Harvey’s Evolution: Winter Park, CO
It wasn’t so long ago that Will was referred to as “The Young Boy,” chasing the coattails of his older ski mates to adventure the mountains and compete with the big dogs. Today he’s the real deal and leading the charge, setting the example for all the youngsters looking up to him now.
As the Revolution Tour has grown in prestige it has become increasingly difficult to secure a spot on the roster. Being the only Gould athlete to qualify, Will makes this voyage to Winter Park, Colorado unaccompanied by his teammates. Intimidating to some, he is unfazed. An environment that years ago seemed daunting is now a place where he is comfortable and confident.
After the commute from Maine to Colorado, we crashed for the night and were ready to do work. Registration and practice. Unsure what to expect, Will is stoked when we reach the course. Three sets of rail features and 4 jumps! Easily the longest course we’ve encountered at one of these events. He knows the drill at this point so without hesitation he charges on to the course to figure out his speed and start formulating a run.
There was a time when rubbing elbows with his competitors may have felt awkward, but you can tell from his stature that he’s cool and collected as he waits his turn to drop. Instead of glancing shyly at the skiers he follows on Instagram, he’s established relationships with them and takes turns lapping the course and sharing lift rides with his peers.
If we could control the weather, this is how we’d like to have it! Unfortunately, Mother Nature has a mind of her own and weather is one variable that always poses a threat to competition skiing. As usual, we managed a great day of practice before the clouds rolled in, wind started blowing, and snow started falling from the sky. With two separate events over the next two days, we’d battle the elements to get the competitions in.
Understanding that conditions may not be ideal, Will knows his primary task is to do his best when it’s his turn to drop. As we ascend the hill on our last chair ride before his 1st run, I check in one last time. He tells me, “I’ve got it planned out, I’m going to do my thing and see how it goes. The judges are either going to like it or not and it’ll be what it is.” Without needing to give any other advice, we pound it and I confirm that I’ll see him on the other side.
Our first event goes off without much of a hitch. It was decided during our riders meeting that the first rail pad would be eliminated due to time constraints. Bummer for Will because he worked out a nice trick for that feature, but he brushed it off and continued to focus on the rest of the course.
Fresh snow slowed the course, but battling for speed Will puts his best two runs together. With an arsenal of right and left spinning jump tricks and smooth dismounts from the rails, he improves on his first run in his second. Unable to make finals, he’s proud of his efforts and we use our afternoon to explore the rest of the mountain.
We’d heard that Mary Jane at Winter Park was known for it’s bump runs, but underestimated the warnings posted on the mountain signage. As it turns out they aren’t joking, this place is a bump-skier’s dream! We shredded the resorts great terrain for a few hours, but had to call it quits to refuel and rest up for the next days activities.
Everybody’s gotta eat, but Will likes to eat, so he makes a point to find out where the goods are! He’s smart and now well traveled, so he knows how to locate the best local eats. I enjoy the opportunity for him to call the shots as we discover what Winter Park has to offer. We end our day with concerns for tomorrow’s event. It’s supposed to be snowing with gusting winds…
The weather ends up postponing the event a few hours while coaches and athletes slip the course in hopes to get the comp underway. Organizers decide to eliminate the last two jumps and push through a single run qualifying round.
After nailing his practice run, Will knows that he’s only got one chance to make finals. After struggling with speed all morning, we were surprised when he takes the first jump massive, ultimately forcing him to improvise the second half of his run and missing his chance at finals. “The way it goes sometimes…”
We decided to bail from the mountain a bit early our last day. Wanting to make the most of our trip, we knew that there were a few sites to see and set out to view them before heading home.
Almost as quickly as we arrived, we were back in the airport waiting for our ride home. I spend my layover cruising the internet for a good deal on a yard truck and plans for a greenhouse, while Will peruses Reddit and searches for his next fashion flip. Every so often we consult for opinion, but for the most part we enjoy the process of travel in silence. We’re comfortable, we’ve been through this many times together now.
As we depart Dallas on the last leg of our journey home I stare out the window and think about how far we’ve come. This “Young Boy” is no longer green. He’s seen some places and done some things.
You can find more photos from the trip here: