Off the piste: Cafe’s on a powder high


Happy New Year! 

I hope the holiday season was enjoyable, sunny and gluttonous. 

Since the last update fellow national team member Ben Griffin and I competed in four Miele Cup races in Canada. Ben achieved his goal of a podium, finishing second in one of the GS races. I finished above my ranking in each race with a best position of 10th. The results were not spectacular, but each run is getting faster. 

The race series finished just before Christmas and left us with a nine-day break to rest and recuperate, before meeting up again in Los Angeles on January 1st to fly here to Austria, where I am right now. Ben chose to head a few hours west in Canada to visit friends where he used to train as a teenager. That left me with the 2300km drive to return the van to Reno. Alone. 

I stopped halfway through the trip for five days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Now this is a holiday destination! The resort is in a spectacular range of the Rockies called the Tetons (roughly translated to tits). Their highest mountain is Grand Teton (big tit), sitting at 4199m. Jackson is a quirky old west town now inhabited by a mirage of modern hippies living in a redneck area. The ski resort is world famous for steep slopes and deep powder. It lived up to its reputation and delivered some spectacular powder skiing. 

After this I drove the van back across the Nevada deserts to Lake Tahoe, California where it belongs. Tahoe is crazy right now. It’s halfway through the season there and over 10 metres of snow has fallen so far. Floods in Southern California have been hitting the news lately. The upside is the resort of Mammoth has received a whopping 4.3 metres of snow over four days. They are literally skiing onto the third floor of the base building. Needless to say I had to slip in another awesome powder day (marred only slightly by a minor collision with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, luckily I wasn’t driving). 

The business end of the season starts now. We are in Austria and have some training on icy slopes with the Swiss team tomorrow. Our race schedule steps up now with European Cups and two World Cups during January, plus World Champs in early February.

Queenstown’s Tim Cafe ( is a member of the NZ Alpine Ski Racing team, competed at Vancouver 2010 Olympics and is sponsored by Jack’s Point and Browns Ski Shop