March 30th, 2010 ~ The Shred Remains Update ~
The Alps are a pretty amazing place. I'm not sure if it's the pure size, or the free-for-all feel on the mountain that the lack of ropes and out of bounds signs gives you. Maybe it's the huge focus on "Après Shred" that it's known for. Maybe it's just a combination of things, but the end result is, the Alps are awesome.
With a riding crew of Bjorn Leines, Lucas Debari, and Will Lavigne, and a film crew consisting of Onboard photographer and editor Matt George and Danny Burrows, we decided to make a run at it and see what we could find. The plan was head to Avoriaz France to ride and then head over to Meribel for the second week of the trip.
Like almost every shred trip, when you're trying to fly in 6 to 8 people from around the world to meet up in one spot, it's pretty much a guarantee that bags will be lost. For some reason the airlines are especially good at losing board bags, probably due to their tiny size, and to little surprise, both Bjorn and Lelands, (one of our filmers), board bags went MIA. Thanks to Mike Klime one of our French reps, all was sorted out. He made a quick stop at his showroom and met as the airport with new sets ups for the boys to ride until their bags surfaced. With some amazing directions that consisted of "Take highway A-42 to Cluse, then exit and just "follow the road to the Alps", we arrived in Morzine/ Avoriaz at about midnight.
The next 3 days would be spent traversing, searching for snow, shredding and enjoying the sun as the French Alps took a turn for spring. Nico Droz (Shred Icon and Super Local), was our guide which was awesome, and took us around and showed us all the spots. The place is full of endless possibilities. Lines, jumps, and cliffs, you could film here for a months on end without ever hitting the same feature twice. The other best thing about this place is without the local knowledge of Droz and a few others you will never find the spots, as the place is so big.
I would love to say it was best 3 days ever, but we had a couple roadblocks. Due to lack of snow we were a bit out of luck. John Cavan and Lucas Debari came down with some of the worst food poisoning ever. Puking every 15 minutes like clockwork on rotation, Cavan even decided to bring home some busted blood vessels in his right eye as a souvenir. Luckily though, it only lasted about 24 hours and they were good to go. It's just part of the game; you can't control the weather or the snow. The key is to react and stay positive, so we made a quick scramble searched the weather maps and made a decision to pack up and head to Austria where they had received some fresh snow and had forecasts for some decent weather.
Next Stop, Montafon Austria, located within 20 minutes of 8 to 10 of the best shredding spots Austria has to offer. Our local contact Sveti, a local park shaper, was on point. He sorted us out with a house, free lift tickets, and gave us a tour of the area, and showed us a couple zones to get into. The trip was turning around; there was some good snow, good weather, some fun lines, and natural jumps to get into.
The days where spent getting shots, and the nights where spent sitting around computers watching movies and playing heated games of poker. We ate pounds of salami and cheese, enjoyed some local culture of après and walked away with a few shots, some good photos and another chapter done in "The Shred Remains". Look for the full story on the trip to come out next winter in Onboard and for all the footage stay tuned for the release of the full length movie September 2011.