Last Saturday, an army of Quebecios descended upon Mont Orford in the province's Eastern Townships for the last stop of the Orage Pro's + Powder Tour. The Orage crew pulled out all the stops as Pros and Ams alike showed up to put on an entertaining show for the jibbers and their parents. Even Michelle Parker, who's out with a bum knee at the moment, was on hand along with le autre Chris O'Connell, in town for some team shoot action.
Late season snowfall helped turn what was apparently a sad-looking spring setup just a few days prior, into a winter wonderland with over 20cm of fresh making it possible to actually get some ankle deep pow shots. Not bad for Quebec in April. The conditions also got Orage staffers out including designer Jeremy Bresnen, who despite having to use rental boots, was stoked to get a few final runs in before it all melts.
Orford's spring park setup wasn't of epic proportions or quality this late in the season, but the riders were more than pumped to follow their ski heroes like TJ Schiller on lap after lap of mini-shred goodness. We saw tailpress sessions, group photo ops, jeans rocked by none other than Mr Auclair, and once in a while Phil Casabon would roll through the park on a lap just to make sure no one was to forget what style really was. This guy is killing it!
The day ran in typically smooth P+P style: sign ups for the Cat-skiing trip and schwag giveaways first thing in the morning, followed by some riding, an impromptu autograph session which saw every piece of gear possible get tagged, more skiing, some backflips by JP Auclair, some lunch, more riding and prizing, and then everyone headed indoors for the main prize finale.
Inside, the prize giving went off. Multiple rounds of feats-of-strength style rituals decided who would go home with the new gear, and we even saw some freestyle rapping, en francais, that was apparently not so appropriate for a family resort like Orford. We'll have video up soon so you can check it out. For now, peep the photos courtesy myself and Orage's Cody Lynge.
Thanks to Orage and all the sponsors of the tour (Marker, Tecnica, Volkl, Anon, SBC, Retallack Cat Skiing, and Ride Guide) for a great season. Word is next year there's going to be a touring RV for P+P, so keep your eyes peeled.
Mont Orford in it's new blanket of April freshness.
TJ says hi Newschoolers. TJ's catch-phrase of the days was Giv'er, which he managed to teach everyone, regardless of their grasp of the English language.
Signing up for the Cat-Skiing trip.
TJ on autograph duty.
Michelle remained upbeat all day long, despite being relegated to the tent and lodge with a bum knee.
Phil Casabon, mid-270 on, switch up, switch off. So smooth.
People were getting everything signed. Skis, boots, jackets, didn't matter. As long as the pen worked on the surface it was game on.
Bank Gilberti gets into the action.
Michelle and some of the ladies that showed up to ride.
Are the girls happier with TJ or Michelle? They seem pretty happy either way.
TJ on the mailbox.
There was only one jump at the bottom of the park...
It was small but people made the best of it.
Even the little guys were getting into the presses.
Banks on the down rail.
More Jib Line action. Lots of Orage in the house. Quebec reps it strong.
What better way to end off an article than with a tandem backflip effort from JP and Banks. Thanks boys, see you next year!