The SWATCH Freeride World Tour is off to another exciting start this winter. After a lengthy weather delay at the first stop in Courmayeur, Italy, Kirkwood Epic Team member, Josh Daiek, turned in a stellar run and found himself a second place finish. This was a great start to the tour for him and everyone here @KirkwoodMtn were super stoked for him.
The athletes went from Italy straight over to France and were dropping @Chamonix Mont Blanc 4 days after Italy. Josh lost a ski on the bottom of a meaty cliff and did not place, but still finds himself in fourth place overall heading into the third stop on the tour at - Fieberbrunn Kitzbuheler Alpen, in Austria.
Josh was nice enough to answer a couple questions for us in between Italy and France:
First off Josh, how does it feel to be on a podium in Courmayeur? You have been training for a year, you looked focused, confident.. What was on Josh Daiek’s mind as you dropped in?
Obviously, really stoked to be on the podium again and back on the radar. The venue had very thin coverage and rocks were lurking under the snow everywhere. When dropping in, I was really focused on lining up my 2nd air as I had to land in a narrow space between some rocks. I had it dialed in my head so I just had to trust my instinct.
Let’s talk about travel; You’ve been around the world skiing, South America, Europe, Canada & soon you’ll be off to Japan, What is it like to be on the road for a winter, what are your favorite mountains?
Travel is the best and worst part of the job. It's an amazing opportunity to see so many different parts of the world, and really fun to ski so much new terrain! On the other hand, living out of a suit case and being away from friends and family for months at a time can be tough. There are so many incredible mountain ranges across the world, but if I had to choose one place as a favorite I'd choose Revelstoke.
The next question is about the tour and the competitors, you all are the best big mountain skiers and riders in the world. Tell me a little about the camaraderie & friendships you’ve made over the past two seasons on tour.
The vibe on tour is chill, everyone is really cool. We are all in the same hotels through out the season so we all become like a giant family. We all hang out, ski, eat, and party together, it's really fun actually.
Looking to the next two stops in Europe – what’s on Josh’s mind?
Well, with a good start in Courmayeur, I just wanna keep the momentum rolling. The competition field is stacked, so if I can finish top 5 in Cham, I will be very happy.
About your home mountain Kirkwood, It has been low tide in Tahoe and @Kirkwood this season, what are your thoughts on the current conditions and how this will affect the tour, 1st a delay in Revelstoke and now potentially one at your home mountain Kirkwood?
2014 has been off to a rough start for most resorts around the world. There's not much we can do but make the best of it. It definitely makes the contests more challenging. We are all so competitive and here to win, so when you mix that element with low snow conditions it can be a little dangerous.
As far as Kirkwood goes, it's impossible to say…right now there is very little snow and definitely not enough coverage in the Cirque to run the event. However, all it will take is one classic Kirkwood nuking of about 8 feet in a couple of days and it will be game on. For now we are all crossing our fingers, as the cirque is a favorite venue amongst many competitors!
Big Thanks to Josh for taking the time to answer a few questions for us from the road. Good luck in Austria and we can't wait to see you rip it up on your home mountain @Kirkwood Feb 27 - Mar 3.