Following on from episode 2 of Jen Hudak: Moving Mountains is episode 3 which is simply titled ‘Solitude’. This episode she hits Japan for some time alone. Here’s what she had to say:
In the midst of the craziest contest season of my life last year, I managed to escape to Japan for an epic adventure. Accompanied by my good friend Julian Carr, founder of Discrete Headwear, we met up with filmer/editor extraordinaire John Roderick of Neu Productions, world-renowned photographer Erik Seo, and our guide Nobu Murai. We were headed to experience the isolated parts of the Japanese Mountains to the North near Furano– to step even further away from the contest scene, away from sponsors, away from business. It was time to reintroduce myself to the joys of skiing, of creativity, of fun.
With a 5 a.m. wake-up call the next morning, we loaded our van and made the venture north. By 8 a.m. we had arrived at our hotel and by 9:20 a.m. we were on the tram. By 10 a.m. we were about ready to throw in the towel. Conditions were about as bad as they could have been for Japan. There was nothing to do but laugh, so I did- quite heartily- and shortly thereafter everyone else laughed too. Thankfully Julian was there to keep the confidence up. He is incredible for that. (Maybe that is why he can successfully front-flip 200+ ft cliffs.)
After working for a few hours, Julian managed to find a few airs to get off of, and after a mini-melt down from me, he convinced me to ski a small line and drop into snow that resembled conditions I skied when I blew my right knee. By the end of the day we were feeling a bit more comfortable with the conditions. We worked hard for the shots that we got, and though they weren’t many, they were as good as they could’ve been. But we were all wondering what we would do in the coming days. We needed snow, a lot of snow.
Apparently the snow-gods were listening and they blessed us with a bit of a storm. When we woke the following morning and looked outside, it was clear that there would be some fresh snow, but we figured only about 6-10″. It would help. We could milk some pow turns, but we would still have to look for that northern aspect and jumping off of anything might still be questionable. We headed out, slightly skeptical but mostly optimistic.
It didn’t take long to realize that it had in fact snowed about half a meter up top. Right away we were getting face shots. The new snow was deep and it didn’t seem to be letting up. From run to run, our bootpack would be filled with new snow. This went on all day. We got shot after shot. I skied some of the deepest snow of my life and got to do it with one of my favorite people. I got to ski for me again and it was extremely refreshing. A few airs, lots of pow turns and endless smiles. As you can see by this edit, we got it good for the next few days.
I am so grateful for this life and am so grateful for moments like this that provide the reminder. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget just how lucky we are. Life is a blessing. Remember to try to make the most of it everyday, and you’ll be on a good path.