words & photos: ckovideo: LP Sansfacon, Sunice, Plehouse Films The week between Orage's Freeski Open in Laax, Switzerland and Candide's Invitational in La Clusaz, France, leaves plenty of time for European shenanigans, with various crews doing their best to make something out of the less than stellar snow conditions on the continent. In this case myself and Sunice/Line rider Joe Schuster were en route to the Portes du Soleil region which links together a mass of resorts zig-zagging back and forth between France and Switzerland.

Joe and I waiting for the bus down to Chur, to get the train to Zurich.
A glimpse of the beautiful Swiss country-side.
Really? The trip started out nicely enough after arriving at Zurich airport and finding the cheapest rental car that would carry all of our stuff was a brand new Saab wagon. After that it went downhill as we chose the wrong "Chatel" village in the Saab's GPS and ended up 140 km away from our desired destination. After a few phone calls we chose the proper 'Chatel' and made our way to the desired destination. At least we got to see a cool castle and experience the extensive toll-road system that France has to offer.  
The beautiful French country-side, 140km away from where we were supposed to be going.
Saab. Fast. Me like.
We finally got to the real Chatel.
Village hoping in France. Luckily, for the rest of the trip we'd have some locals to help us hapless Canucks: our host was Arnaud Kuegener, who was already hosting a rather large posse from Plehouse Films, comprising of Charles Gagnier, JF Houle, and Frank Raymond, accompanied by filmers LP Sansfacon and Charles Spina. It was a tight fit but we've all grown a little closer over the last few days.
The crew prepares for a day on the hill.
All this for a 2 minute drive to the hill? Why not. Upon arrival our goal was to shred some of the pow that had fallen recently. Lines were scoped, riders hiked, and cameras were even removed from bags... just in time for the clouds to roll in and the snow to start. The mission was on to find something to shoot so we skied over to the nearby village of Avoriaz to scope some village action. With the light still less-than-stellar we eventually found a park full of log jibs in the middle of the woods. Score.  
Frank Raymond
Charles Spina
Frank Raymond
Joe Schuster
JF Houle
Frank Raymond
Charles Gagnier
Arnaud Kuegener
Joe Schuster On Wednesday JF and Charles Spina headed up the mountain at 5:00 am to assist in the building of a kicker that we'd hope to hit later that evening. The rest of the crew arrived around 11 am to finish off the jump, and keep an eye on the weather. An ominous cloud rolled in an hour before the shoot was to get under way but we lucked out and got a break that allowed us to shoot all the way through to sunset.
Virginie and the rest of the crew arrive to find JF and Frank already at work on the jump.
We shaped the jump for the day, then the cat came and finished up.
Virginie Faivre
Frank Raymond
Charles Gagnier
JF Houle
Joe Schuster
Thursday was almost a day off, with rain in the valley all morning, but at 2:30 someone got the idea to go hit a gap and everyone else followed. Sheep I tell ya. Anyways, the light wasn't the greatest but the venue was dope and the boys managed to get some shots. My results are below.
 Friday is our last day and the weather is calling for snow, but if we get some good light we'll be sure to get our asses out there early. When we're done it's off to La Clusaz for the Candide on Saturday and Sunday. Rumour has it the big jump is clocking in at 44m (last year's was 38m) which, according to google, translates into a whopping 114.356955 feet. I'll try to get a measurement to confirm. Peace from France, and don't forget to check out all the madness in Plehouse's next film, SAVE. Big thanks to Alex in the park crew and the entire staff at Portes du Soleil! Download the Video


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