By PHILIP CHANDLER
A Queenstown freeskier, ranked sixth in the world, is in Europe getting ready for his second season on the freeride world tour.
Blake Marshall will compete in his first event at Ordino Arcalis ski resort, in Andorra, from February 22 till 27.
Marshall’s an ambassador for Queenstown’s The Remarkables — his win there, in The North Face Frontier at the Winter Games in 2019, gave him the idea of trying to qualify for the freeride world tour.
Since training at The Remarks last winter, he’s spent most of his time in the resort preparing off-snow.
‘‘I’ve been building muscle endurance at the gym and bike riding for some fitness, but I’m stoked to get back on snow for some training.
‘‘In the lead-up to the [first] event I will just be trying to ski as much as I can and focus on aspects of my skiing I need to improve.’’
He jetted out of Queenstown to Switzerland late last month and while admitting it was a tough decision to leave New Zealand in the current climate, he’s motivated to better his results from last year.