This weekend I set out on a mission to take photos and gather information to write a couple of reviews for the wsg’s online UK-slope section. Actually, there were three of us: myself, Martin, who was performing the role of photographer and Ciara, who was there to help out, hang out and ride.
If you don’t know what the wsg is you can check out their website or read the review. Recent events have landed me with the opportunity to write some reviews of UK slopes for their online guide – starting with Castleford and Halifax. Sweet! I was set to visit Cas’ on Friday night and then Halifax on Saturday morning…
But the weekend’s story kinda started on Thursday night/Friday morning. Copious amounts of alcohol and a 3am finish led to the development of a ugly hangover. Getting into work on Friday morning for 9am was difficult to say the least. I was feeling really bad, which was not a good sign for finising work, getting everything packed and getting to ‘cas that evening.
I booked an impromptu half-day at work so that I could come home and sleep it off. Ciara was in the same boat. The plan seemed to work well as we both got everything sorted and in the car in time to arrive at ‘cas for 7:30, which is when we met Martin. To support the depth of the hangover – I went through 3 fast-food meals on Friday, two from McDonald’s and one KFC. Urgh!
That was the first leg of the roadtrip: Gateshead to Castleford. With not much time we just grabbed loads of stuff and packed it in… The car was pretty rammed; or at least messy!
The time at ‘cas unfolded nicely. We rode some, took some photos of the slope and facilities, took some photos of the riders and I talked to some of the people who worked there. Then we rode some more. I was feeling fine by that time, in fact the only bad thing was that I was sucking on the slope. Not to worry though, it was still good, and I was surprised at how much we enjoyed shooting some of the local riders.
Ciara was still too ill to ride – probably because she didn’t hit the fast food thrice!
I’ll be posting some shots of the riders soon…
Martin lives in Huddersfield so we stopped there on Friday night. Second leg, Castleford to Huddersfield. A couple of beers, an inspection of the new shred stick he picked up for Fernie and a showing of Absinthe’s Optimistic and I was looking at another 3am finish.
Let’s just revisit that new board for a second though. Mart found what’s got to be one of the best steals on eBay: a brand new Burton Fish for £80! Insane. I want one.
Saturday morning was rainy, which was good as everytime I’ve been to Halifax this year it’s been bone dry, hot and therefore slow. However, it was also windy up at the top which kinda sucked as it slowed things down and blew you around loads. The third leg: Huddersfield to Halifax.
The Halifax visit panned out nicely too. Got a chance to talk to the guys that worked there, and local rider/shop owner Wayne Taylor was there too (A.K.A. Snowskate).
The combination of high wind and a large ski-lesson meant I didn’t use the main kicker, but I did have some fun playing on the smaller jump to the side. The highlight was stomping a clean barrel-roll. Nothing big, not too stylish, but clean, I rode it straight out. Really pleased. I also worked on some backside 3s because I can’t really do them.
Photos, talking to the Halifax crew, it was fun. It was also dirty, and my pants are taking a beating too!
Due to the late finish the night before, Saturday morning was pretty rushed too. No time to sort out the mess in the car and no time for a full shower. Getting changed in the rainy, cold carpark after riding the wet mossy snowflex – I was starting to feel somewhat urgh.
We stayed around for a pint and something to eat at the pub. That’s pretty much where the snowboarding side of things stops, but the driving didn’t. I’ll keep the rest brief.
After saying bye to Mart we were off to Newark to visit some of Ciara’s Family. A tired and dirty fourth leg: Halifax to Newark. We were running late and a mistake with an uncharged mobile phone meant we arrived in the middle of things, so no time to wash up. A few drinks that evening sent me straight to sleep…
Sunday morning was an opportunity to freshen up. After leaving the family we were then on leg five, Newark to Liverpool. Ciara needed to be there for a work thing. We saw this on the way over, much cooler than my ride.
We checked Ciara in and we had enough time for quick look around Liverpool center. Starbucks was well received. The hotel was pretty sweet, but I wasn’t staying there.
Before long I was back in the car for the final leg: Liverpool to Gateshead. A bunch of CDs and more fast food to keep me going. The car was still a mess; wet snowboarding gear, some of it dirty. But it didn’t matter anymore. When I can do it all again?
Just short of 10 hours driving…