Last week I was lucky enough to visit Ruka, Finland to compete at the FIS Halfpipe World Cup. Ruka is a ski resort virtually in the middle of nowhere. On the edge of the Arctic Circle, it sits north of Iceland and is not far from the Russian border.
Being so close to the Arctic Circle, during winter there is only three hours of daylight. It’s more like a twilight though. The sun only rises up as far as the horizon before going back down and by 3pm it’s pitch black. In fact, for the 6 days we were there we did not see the sun once. I think it must be where all the vampires live.
We had two days training before the competition, the first day it was minus 30 degrees, dark and windy. My toes went frozen solid and it felt like I could just snap them off. The halfpipe was hard to ride but we slowly got the feel for it, before losing feeling in our bodies.
The night before the competition it rained and then froze, making a very icy pipe. It was kind of like trying to ride a bobsled track, but that’s what sharp edges are for. Although icy, it was a good shape and I managed to put down both of my runs and make it through to the semis the following day.
I couldn’t advance to the final and ended up 9th overall. I was really happy with the result and stoked to land all of my runs in the testing conditions.