Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mt Hotham Freeride Session

After an awesome weekend at Mt Buller, we were pumped up and ready to shred the steep gullies at Mt Hotham. The weather forecast was calling for some chilly weather and snow. 
Penguin huddle!
Friday night was a little breezy and filled with sleet and snow, so we were a little worried that the conditions would keep some girls inside. We had nothing to fear as by 10am there were an odd 70 chicks waiting under the Roxy banners.

Our awesome snowboard coach, Ali Deane, hanging out before starting the session
 Before setting out we had the privilege of hearing from Aerial World Champion, Kirsty Marshall, a pioneer in female freestyle skiing as well as a new addition to our Ambassador team. Kirsty talked about her experience of being a professional athlete in a male dominated sport and what it was like training with the guys. If only there was a Chicks with Stix back then!!
Kirsty Marshall speaking to CwS
We had two great days of riding over the weekend at Hotham, both followed by a quick get together at the end of the session to give out some well-deserved achievement awards. They included Dragon goggles for stomping new tricks in the park; Armada beanies and hats for positivity and giving everything a go; Roxy CwS tees and Hoodies for shredding both forwards and switch and a pair of Shafted poles for overcoming new challenges.

Ali's freeride group: Kathy, Jing, Christen, Erin, Jess, Alice and Katherine before dropping into a new line down Hog’s Back at Hotham on the weekend, (Sarah and Heidi missed this run, but we caught up with them on the next one.
CwS has such a great time at Mt Hotham, we met so many new chicks stoked to give everything a go, we can't wait to come back at the end of the winter for the CwS Throwdown!
Freeriding with mogul champ, Karinya Turnbull

Saturday Morning Session
Hannah Trigger, CwS Ambassador

A big group of girls showed up Saturday morning eager to ride despite the cold and cloudy weather. The "Hannah's" group led by Hannah Studd and myself started off with a couple of Village Loop laps to get our legs and bodies warmed up for the day ahead. Soon after we headed to the rail park to learn some new tricks. 

Getting the grab!
We were very impressed to see all the girls having a red hot go, whether it was their first time hitting a box or learning nose presses and back 180 outs, everyone was trying something new. In-between hiking the boxes we did a few more runs, practicing some skills on the way down that we could then apply in the park. 

The girls took instruction very well and persisted till they were all stomping their tricks. After a fun and successful morning we had worked up an appetite and it was time for a hot lunch.

Saturday Afternoon Session
Nat Segal, CwS Ski Coach

After a super fun morning ripping down Slalom Gully and popping over trees down Snake Gully, we decided to start the afternoon off with some extreme skiing. While a lot of the chairlifts leading to the 'Extreme Zone' were closed, Gotcha chair was still open and raring to go! 

It wasn't the calmest of chair rides but my freeride girls knew how to handle a bit of wind! After making our way off the chair and out of the wind we found ourselves on a beautiful steep run called Mary's Slide. 

The girls shredding down Mary's Slide
 The vis at the top wasn't the best but as we made our way down the run it got better and better, revealing beautiful steep gullies that with some better weather would be prime for the picking. It was great to be able to take the girls somewhere a little more challenging. For some it was there first time down a double black diamond, a huge achievement for just one day!

After going over some tips for handling more extreme terrain and conditions we scooted back to Heavenly for some more hot laps and a ride down Gunbarrel's natural half-pipe.

Torie Hamilton WIlson showing us how it is done!

Sunday Session
Ali Deane, CwS Snowboard Coach
The soft glow of Sunday morning at Hotham and 18cms of fresh on the ground. Let’s get out there!!
 Saturday night was a night of yoga, reflecting on an awesome day with new friends, and re-fueling for the next day, but most importantly it was a night for snow!
On Sunday the Chicks woke up at Mount Hotham to not only a sun-kissed morning, but 18 centimetres of fresh snow on the ground.
Bluebird pow day on Sunday morning
For some, it was their first ever powder session, but one thing was for sure, and that is everyone was stoked on shredding with their coaches for the second day in a row.

With one coach down (we missed you Mez!) the boarders were lucky to have Hotham local Erin Height jump on board to give her best tips for technique, and help keep my group together.
Erin, always smiling, gives the legs a rest, while my group shred on ahead.
The Hannah’s hit the park, molding the next generation of jibbers, conquering the box-line and pushing their limits.

Karinya, Torie, Nat and Zo tore up the mountain, guiding their girls down everything from the natural half-pipe below Heavenly chair and the extreme zone around Orchard.

Shredding down the extreme zone!
 After warming up our legs down a few fun ones under the Heavenly chair, we decided to try somewhere new, so Kathy led us down the cat tracks to Hog’s Back, where we found some untouched powder.

Cat tracks can be tricky on a board, as your edge sometimes wants to catch, so it was good practice for my group, some of whom did a great job riding noticeably faster and more confidently than the day before. We also popped some fun ollies off the rollers.

It had been a while since I’d adventured around Mount Hotham, bringing memories back of how much fun I’d had there, when I did a season with my brother back in ’02. Hotham truly has some epic terrain.

I could see the smiles of the girls, some of whom I could tell didn’t know what to expect. But I just said “Follow me and lean back!” We picked our lines, and spread out, but took it cautiously through the trees, and Erin had our back, giving a few pointers on the way down.

Alice navigates a new line down Hog’s Back. Nice positioning Alice!
Unweighting through your turns in the softer stuff, keeping your shoulders in line, getting low, and picking a line and committing to it were just some of the elements we worked on over the weekend, and it was that much fun. I can’t wait to all shred again soon.

When I used to work on my tricks, I’d sometimes write down the tips I got and what worked for me when I tried something new. If you guys want, you could write down what you got from our sessions, to keep them on hand, for the next time you head up the mountain. You can always facebook us if you want any more tips before heading up next time or while you’re up there.

See you guys next time! Yew!

Thanks to all our coaches and ambassadors for their awesome input!

Nat went swimming under the car on Sunday afternoon trying to get the chains off!
Karinya enjoying a delicious bite at Alpine Diner after a hard weekend shredding!


  1. Nice picks thanks for sharing.


  2. thanks Ladies, was a fun session. heading to Baw Baw this Sunday for Board Against Breast Cancer Rail Jam and session hope to see some of you there, and then maybe to Thredbo for the slopestyle in a few weeks (18th), although Wiki will probably take that one out! xx