March 22, 2016

Rob Vandervoort CBMR 4 Star Redemption – VIDEO


Rob Vandervoort has been putting his time in.  After a hard crash last year on Hawk’s Nest that left him concussed, he was able to take a 3rd in the 2-star event and 2nd in the 4-star event.  Read his words and watch his video below:

Photo: Rob Vandervoort airing through Cesspool. Photo: David Drons / EcoDrons Photos

Conditions at the Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events, held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) on February 26-28, 2016, were consistent to say the least. After a very snowy January, CBMR experienced a dry spell right before the competition. While it was firm, the cold temperatures left the snow surprisingly manageable.

The first day of competition was the 2* event held on Hawk’s Nest, some of the less committing terrain off of the North Face Lift. A year ago the 4* had been held on Hawk’s Nest with an icy snowpack. At the top of my competition run I snagged a rock in the choke of a double and landed on my head. My helmet camera went for its own ride, while my helmet itself broke. Apparently, I don’t actually remember, I stood up immediately and started riding again. I rode straight into a mogul field and flipped head over heals three times. I then proceeded to side slip to the finish.

That crash gave me a pretty significant concussion as well as a kink in my neck. That was the last competition run of the season for me. It was my first time getting dead last at a competition.

My first run of the 2016 season was to be on the very same venue, this time for the 2* event. It was obvious from the beginning that I would go back to that double. This time around I stomped the double and a slew of other cliffs and finished on the podium in 3rd place.

After conquering the stigma from the previous season’s crash, and shaking off the cobwebs from the off season, I was excited for the qualifier day on the Headwall. After two small airs up top, I stomped my middle air and proceeded to blow right passed my last two features. The run put me in 8th place.

During qualifiers we were told that the Finals venue had been changed from Staircase (which I had been looking at quite a bit) to Sock It To Me (which I hadn’t been looking at so much). During inspections, in a freak instance of phantom-rock-trickery, I nearly fell down the entire Little Hour Glass. I felt that was a bad omen, and decided to ride Cesspool instead.

My Finals line consisted of a small air up top, a small air in the middle, then I blasted out of the choke to my toe edge and into the finish corral. It was the first time I had ever done a competition run nearly exactly as I had intended to at the start. It was the top scoring run of the day and it projected me from 8th to 2nd place.

From last place to the podium was sweet redemption. It was my best competition to date and I couldn’t be happier about it. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

About the Author

2. Will Dujardin
Will Dujardin is our content editor at West Elk Project. He competes in big mountain competitions and coaches the Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team. Skiing is his life and he likes to mix it with other fun things like DH mountain biking and traveling.