Bringing in the New Year in the warmth of a New Zealand summer was a pleasant change to the blustery years previous! For my first proper summer in a while, it wasn't overly summery. In with all the heat, wind, sunshine and rain we managed to squeeze a large dump of snow on the southern alps! What was more bizarre was that there was more than enough to actually ski on... so much for a summer break! Upon returning to Austria, Ambition ran their first 'Ambition Champs' which is a children's race. I, along with a couple FIS team mates, fore-ran some of the races. It was good fun and a great opportunity to see how the younger kids were progressing on the slopes. The podium haul from the Ambition athletes was impressive.
I've done several races peppered with training this month. The most successful of which would be my 2nd place at the FIS races in Champery, also known as the Welsh! The variation of the races was easily noticed in the range of slope pitches. Despite the promising week of low temperatures and vast amounts of snow in the beginning of January, all the races were pretty soft as the temperature in Europe has unfortunately risen again. There are still many places that scarcely look as though winter has laid a finger on them. Hopefully it drops again but with the rate of this bizarre winter, it is a hope that is diminishing.
These last few days of January were a designated break. I was delighted to be invited to the north of England by one of my team mates, Bethany! I always love trips to England and yet, this is the furthest north I've ever been. I've thoroughly enjoyed learning about the place and seeing things I've heard Bethany talk so much about. There is something quite enthralling about the countryside riddled with stone walls and quaint cottages lain over the rolling hills of the north. Even though I had only a few weeks back surrounded by snow, it has been absolutely amazing to enjoy a complete change of scenery for a couple days, instead of lounging in Haus Tirol. Today we flew back to mainland Europe to crack on with the next 3 months of the season. I am excited that the new FIS list has come out and my GS points are now 33.79! Bring on the rest of the northern season!