Category Archives: Snowboarding

Peak 2 Peak

A much anticipated event to link the two ski mountains in Queenstown took place over the weekend…

Individuals and teams of two to five people race by ski/ snowboard, mountain bike, kayak, foot and road bike from the top of the Remarkables Ski Area to Coronet Peak. Team RISKY BISCUITS entered during the last week of registration with an select few semi-pro athletes from Wanaka & Hawea. With the help of an amazing support crew we had an amazing time racing.

The courses encompasses snow covered mountains, steep gravelled and tarmac ski field access roads, State Highways and tarmac rural roads, public reserve, public walking / cycling tracks, and Lakes Wakatipu and Hayes.

The Race
Stage 1: Ski/Board 2km – Colin Boyd
High on the Remarkables Ski Area. A mass start – run down to skis. Actual start determined by snow cover

Stage 2: Mtn Bike 17km – Richie Johnston
Down Remarkables road to Frankton Beach

Stage 3: Paddle 7km – Bob McLachlan
Frankton Beach to Queenstown Bay

Stage 4: Run 9km – Emily Wilson
From Queenstown Beach, through town and out to Coronet Alpine Hotel

Stage 5: Bike 9km – Mark Williams
From Coronet Alpine Hotel to the finish at the Coronet Peak Ski Area base

Approximately 73 teams entered. We came 4th over all – even with a mixed-team which we were quite proud about! We won the mixed teams category which was awesome. A fantastic result that kept us buzzed well into the evening. A huge Thanks goes out to parents, friends and the fun excited supporters along the way that kept the day run smoothly. Looking forward to next year already!

Photo: GPS Results of the DH Bike ride:

GPS results from my leg
GPS results from my leg

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Treble Cone Opening Day

We were fortunate to enjoy some of the best opening conditions in ten years. Treble Cone put on a great day with lines stretching as far as the Motatapu Shutes. Enjoy the video below made by Jase at Basket Productions.

Treble Cone Opening Day.

The 16th Annual Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom

Racing back to Whislter in a rental car from Squamish I do the math in my head. Will we be able to pick everyone up in time and make it out to Big White before ‘Check In’? It’s a beautiful Spring day which makes for great road-trips and we certainly did as 7 of us squeezed our boards, boots, bodies and bags and took off down the Kokahala Highway.

An epic weekend filled with excellent snow, friendly company and a competition which is like no other. This is my 3rd season participating in this event and I can honestly say it was my most favorite weekend of the season. As I won the Mens’ 25-34 category last season it was only appropriate that I step up to the PRO division and compete with the big boys. World Cup racers and Olympic level athletes strap in beside me as I prepare myself for one of two runs down a rutted, fogged in & hair raising course. Day one went very well as I placed 3rd however a crash on a berm day 2 lowered my place to 8th overall. Martin Juare and JP Fok landed themselves with a podium! 270 keen snowboarders and snowskaters of all ages and abilities participated in what is believed to be one of the most respected banked slaloms in the world.

Many thanks goes to Flynn Seddon and his event staff along with Big White for hosting another fine event. The sponsors were proud to be part of the event and were yet again generous with their schwag and prizes. Of course there is a huge thank you to the special group of friends I had the pleasure of traveling, living and riding with over the weekend… Let us aim to make this event bigger and better for the Whistler Crew next season!

16th Annual Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Whistler Blackcomb I.C.E. Awards

“Become ‘one’ with the sled…” I hear the assistant say to me as she sets my duct-tape-covered sled free. The ice 2 inches from my chin seems a lot harder and colder from this perspective… Within seconds I reach 99.5km/h down the Olympic track feeling up to 4G here in Whistler setting the fastest time and speed for the day. Memories of the Bob Sled experience a year ago flood back to me and I try to forget about the crash that happened on the same track a year earlier.

It was an honor to be selected as a winner of the 2013 Whistler Blackcomb I.C.E Awards. 3,500 employees are eligible and yesterday 16 of us were treated to a day filled with surprise and gratitude. Two weeks ago I was nominated by a couple of my supervisors as being I.C.E worthy. Inspiring Continued Excellence sum up the Core Values of WB and are an important part of the companies outstanding reputation. Mum happened to still be in town so the night was even more special with her there.

Russ Wood, one of my supervisors shared some kind words and stories. An unexpected surprise and a humbling time for me to be recognised this way. This award really is a reflection of the environment I am fortunate to work and play in. My colleagues become friends and it is awesome to be surrounded by many inspiring people here in the mountains. This way of life here allows us to freely let our passion for the outdoors excel us in many ways. It certainly is a privilege to be here.

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This Magical Place

As I scroll through my Instagram photos, it seems I have a fascination with clouds and the magic that surrounds me. Every day brings new weather systems creating beautiful and inspiring scenery. The itch to snap it up these moments continue as I work and play here in Whistler, BC… Below are some of the highlights, most of which I shoot from an iPhone.

Anticipation builds as I wait patiently for my ride to the mountains...
Anticipation builds as I wait patiently for my ride to the mountains…

We 'skin' towards a not yet open Blackcomb Glacier in search of fresh snow and stories
We ‘skin’ towards a not yet open Blackcomb Glacier in search of fresh snow and stories

December treated us well with near record snowfall
December treated us well with near record snowfall

12 minutes of epic views!
12 minutes of epic views!

Always a pleasure to ride with JohnShellybro and friends. So much training to be had here, massive opportunities to practice in a rich & fun learning environment
Always a pleasure to ride with JohnShellybro and friends. So much training to be had here, massive opportunities to practice in a rich & fun learning environment

Much to the surprise of my friends, I crawled down through a wind drift to find this one.
Much to the surprise of my friends, I crawled down through a wind drift to find this one.

When snow looks like the ocean high above the clouds
When snow looks like the ocean high above the clouds

Enjoying the spray on a sunny morning
Enjoying the spray on a sunny morning

Between Whistler & Blackcomb through the glass floor of the Peak to Peak
Between Whistler & Blackcomb through the glass floor of the Peak to Peak

@Photobymaree does her warm up before an afternoon ride
@Photobymaree does her warm up before an afternoon ride

Above the clouds reminding me of Treble Cone's inversion
Above the clouds reminding me of Treble Cone’s inversion

Into the Mist
Looking beyond the Symphony boundary
Looking beyond the Symphony boundary

Waiting patiently for the bus, looking back on over 8000 acres of playground.
Waiting patiently for the bus, looking back on over 8000 acres of playground.

The heavens open above the learner slope
The heavens open above the learner slope

Euro/Russian carve...
Euro/Russian carve…

Sunny day shred
Sunny day shred

While enjoying Lunch in a guest's house I was able to get curious down to the village below
While enjoying Lunch in a guest’s house I was able to get curious down to the village below

Somewhere near Whistler

Fortune shone upon us again one snowy day not long ago… A very cool group of guests (Bob & Cole) decided to take on a Private Charter with Powder Mountain Heli and another instructor (Sean) and I were invited along. We spent the day darting around the Brandywine Valley in an A-Star Heli scoring fresh snow and epic views. With the GoPro light flashing we dropped into some of the best snow and interesting lines I have ridden in a long time. The following video is an edit SnowPro made for us with the footage we shot from the day.

Whistler Heli day

It is one of those days that instructors dream of. It does not happen very often and when it does it can make a season. Fortune shined upon me as I was asked to join in on a heli trip with Whistler Heli Ski. The family I was teaching that week kindly invited me along to enjoy the experience with them. The video below is my 2 minute interpretation of that experience and I would like to share it with you.
Enjoy the sounds from Civilian Sol as you see footage from the Ipsoot Mountain range North West of Whistler.

Whistler Heli 2012 from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Whistler Heli 20121229_DB_101Whistler Heli 20121229_DB_131

Ride Tips: Intro to off piste

John Jo from Rideclass Productions spent an hour at Treble Cone going through a couple of tips to work on feeling better in variable snow. Below is a 4 minute video… Have a fun last few weeks of the season! Visit Rookie Academy for more information.

Snowboard Improvement: Stance and Balance riding off piste. from Rookies on Vimeo.

The New Zealand Snowboarder Banked Slalom

The most anticipated competition day of the season had arrived! Over 60 competitors enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at Treble Cone, which was a nice contrast to the gloomy days in previous seasons. As I left my group of Rookies I’d been training during the morning, I headed for Shooter to complete my first run. The top section rode well, however as I approached the 3rd to last gate my board dug itself into a rut and I crashed into the bank. My left shoulder took the impact and ended up tearing a ligament, my AC joint A disappointing first run with the chance of a redemption run not an option. The next few weeks will involve physio, patience, rest and strengthening. Onwards and upwards!

Watch the video below – At 3 minutes 57 seconds, John Jo from Ride Class Productions captured a section of my run.

New Zealand Snowboarder Magazine Banked Slalom from Treble Cone on Vimeo.

Treble Cone Opening Day 2012

Opening Day at Treble Cone 2012 is always a special time to ride, no matter the conditions. Gearing up and getting the legs back for the season ahead with Rookie Academy. Smiles all round!

2012 Opening Day! from Treble Cone on Vimeo.