Big congrats to Anne-Flore Marxer for winning the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch in Courmayeur, the Italian side of Mont Blanc!
Despite difficult conditions it was the wild cards who stepped it up this weekend, with Anne-Flore bagging her 1st victory at the first stop of her rookie season of the tour and Ursula Wohlschlager (AUT) right behind her.
This is what Anne-Flore has to say about her win:
I really enjoyed shredding at the 'King of the Hill' last winter and I thought it would be cool to check out the Freeride World Tour. A bit of luck and I received a wild card for the stop in Chamonix. It was a really cool weekend, the girls were super nice and the vibe was good fun! I was pretty anxious before the comp and missed out on many hours of sleep. The snow conditions weren’t so good and I had to be careful with a fragile ankle which I hurt a few days before the contest. There was not enough snow to hold the competition in Chamonix, but the organization had found better snow in Italy, right on the other side of the tunnel.
The whole thing was very different from what I'm used to, the first day we rode a couple slopes in Cham, tested avalanche Beacons, answered a few interviews and finally got to check out a picture of the face.
The second day we went to Courmayer to check out the venue. And we finally got there after hitting a 40 min bus drive, 4 different cabins, 2 painful traverses, a bit of hike. The snow was very inconsistent between super icy spot, very hard packed condensed snow and crusty patches...
Anyways, the snow looked a bit better on the contest face which was north facing, but not everywhere. So I decided to look for the best snow line. I chose a pretty basic and easy line with not much to air off, but I thought I might as well enjoy a couple pow slash while I was in there :) It was pretty funny when Aline and I realized we had chosen the same line, so we could joke a bit and talk about our line together, it was great to have her up there with me, it made the whole thing much more fun!
The next day was the big day, and it was quite an organization, bus ride, restaurant wait, heli ride, contest. I was getting nervous until I arrived up top the face, then I realized that it was just a shred down like any other I do all winter long, and I had a safe line. The girls were riding after the boys, which meant that most of the mountain was well tracked when we finally got to drop in. And so was my line, tracked and sharky... I had planned a slash, a method on a pillow rock and another speed slash. But with all those tracks everywhere I ended up pointing it after almost crashing from hitting a bit of a rock. I took quite some speed and used the Xavier Delerue technique over speed on bad snow; both arms up using the wind for balance. Haha probably looked really stupid ;)
I was stoked to finally ride that mountain after talking and thinking about it for so long!
A bit of speed rush and fresh wind felt good! Unfortunately the other girls also found tracks, sluff and rocks, which gave me the advantage that day. I was super impressed with the runs of the skier girls, Marja and Angel killed it!
Once back in Cham, both of my best friends came to celebrate my win and my birthday with me, and that was a fun party, everyone dancing smiling... I have to admit that I was pretty happy that night and ended up drawing those good old moustaches on everyone’s faces.. good times!
Thanks to the Freeride World Tour, to Swatch and to Chamonix for organizing this event!
Many thanks to everyone who made it such good fun up there!
If the prize money got a bit better for the girls on this tour I'd be stoked to go back and do a few more stops.
Check out her run in the video below: