Tag Archives: Richie Johnston Wanaka

Spring Camp | Riding with the pros

Around 100 athletes & coaches took control of Cardrona’s finest features last week and the progression was mind blowing. With the Whitestar lift spinning & sleds shuttling skiers and boarders there was every chance for great things to happen. Coach to Shawn White, Bud Keene stated Cardrona Spring camp jump progression setup. If you can’t get it done here, then maybe you can’t get it done at all…

 “…If you can’t get it done here, then maybe you can’t get it done at all” – Bud Keene

The SBX course shaped up beautifully throughout the week challenging athletes from Australia and New Zealand to discover new limits of speed, agility and edge control. I was fortunate to be up there for a few days helping the NZ riders Carl Murphy & Duncan Campbell on their form. After working with Carl during the 2014 season on Treble Cone, it was great to see his progression using the skills from riding TC’s challenging terrain & strength training from the gym.

Carl Murphy Adam Dooney
Carl Murphy Adam Dooney

 

SBX Cardrona
SBX Cardrona

Variations of the AirBag were set up along the Super Pipe wall along with the bottom. The biggest bag in the southern hemi was catching athletes on boards, skis and even a sit-skis! Jody Blatchley has been ruling it on his sit-ski this season and nailed his first back-flips onto the giant pillow. Impressive!

Triples, triples, triples… Cheers of Stoke rippled across the home basin as new personal bests were made. Coaches tactfully challenged their athletes to bring new found air awareness on the jump line. Fewer speed-checks were made every day as racers pushed themselves over the rollers and berms. Old fears were controlled more and more each day as new heights were reached.

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Neversummer Riders throwing down.
Neversummer Riders throwing down.

Exciting and progressive times all week as many of them raised the bar getting ready for the northern hemi winter… Breckenridge will be a destination of choice for the park riders along with La Molina Spain, where Carl will compete in his first F.I.S race for the winter.

 “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear… not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

Much to look forward to during the next year and it has never been a greater time to be involved in snowboarding.

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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

10 months & 30 years

It was a little surreal attaching a Snow Park lift pass to my Mum’s snowboard jacket. Myself along with some of the Rookies were getting ready for a day of riding park, along with many pro riders warming up for a competition. Brook rode with the Rookie crew and it was really nice to shred with Mum for a day. How many can say that!?
30 years ago Mum and Dad celebrated bring me into the world! A little over 10 months Dad and I went through successful operations and recoveries from a Kidney transplant. So far so good! Below is a short video I made to say thanks to my Mum (and Dad) for everything they’ve done and said to bring me where I am today.

Thanks Mum! from Richie Johnston on Vimeo.

Dialysis treatment is under way.

It has been 4 weeks since Dad had surgery. The doctors knocked him out and inserted a tube into his peritoneal cavity. This tube is attached to the outside of his bladder and has a valve. Fluid is drained into the space around his intestines and sits there for a few hours, then drained out through the same tube.

The fluid acts as a third kidney removing the impurities from his blood system. Each bag is filled with electrolytes & Glucose and needs to be at body temperature when drained in.

“The best part about it he says is that I can do it anywhere, sitting on the couch or even a cafe up the mountain!” This process happens four times a day, every day until the transplant which will hopefully happen in October.

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Photos and words by Richie Johnston, WordPress

Being a Potential Donor. Part 2

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The bed slides forward and comes to a rest inside what looks like a dounut. My arms are above my head and I try to relax. ”inhale and hold your breath…’ I feel a warm rush pass through my body from the IV – into my chest, down into my abdomen, groin, fingertips & toes.

It is the iodine or tracer being pumped into my vein and eventually through my Kidneys. BEEP WHIR BUZZ ‘Now breath normally..’ The CT machine seems to have finished scanning my body. After six minutes I find myself inside the donut again getting another scan. I feel hungry thinking about donuts because I was not allowed to have any breakfast that morning. I am also busting to pee because of all the water the doctor told me to drink prior to the scan!

After two days in Dunedin I have had a Psychological Review, CT Scan and a meeting with the Doctor to see how everything is going. So far so good! My blood and tissue is a match with my Dad’s and the ball is rolling.

In a few weeks I will travel to Christchurch with Dad to meet with the surgeons and make a plan for the transplant. Today Dad leaves for Dunedin to start Dialysis. Not the best way to celebrate his Birthday but the results from the treatment will make him feel better and reduce the nausea. A coffee and a catch up with Mum & Dad was enjoyed in Wanaka yesterday instead.

Once again, If you or anyone else you know would like to know more information about this whole process I would love to listen & share more. Thanks for reading.

Being a Potential Donor

It has been well over a year now since I found out about my Dad’s Kidneys. They have deteriorated to the point where they’ve just about lost all their function. In about two weeks time, Rob will already have the tube put in and started the Dialysis treatment. This process will help him feel better and potentially reduce the assortment of drugs he currently takes on a daily basis.

Returning from Canada early this season was good because it allowed me to spend quality time with my Sister Rosie and of course Mum (Janey) & Dad. Lots of trips to visit were great because it meant I could bounce thoughts to them and of course get the hugs. The support from them along with friends has been amazing. It only takes a few moments to listen, but it certainly means a lot.

Last week I had a Radioactive fluid injected into my arm. Blood was taken at two hour intervals throughout the day to measure my bodies effectiveness of removing the radiation. The tests will continue, including a psychological assessment, CT Scan an numerous Doctor visits to Dunedin. If this all goes to plan then the operation may take place in October/November. To see my Dad healthy again, dancing Ceroc & Tango, walking up Mt Iron, cycling his cruiser, selling goods at the Farmers Market among many other things will make me and everyone around him very happy.

If you or anyone else you know is affected by Kidney disease, I Would love to hear from you. I hope the few photos i’ve posted share some insight on this whole process and perhaps make it easier for someone considering being a donor themselves. If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

Richie

The Caples Adventure

Friend and room mate Emile and I decided to go exploring. We chose the Caples track which is West of Lake Wakatipu, less than an hour drive from Queenstown. Two nights in the bush staying at the Upper Caples hut was a great way to switch off from the day to day life in Wanaka. Easy to follow tracks, inspiring views, friendly company along the way made for a great trip.