So, after I got back from our West coast adventure (see previous entry), I arrived back in Wanaka.

This is the van I lived in most of the time, yeah I lived in a van all summer. Sorry, no river near by though.

Sometimes the van would get taken on trips and I would stay in this lovely camper.

I had a very interesting group of roommates from all corners of the world. They thought it would be fun to make a still. A still is a device used to create alcohol from water, sugar, and yeast, in this case 90% alcohol (180 proof) . They made more of this than one could imagine, and certainly drink. They flavored it like gin, but the taste of moonshine just can't be covered up.

Then it was off to Snowpark to get in some more good days of skiing while the sun was out. Yep, you're looking at Snowpark in it's entirety.

Here I give the quarter pipe a go.

I was selected to judge a number of comps down under including the Remarkables Rampage and NZ Open pipe, slopestyle, and big mountain events. Head X-Games judge Josh Loubek was flown down to direct us. We discuss the last warm up run before starting the comp.

From left to right- Josh Loubek, Raf, myself, Lyndon Sheehan, Dion, and Fabio Studer.

3rd place winner Walter Wood takes the stage.

A constant source of entertainment was good friend Fabio Studer. Every time I looked over he had a different pair of fake teeth in his mouth. You may remember Fabio from Rage's film "Enjoy". Look for more from Fabio in the near future, he's been killing it.

PBP's movie "Reason's" was premiering a block from my "house" so we figured we'd stop by.

Tanner and Henrik left the movie early to play patty cake, how cute.

The sun rises on Snowpark as event organizers begin setting up for slopestyle.

A fresh groom is laid down.

First place slope winner Russ Henshaw warms up on the rail run.

Top view of the course.

Then it was off to the Remakables to judge the big mountain comp.

Head World Tour judge Jim Jack was flown in to lead us on the big mountain side of things.

The finals took place at Treble Cone. We make the daily drive up before the sun rises.

After hiking up the opposite side of the drainage from the venue, we dug ourselves a snow pit and set up shop. Here is the venue in all it's glory.

A competitor gaps the top drop down to the wind lip. See him?

Ever looked at a can of Red Bull really closely?

After my week or so judging spree, it was time to unwind with some poker with Fabio, Lyndon, and the Spaniards including Alex, Jaime, Pako, and Javi. Thanks again guys for everything!

I managed to catch a few more days of sunny skiing. I only had my Hazmats, which turned out to be great. Its nice to have something a little bigger under your feet for larger jumps. Jaime and I enjoyed flying together from time to time. I am in green, Jaime is in black and brown.

Then everyday Fabio and I would make our way down the dirt road, but driving slow on sketchy roads with huge drops is boring. Gotta get sideways, thats what rental cars are for! Yes Fabio, we are very EXTREME!!!

Leigh, Henrik, and Fabio make the "Help, I'm choking gesture".

Henrik throws his double flat.

One day Snowpark was closed due to high winds, so Fabio, Jonas, and I decided to play a round of golf in 60-70 mph winds with sideways rain. Then we hit up a little olympic tramp action. Jonas (Marcinko) becomes airborne.

Fabio prefects his new grab.

With my time in New Zealand drawing to an end, I packed up and began my day and a half journey back to Colorado. I met my girlfriend Allison there, and have been showing her around a bit. We hiked up to Royal Arch above the Flatirons in Boulder.

We cruised by the Liberty HQ in Avon to say hi and see the graphics for 09-10 (all of which I made) in their current state. My dad who is a professional artist helped me with the Helix's and Double Helix's and I think we succeeded in making some unique images.  Liberty was able to get them printed 1/3 size this year on actual top sheet and base material so we could check color, etc.

Here is a little preview of the 190 DH in it's current state, I'll post other graphics in future updates.

Tomorrow is our last day in the states, then it's off to India, Nepal, and Bhutan for 6 weeks to travel and reconnect with my childhood roots (I lived in India when I was a kid).

I will leave you for now with a few pics of myself growing up in India.

I had to stop doing this when my goat got a little bigger.

In the "front yard" having a little fun with my monkey friend.

One of my class pics, I was the only white boy at my school as well as in our town.

Thanks for reading, and look for an India update coming soon!

-David Lesh


Opinions