Shane Serrano: Chasing competitions and traveling with the AVSC snowboard team
Special to The Aspen Times
For all of us who have chosen the life of living in a mountain town, the winters can be very frantic. Between all the powder days, work, social events and attempting to earn that coveted 100-day pin, staying in the valley can be busy enough. But for many Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club coaches and athletes, the winter gets even more hectic when the competition travel season begins.
In the first week of December, the AVSC snowboard team kicks off the season at Copper Mountain for the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix. From there on we spend the season traveling to various events, including the U.S. Revolution Tour, Canada Air Nation Freestyle Tour, World Cups, Nor-Ams, and any other contests that pop up. The contest season lasts all the way up to the beginning of April, with USASA Nationals capping it off at Copper Mountain.
After having been a part of the AVSC snowboard team for a while, I have traveled far and wide to places I would never have been to otherwise. Places like Sun Valley, Idaho; St. Louis Moonstone in Ontario; and Wanaka, New Zealand, just to name a few. Each trip always has its own little spice that makes the time memorable — things that can only happen when you leave home for a little bit. I feel like I’ve been through it all from competing in the rain wearing trash bags at Mount Snow in Vermont to being the only snowboard team on the mountain in Mammoth fighting against 70 mph wind gusts just to get some pow runs in.
The competitions are rarely the first memories that come to mind. What’s remembered are all the hilarious and wacky things that can only happen when you get a group of young, wild snowboarders together and send them away on a plane or a 16-hour car drive. What ensues is pure hysterics and moments that cause everyone to stop and ask, “Did that really just happen?” No matter if it’s a trip with only two athletes or 10, it’s always a guaranteed long-lasting memory.
This is what makes traveling with and being part of AVSC so great. Over the years I have had numerous trips where we didn’t even end up snowboarding that much because of unfortunate weather, but because of the people I was around they still became growing experiences. When things go awry and you can still walk away having learned something with a smile on your face, you know you are in good company and with great mentors. I am tremendously grateful for all adventures I have been able to go on.
These trips have sparked my love of traveling and exploring new places with my snowboard. Since traveling with AVSC I have gone on a couple trips on my own just to snowboard. I now have people that I can return to around the world. We can pick up our boards right where we left off and continue exploring new places and pushing ourselves.
To follow along with some awesome snowboarding travel stories and adventures, check out my new website at searchofsnowboarding.com.
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The Snowmass Cross Country Center will not reopen its doors this winter for Nordic ski rentals or lessons, Ute Mountaineer staff confirmed Thursday.