The plan was ambitious, but not altogether unreasonable: Three weeks in Europe with five of your best buds, centered around the first annual European X Games in Tignes, France, with private park shoots, a video comp, and no shortage of urban slayage all on the menu. The goal: return home with money, footage and fame.For a seasoned group of slopestyle riders from Quebec, planning a large trip like this is full of ifs and whens. Weather, injuries, and travel delays are par for the course, so the team filled its itinerary to the brim, knowing at least a few things would go wrong along the way.
Led by slopestyle stalwarts J.F. Houle and Alexis Godbout, the raison d’etre was a Tignes break-out party in the freeski world, the first jaunt across the pond for the Winter X Games. Charles Spina, acclaimed photographer and filmmaker with several transatlantic trips under his belt, was along for the ride to document the trials and tribulations of the comp scene, but was really there for the private park shoot scheduled at the end of the trip at Chatel Resort in the famed Portesdu- Soleil region that borders France and Switzerland. Filmmaker J.F. Boutin had his eye on the prize of a first-of-its-kind video competition in freeski legend Candide Thovex’s hometown of La Clusaz. And, so enticed by the spoils up for grabs, Swedish superstar Henrik Harlaut hopped along for the ride.
But it was not to be. Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head before they had even left Trudeau Airport in Montreal, and remained a travel companion throughout the journey. But in typical Quebec can-do spirit, the crew found out that when life gives you lemons, all you need a little bit of tequila. Or in this case, a lot.
ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | AUTHOR: JASON MOUSSEAU, CHRIS O'CONNELL | PHOTO: CHARLES SPINA | ISSUE 10.4