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Rich Jonas and Katie Blundell hit up the states : Part one

Tignes Spirit riders Rich Jonas and Katie Blundell are currently living every snowboarder's dream out in Tahoe, with lift passes for both Northstar AND Boreal. Here is the first installment of their blog, which documents many a park shred session and a few snowy downdays to kick off the new year...


Words : Katie Blundell
Pictures: Rich Jonas and Katie Blundell
Video Edit : Rich jonas


"So here we are in Lake Tahoe, California….and its rad! We arrived on the 13th December and me and the 5 (soon to be 6) boys are loving it already!  At the moment in our house its Simon Belson, Rowan Biddiscombe, Will Radula-Scott, Ricky Martens…..and me and Rich!! We have also kidnapped a rad girl (who makes brownies) Cherrie Spalding who is living with us now until the girls' house arrives at the end of Jan.

"We are living in a mountain town called Truckee, which looks like a little western town. It used to be a railway town back in the day. Everyone is super friendly, although I've forgotten the amount of times we have been asked, "what part of Australia are you from?"!!! 

Trucks and 4x4s

"When we arrived in America, we hired some pimp cars from the airport and drove the 3 and a half hours from San Fran to Truckee. We woke up the next day to find it dumping. We went to Reno to buy a car and this is where we found '"Dorris"…..a Dodge Dakota truck with massive engine problems and a dislike of the cold!! The boys bought a hippy bus called Betty!

Driving back up to our new home we got stuck in the 3 foot of snow that had fallen since that morning. We abandoned Dorris and went to find help but by the time we got back poor Dorris had already got towed and we had to pay a hefty fine to get her back. We spent the next 4 days snowed in at our house (good job we had hot tub and backyard jibs to keep us amused), but when the weather finally cleared….we went shredding!!!!

"We started off riding Northstar, which is actually AMAZING!! The park (the main reason we are here) is perfect. The kickers are always immaculately shaped, rails in abundance and the pipe is lush! Northstar riding is nothing like I have experienced in other countries. It is extremely fast paced and sometimes can be quite intimidating. Literally as you get to the end of the rail, someone else is already hitting it behind you! I think that this can help you sometimes as there is no time to think and get scared of things and you know you have to land your tricks or else you get squashed!! The standard here is very high, even your average punter is thowing styley 360s over decent size jumps! Everyone sticks to their own crews over here. You have the Gangsters, the Gypsies, the 'tight pants skinny stance', the Aussies, the Weekend Warriors, the Skiers…..and then us…THE BRITS!!!

"We have hooked up with another house of 4 British boys (Billy Morgan and his crew) and have been having loads of fun riding with those guys too. They have stolen a rail and wall ride for their garden which we are hoping to go round and have a session on soon. 


Rockin the Streets

"Then we had blackout days on our ski pass, which meant that we couldn't ride Northstar for 5 days, which sucked! We binged on a lot of fast food to make us feel better then decided to start doing some street spots. A lot of the local Americans don't even have lift passes and just hit up all the street spots for the season. This year, we have the help of  Banchee Bungee to propel us into the street features…..pretty weird to get used to but fun all the same. We hit a 19 step hand rail in a school and nearly got kicked off by security and the police were called. Luckily, Rowan managed to sweet talk them into letting us hit it for an hour! The police are pretty hardcore here, so its always a race against the clock hitting the street spots before you get shut down!

"We also decided to buy a Boreal Mountain night shred pass so we could get some park laps done in the evening. Boreal has a much more relaxed vibe than Northstar and is just a fun, laid back park to jib in the evenings. It kinda feels like your in a British snowdome when your riding there! 


Festive Frolics Stateside

"Christmas and new year were relatively chilled…..well, apart from a stinking hangover on Christmas day. Then after new years eve (which i might add….me and Rich stayed in and drank tea as we were still a bit tender form Christmas), we headed back up on the hill. On the 2nd of Jan, we took a trip down to Sierra Mountain to compete in the Volcom Peanut Butter rail Jam. As normal in the USA, the standard was really high. After countless times taking the gnarly hike to the top of the course, it was time for the final. Me and Will Radula-Scott qualified for the final. Neither of us placed, but we were stoked to even get to the final as there were heaps of competitors, but we were even more stoked to get free t-shirts and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!!


"So now we are back shredding Northstar by day, and Boreal by night (when we have the energy to do both). We are stoked on doing lots of filming, so watch out for our edits " The Herringbone Way" …..named after the street we live on.  We have our last house mate, Ed Stockwell, arriving this week (another Tignes Local from the Loop Bar) and then a house of 6 girls arriving at the end of the month. So altogether there will be a crew of 20 Brit.  Whooohoo! Lake Tahoe watch out!"


Cheers Katie... We're already looking forward to your next installment but In the meantime, here is the crew's first edit... direct from Tahoe!