat ripping it up at the World Heli Challenge and Zoe, Anna and Lorraine hitting Thredbo and having some fun in the sun with our guest coaches Karinya Turnbull and Hanna Fisher....

Meanwhile Katya put together a little edit to show what she's been up to for the past few months - training like crazy for the northern winter season!

here is Katya.........

and here's the Heli Challenge edit...... Nat's in at 9:28...awesome run! and big props to Nat for winning the "People's Choice vote' as well....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Meet the Ladies from the World Heli Challenge 2011

It has been an amazing two weeks. I have done so many things for the first time. I heli-skied in New Zealand; flew in spirals down towards Lake Wanaka; sent a straight-line; drank grappa; went swimming on the West Coast of NZ and skied Mt Albert.
The best part was meeting these amazing ladies. In competitions it is the other girls who really challenge you. I was so stoked to shred and hang out with all the girls who were involved in The World Heli Challenge 2011 and I only thought it was fair to share the fun.

Here's a recap of all the ladies, what they did and what they thought about it:

Vanessa Aadland
photo: Petri Minotas
Born in Seattle, Vanessa grew up skiing in the mountains of Washington State. She moved to Utah 4 years ago and ever since then she has been shredding Little Cottonwood Canyon and is well known for jumping off big things without thinking twice. This year she placed in the top 10 in several of the Freeskiing World Tour events.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The best part of this comp was meeting enthusiastic, talented skiers/riders from all over the world and watching everyone throw down!

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
The conditions were awesome and the stoke was high after being dropped off in a heli on a intense ridge with spectacular views.

What is something you would change about this event?
I would make it so everyone has to give each other a hug at the end of their run.
And anything else you want to add.......
I feel lucky to have been involved in this comp! I had good times and hard times but over all it was a good learning experience.

Victoria Beattie
photo: Tony Harrington

Straight out of the dirty south, also known as Tasmania, Victoria started her skiing career as a park rat. She travelled as a ski bum and podiumed at international slopestyle events until 2006 when she broke her back at the Jon Olsen Invitational Big Air and then later ripped her knee apart which has taken until now to heal. Since then Victoria has been in the judges seat for both park and big mountain events. This year she also took out some top 10 results in the Freeride World Tour including 6th at the La Clusaz Radikal Mountain.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The crew of people that are involved and the camaraderie that has formed from doing something as incredible as flying around en-masse in helicopters in the mountains!!!

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
Sadly the skiing wasn't to be for me as I was purely in survival mode on a knee that days before the event started I could barely walk on. I was skiing extremely conservatively to make it from Day 1 to Day 2, to get through this event without getting hurt and being able to ski the rest of the season! But I had a feeling we might try to fly up to Mt Albert this year, and that it one face in New Zealand I have wanted to stand on top of ever since I first saw pictures of it. So to get up there and ski that face in those conditions was a dream come true! Its just a shame I didn't ski it harder - but I will definitely be going back up there again!

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
It has lived up to all my expectations, been an incredible experience and great fun, and I would love to be a part of this event forever! But the cost of entry is enormous, and really hard to justify. So that would be the biggest thing holding me back from participating again in the future.

Torie Hamilton-Wilson
photo: Tony Harrington
Born and bred in the Victorian Alps, Torie grew up in Melbourne and spent her winters at Mt Buller, racing as a kid, competing internationally and later on dominating the park all over Australia. The World Heli Challenge was Torie’s first international big mountain competition.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The Heli Challenge has been one of the most amazing skiing experiences I have had to date. I have gained so much knowledge in the space of two days of competing being surrounded by a group of incredible skiers who have so much passion for the sport. Their knowledge, talent and skill helped me to compete to the best of my ability. The terrain and fresh snow was incredible. High peaks, rocky drops and sweet powder lines shot adrenaline through my body that I definitely want to experience again! Words cannot describe it

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
It’s not only the competition runs, but all the other times we have with the new friends we have made here. People from all over the world; surfing, golfing, skydiving and jumping into freezing cold lakes after a hard day of heli skiing gave the event another element that no other competition is able to offer. Everyone is here for the same reason but all have a relaxed and friendly attitude about it all that makes the nerves in competition day go away.

And anything else you want to add.......
Jumping on a barge with a bus and a few helicopters and heading out to the middle of Lake Wanaka in the early hours of the morning was an interesting start to a day. The venue for the Extreme Day had some gnarly terrain. That is one day I will never forget. The amount of adrenaline I had dropping into my first run lasted all day, spreading the excitement. So far I have had an amazing time here with all the athletes and crew. It couldn’t have been any better the way things have been run!

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof
Callan was raised in rural Alaska, 500 miles away from the nearest chairlift in one of the most remote areas in North America. Callan spends her year training with the U.S Bordercross Team and traveling to Big Mountain events such as the The North Face Masters of Snowboarding. Some of her results this year include Silver at X-Games in Bordercross and 2nd at TNF Masters, Kirkwood. She also took out the Young Gun award which awards raw talent and innovation.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The best part of being in this comp is the camaraderie and how stoked people are to be here. The vibe you get being here rubs off onto everyone and really makes the experience so special. There isn't an event like this where so much is packed into the experience, its much more than just a competition.

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?

The snow was so much better than last year, I was stoked to ride pow both comp days. The extreme day was probably the highlight and run two rocked my world. There were a lot of options up there which was sweet, I wish we could have spent all day exploring the venue.

What is something you would change about this event?
I think maybe it would be good to separate out the freestyle aspect and the extreme aspect a little more... maybe having more emphasis on the extreme rather than half and half. Or making it two different events... just one persons opinion though.

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
I would come back in a heartbeat, I love this event and love being in this beautiful country!

Iris Lazz
A resident of North Lake Tahoe and a Squaw Valley local, Iris is known in both the jib and big mountain scene. Iris started off her career in the park, winning both the Nikita Chikita and Hot Dog and Handrails. She has been competing on the The North Face Masters of Snowboarding for the past 3 years and has dominated this year taking 1st at Crystal Mountain and Kirkwood and 2nd overall. She also took out 2nd place at King of The Hill 2011.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The best part of being involved in this comp is for sure meeting new people and sharing the experience with people you already know. For this particular year we had good snowpack, so it made it really fun riding good snow but that’s not always a guarantee; show up and know you have some buddies that are doing the comp too then you know you'll have something to share forever.

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
The venues were sick and I really think they had enough features for everyone to choose something they love to ride, I know I really enjoyed my runs. My runs were average but I definitely had a couple features that shined, I could've rode better but its hard coming straight out of summer and no matter what I always feel like I could've done something better.

What is something you would change about this event?
Honestly, I probably wouldn't be involved again unless a lot changed logistically. Yet, riding with all these women pushing their level has been such a treat, that alone I wish I could do again.

And anything else you want to add.....
This being my 3rd trip to the county but my first Heli Challenge, my impression of New Zealand is "no worries", do what makes you "froth" and chill out! There's so much to do here and its the kiwi way to get after it all! I got to go skydiving while I was here and some hikes, and it was all amazing and I felt like a local doing it!

Abby Lockhart
A Wanaka local, Abby started snowboarding when she was younger but did not start her competitive career until later on when she moved to Wanaka and took up post at Snow Park. Abby is renowned for her style in the air. She competes mainly in slopestyle and she can be found traveling between NZ and Canada, to shoot in the backcountry. Photos of her shredding have been published in local and international magazines.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
The best part of the comp was the vibe didn’t feel like a comp just fun times with old and new friends

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
My runs were fun, I feel like I will always appreciate my practice runs in other events now! It’s awesome to just have to drop in and try and ride your best, it’s a lot more challenging than I expected. I felt like I could have done better than I did but I made the most of it at the time so I guess that is all I can ask of myself.

What is something you would change about this event?
The prizes could be a bit more inviting I’m sure if there was a little something up for grabs more athletes would partake and also push themselves harder to win the event! It is just a fun experience I felt no pressure of competing so thats pretty cool. I guess it’s unique and different to anything I have ever done!

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
I would love to be involved again its was so fun! Getting to ride new mountains good snow and in the choppers what a rush! I did a fundraiser for my entry fee which was a lot of work for 2 days of competing. I committed 7 days to getting the money together and I was so grateful to everyone who brought raffle tickets and supported me! I don’t think I will do another fundraiser next year I hope to get some good feed back and coverage out of it so I don’t have to and my sponsors can come to the party!!

And anything else you want to add.......
Just again a HUGE thank you to my sponsors for the product I used in my raffle and everyone who supported me I really appreciate it!! Thanks to Harro and everyone organizing the event you guys did a great job and thanks to the chopper pilots for the sweeeet rides good times all round!!

Ratty Sheidow
Ratty Sheidow hails from South Australia and is a local at Australia’s Mt Buller. With almost 30 winters behind her and 4 winters of competing in Big Mountain events she knows her stuff! Ratty has competed in several of the leading freeride tours including The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, The Freeride World Tour and the King of the Hill. She has taken out podiums at many of these events including 3rd at King of the Hill 2011 and 3rd at TNF, Alyeska 2008.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
Having the opportunity to breathe it all in...the incredible scenery, the buzz of the helicopters, riding a barge, the excitement of riding such great terrain...the list goes on and on but the feeling of being here with such talented riders and skiers in such an awesome playground is something to feel pretty blessed about!

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
I had the opportunity to ride some great snow over the 2 days and some really fun and challenging venues. What was the best to me was that I got to return to Mt Albert after 2 years and ride the run hat I have dreamt of riding since I last saw it...stoked!
What is something you would change about this event?
Nothing really,it is pretty much perfect and a dream trip.

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
In a heartbeat...this is my 3rd heli challenge and hopefully not my last. From the minute that it is over every year I count down the days until the next one.
And anything else you want to add.......
The camaraderie between the competitors at this event is like nothing you could imagine. We are all here as competitors, but competitiveness is replaced here by the most incredible camaraderie, friendship and all round stoke for we are a part of one of the best events in our sport on the planet.

Shannan Yates-Cochrane

photo: Petri Minotas
Fresh out of Salt Lake City, Shannan is well known on the North Face Masters Tour as not only was she Overall Champion in 2010 but she also won every stop of the 2010 series. In 2010 she also came 2nd Overall on the Freeride Tour and placed 3rd at King of the Hill. Shannan is a gutsy rider, she is not afraid to take things fast or furious, I guess that’s what happens when you ride Utah pow for 17 seasons.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
I would have to say the best parts of participating in this event would be the other competitors, access to amazing terrain, and exploring a beautiful country.

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
My runs were tons of fun! I got to test my skills at freestyle, which I don't dabble in all that often and I felt I did pretty well. On the extreme day I was very excited to get on the terrain and great snow. I feel that I picked great lines and I rode solidly.

What is something you would change about this event?
I know that all the people in the event work very hard towards putting on a good event, but it is a work in progress. Many things could be done better on more efficiently but hopefully if the event continues it will improve over time.

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
I would love to come back! This event has tons of promise, but the bugs need to be worked out. Financially it is difficult but hopefully in the future bigger sponsors could equal a smaller entry fee and prize money.

Nat Segal
photo: Tony Harrington
I’m from Australia and my home mountain is Mt Buller. I did my first big mountain competition about 2 years ago, here in New Zealand and since then I have never looked back. I have competed in Freeride World Qualifiers and the Freeskiing World Tour, building up my experience and doing my best to shred hard in any competition I enter. I took out 6th at the US Extreme Championships this year, which is a result I plan to build on.

What was the best part of being involved in this comp?
Skiing. But mainly skiing with new friends and fun people and having no pressure to perform. You do it only for the thrill- almost the same as riding in helicopters.

Tell us about your competition runs and the experience of being a competitor in this event?
It was insane, from 8am until about 4pm on the competition days you were constantly filled with adrenaline, from the chopper rider, to staring at the venue and then finally dropping in. By the time I made it to bed I was still shaking. I was stoked with my competition runs, especially on the Extreme Day, I skied the venue totally differently than I would have 6 months ago, so it was awesome to see some progression, even if it did end in some close-to-ground aerial maneuvers.

What is something you would change about this event?
A tricky question because I love the event and the ideas behind, that’s why I am here. But like any big idea, things don’t always go to plan, especially when 100 people and helicopters are involved. I would love to see a bigger focus on the girls, especially in the photography side and I would love to come and compete without having to raise the entry fee.

Would you be involved again, why/why not?
Yes, I would, with all practicalities aside, I would love to be involved as this event is more than just a competition and that’s what makes it so special.

Anything else you want to add.....
Thank-you Liberty Skis Australia for helping me to raise the funds to enter this comp and all my sponsors for being so supportive. I am so happy that I was able to be involved and it is only because of everyone who bought raffle tickets that I was able to do it. THANK-YOU!

Holly Enderle , Janina and Maria Kuzma were also involved in the World Heli Challenge and I am still awaiting their feedback- so sit tight! Until that time you can check out their blogs:
Maria Kuzma
Janina Kuzma

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SoO Airtime is back!

The gang from SoO Airtime has just announced the return of  OPEN AIR  which is a grassroots film and photography competition for the Australian snowfields. People are invited to enter by submitting a short film (less than 3 minutes) or photograph captured in the Australian snowfields.

According to organisers "Anyone is welcome to enter and anything welcome, whether it is park action at Mt Buller,  free-heel-free-minded antics in the Bogong high plains or a snowman build at Dead Horse Gap...."

So if you fancy yourself a bit of a budding film-maker and you like to shred and have fun - this could be for you - with $2000 worth of gear up for grabs its definitely a must for the 'to-do list' this season!

here is an example of a submission:

Lovely Day from SoO AirTime on Vimeo.

and for more information check this: 

Entry is free and entries are open till Thursday 5th September.....there's plenty of snow around  and a lot more season left so give it a go! 


SoO stands for 'State of Origin' and SoOAirtime is a series of events from the city to the snow and online, that culminates at the end of the season with the State of Origin of skiing and snowboarding.

The best skiers and snowboarders from Australia’s two alpine states are grouped according to origin, then teamed up with the snow industry’s brightest young film-makers and photographers to produce two short films (one per state) over one week at Mt Buller (29th August - 2nd September). The films are then posted online and the public can vote for their favourite.

This season, two chicks will be featured in the SoO comp - snowboarder Jess Rich and our very own Anna Segal! excited to see what the girls will be bringing to the week of competition at Buller!

SoO Airtime is all about supporting Australian snow sports athletes and artists, so take part, watch and vote!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nat Kills it at World Heli Challenge

One of our Chicks with Stix coaches, Nat Segal, has been over in NZ, killing it at the World Heli Challenge. She absolutely charged. Some commented to her that she skied like a man.... NO, she skied like a chick and a damn good one. Although she took a tumble on both runs, I think that her progressive and balls to the wall skiing deserves some attention. Check out her footage below.

If you're a fan (which it's hard not to be) go to the World Heli Challenge People's Choice page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/2011-World-Heli-Challenge-Peoples-Choice-Voting-Open-Now/128853090541568and

and vote for Nat Segal under best female skier! yewwww.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

To Baw Baw and Beyond

Two and a half hours East of Melbourne lies the small but charismatic Mt. Baw Baw (like paw paw, with a B). Although often forgotten when talk of Australian alpine resorts is raised, Baw Baw has a charm which the other big players seem to have lost. I imagine it would resemble skiing at Mt. Buller/Mt. Hotham or Falls Creek 50 years ago. All the staff know each other, not just by name, but also by personality.

This was the setting for my first Chicks with Stix road trip of the year. Usually I'm in New Zealand at this time of year, training or competing. But a recent foot injury has grounded me for the Southern winter, giving me a chance to rediscover what Aussie skiing is all about.

At times, it's about roughing it.

After a winding drive through beautiful sub tropical rainforest (which almost had Ali spewing up her Subway), we pulled up into Baw Baw's village late Thursday night. Reluctant to move from keeping his one and only customer happy, the bar man made a gesture which meant we were to find our own room.

Inside we found snowboard coach Hannah Studd and friend curled up in their thin sleeping bags, attempting to keep warm. After convincing the bar man to let us off from renting, yes renting, pillows for the night, Zoe, Ali and I were soon to join them.

After the horrors of dorm style accommodation were passed, it was time for me to be reminded of the fun that small Australian ski resorts can offer. Arriving to a group of keen bean girls, excited to ski together and learn instantly made me forget about my bad nights sleep.

Zoe immediately got down to business, exchanging names and stories and explaining what Chicks with Stix is all about.

The morning was jam packed with working on switch skiing , 180s and conquering all the boxes that Baw Baw's sweet park had to offer.

After a delicious lunch at Kelly's (were I found a rad Ned Kelly mask), we were back to it. By the end of the day, all the girls had learnt how to slide the boxes sideways and a couple of them were even popping off them to switch! Talk about progression.

After a full day of skiing, it was time to say good-bye. But not without awarding some prizes first. Bec won a pair of limited edition Leanne Pelosi Dragon goggles, for improving the most throughout the session, plus demonstrating unrelenting determination. Emily then took out the best trick award for her mastery of learning edge control (scissoring) on the flat down box. Check her skills out below.

Thanks so much to Mt. Baw Baw for having us and to all the girls who showed up and made us proud. Next stop for Chicks with Stix is Thredbo, next Saturday 13th August. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


JNats Australian Mogul Championships exploded on Saturday at Mt Buller and Chicks with Stix had some of their closest friends competing, judging, and taking photos.

Ever since we have competed in moguls, there has always been far more boys competing than girls sometimes even double. However, this weekend there were more Junior girls than boys competing, which is so cool and just demonstrates how girls are making there way into freestyle skiing.

Britt Cox took out 1st place with a nail biting run, landing a sweet 3 at the top and a back cross down the bottom.

“J-Nats was so much fun on the weekend. It was a great feeling to be back in the start gate and TBR did an awesome job on the course. I was stoked with my qualifications run and also pretty happy that I beat my time in the finals. I was impressed with all the girls skiing but especially the youth girls. There were so many young girls competing on the weekend and I could really see that the water jumping they did during autumn paid off! “

Pip Sparrow, who has been a long time supporter of CwS and was a CwS Chick of the Week last year, put down a smoking run in the finals to place 4th.
"Jnats was great! It was so good to see such a strong field of girls competing. My qualifying run was interesting as I competed a new trick but luckily it just scraped me through to finals where i skied a conservative run that ended me up in 4th."

The level of skiing was absolutely amazing with many girls performing back flips and/or 360's. It is hard to imagine what tricks the girls will be performing in the years to come. In particular Jakara Anthony was outstanding as  she was the first ever youth girl perform a back flip in a Australian competition. So congrats to Jakara - keep up the good work!

Now with Nationals and Abom just around the corner things are just starting to heat up (including the snow) :(

Zoe and Katie

pics : Nicole Lewis