Local snowboarder Ave Perry says that having the home snow advantage at last week’s Wrangle the Chute helped him take top spot, but a life spent on the mountains couldn’t have hurt either.
Perry grew up in New Denver where he learned to ski at a very young age. He took up snowboarding in his teens and never looked back. He later worked as a snowboard instructor in high school, so it’s clear the transition to boarding was a smooth one.
Perry spent his first winter in Golden in 2001 after completing his education in forestry.
“One of the reasons I moved to Golden was because of the amazing backcountry sled access here,” Perry said.
Perry arrived for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s second season, shortly after the Town sold Whitetooth Ski Area. He rode over 100 days of the year back then and according to him, the lesser crowds and fresher snow made those early days special.
“Barely anyone would even venture into Super Bowl the first couple seasons, now its in bounds,” he said.
“The first couple of seasons of Kicking Horse were my favourite by far. It’s crazy how many people are now out there and hiking and getting the powder.”
Eventually Perry transitioned to snowboarding in the back country, where he spends most of his time these days, although he continues to ride at Kicking Horse when the conditions are right.
He is sponsored by several companies, including Higher Ground in town and Trapper snowboards out of Revelstoke.
Perry only started competing in big mountain battles recently, and decided to sign up for Wrangle because of the new venue.
“When they moved it to Terminator and made the run three times longer and three times the vertical, it made me way more interested in entering it,” he said.
Living in Golden proved to be beneficial for Perry at Wrangle, as he has experience riding on both chutes that were used in the competition (Truth and Dare on the north side of Terminator peak). He was also able to complete a few practice runs just before the chutes closed last week in advance of the competition.
Perry’s Friday run had a single, minor blemish and gave him a significant lead heading into his second run on Saturday. His second run wasn’t quite as clean as his opener, but he still managed to post the fourth best day 2 score to give him a clear, seven point win over the rest of the eight-man field. Perry earned $400 for his efforts and Helly Hansen gear worth another $600.
“I had an amazing weekend,” he said.
For Perry, like a lot of big mountain competitors, adrenaline and a bit of fear is the driving force that keeps him going, and helps keep him safe.
“The fear and adrenaline keeps you realistic and not pushing yourself to get hurt,” he said.
To see some of Perry’s videos, check out his vimeo page at vimeo.com/user5575177 or by searching for goldenrider.