Hey all, Michael Clarke here...As many probably don't know, I destroyed my knee earlier this month tearing my acl and meniscus. So, my season is sadly over. With that being said, I have the first full episode of Just Passing Thru up online for your enjoyment. Our summer episode will be up shortly once I get a bit more free time to finish up the last bit of editing.This episode encompasses 1,783 miles of travel through Western Europe with Tom Wallisch and Matt Walker (and a short cameo with TJ Schiller). After 120+ hours of editing, it is finally up and the link to the video may be found at the bottom of this update.Matt Walker was kind enough to write up a full recap our travels:Hey Salomon fans, wanted to give everybody the run down of my trip to the fantastic continent of Europe. I left Denver in a blizzard andarrived in London 40 hours later after spending a surprisingly comfy night inthe Minneapolis airport. After some croissants, and a day of being tourists, we sessioned a big flat box at the base of the London Freeze jump. It was a good session with Vanular 630’ing his way to victory and a new LG phone.

Walker and Wallisch take a break in London.
What time is it Benjamin?With the LG Freeze Big Air going down the next day,everybody had a mellow Halloween night. We showed up to the venue bright andearly to find that the overnight rain had caused the in-run to avalanche (I amcalling that it was the first avy in the UK’s history..) And to make mattersworse, the Nitrogen tank used to blow snow broke. When I heard this, I justassumed no contest. Au contraire, they slapped some dry slope material on thein-run and poured bunch soap on it. To the surprise of virtually every rider,it worked really well and people were actually getting more speed than they didin the Battle of Britain comp on the first night. Enough speed for Vanular totoss a ridiculous nose butter 9. YEA C-VAN!!! Russ’s perfect dub 10 poke was atad more perfect than Bobby’s perfect dub 10 poke (Salomon crew what!) and heended up walking away with 5,000 pounds, which is like 47 million dollars orsquid or something.
The London Freeze Jump - morning of the big air competition.
Matt Margets, TJ Schiller, Phil Casabon, and Richard Permin charge the VIP bar during the London Freeze.After the comp, I moseyed on over to the music tent where the London Drum and Bass and Dubstep duo Chase and Status were dropping beats.I hate Drum and Bass in general, but these two produce some amazing dubstep (“Heartbeat” and “Death” are my favs, check them out at http://www.myspace.com/chaseandstatus)The next day the Just Passing Thru Europe crew consisting ofWallisch, Clarke, Teej Schiller and myself piled into Neil’s (Scotland Jiberishrep) Honda and motored up to the Chill FactorE in Manchester, England. Thisplace is an amazing place to ride, and I wish I could session it all summer. Ithas clearly benefited the local riders who were throwing down, especially theUK Salomon girls, watch out, there are four girls who are going to turn headsin a couple years when they come out of nowhere and win everything.
Walker rodeo 5s at the chillfactore in Manchester.
Some quick interviews with the local media.
Walker and Wallisch look up at the hill after a successful session as the snow starts to fall for the night. That's right, it snows every night in Manchester, England.Deciding that skiing indoors wasn’t core enough, we headed to Glasgow, Scotland to ski on a soccer field, ahem, I mean the Bearsden dryslope. Jokes aside, this place is dope and surprised me. I thought it would be super sketchy to land on dryslope, but it turned out to be very similar tosnow. Carving takes a little to get used to, but after a couple runs the crew was used to it. Scotland is another place you don’t expect to have a big freeski scene, but there definitely is one. 40 or 50 kids showed up and sessioned with us, throwing 9s and rodeos and everything in between.
Walker found a friend.We bid Neil adieu and traded 35 dried squid in order to take the most uncomfortable all night bus ride from Glasgow to London. Gettingabsolutely no sleep on the bus, we decided to pass out in the Victoria tubestation McDonalds. Sleeping in public is apparently a ticketable offense in London and luckily the officer who woke us up believed our ignorance.
Walker's bed while waiting for trains in London.After lugging ski bags through the Underground, we hopped on the Chunnel to Paris. Aswe ate our 3 course meal with personal micro bottles of wine, we decided trainis by far the best way to pass through Europe.Arriving in Paris we did what every Americans do, eat abunch of amazing food, drink a bunch of wine and go see the Eiffel tower!
Wallisch taking a break in Paris.The following day, we caught a train to Toulouse (southern France) and met up with Mattieu from Voleurz. Happening to just pass thru on Mattieu’s 19th birthday, Mattieu’s mom whipped up the best home cooked meal in my recent memory. The language barrier was tough, but we quicklygot to know our host family and simply put, they rule.
Leaving Toulouse, France.
Walker takes a nap on the way to Barcelona.We were on the road at 9am sharp the next day planning on getting to Barcelona in time for practice. We made it to Barcelona and then conveniently got lost for 3 hours trying to find our hotel. We decided to cutour losses and just go check out the jump. That was the best decision we madeon the trip because we had already missed practice and showed up 10 minutes before qualifying. Fortunately, we got 2 practice runs before the contest.During my straight air, I decided the Barcelona jump was really good, so my next jump I tried my first ever dub 10. I didn’t throw it flippy enough andended up over rotating to 12 and landing on my side, but it felt great.
Checking out Barcelona.
Clarke GTSing in Barca.
Walker and Wallisch take a break from unsuccessfully trying to get into the stadium during practice.
Wallisch stops to take a pic with a fan outside of the Olympic Stadium.
Finally finding our way into the stadium.
Top of the jump in Barca.I threw rodeo 10 in qualifying thinking that it would probably be cleaner than my second attempt at a dub cork. I ended up not qualifying, but I must say, the Barcelona jump was the best city big air jump I have ever hit.
Wallisch switch double 10ing his way to the podium at the Barcelona Snow Show.After the competition, http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/readnews/id/2960/everybody went out to the after party at club Oshen. Being an electronic musicfan, this place was my heaven: 4 stories of different floors of different electronic music that was open til 7am. YESSS. After staying till closing, we decided there was no time to sleep and just went directly to the airport for a 9am flight. Fantastic way to end Just Passing Thru Europe!!
Salomon love in Barca.For a more photos on the UK part of this tour, check outNeil’s story here.http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/readnews/id/2969/I want to thank everybody who made this trip happen! Jennythe Salomom mostly, Drago from Jiberish, James from the London Freeze, Neil from Jiberish, Rob for showing us around London (sorry about not saying bye),Mattieu and his whole family, Simone, and finally Pako and Jaime and everybody else from the Barcelona Snow Show. Epic Trip!!PeaceMattSo, with that I give you Just Passing Thru Europe:http://www.vimeo.com/8899203Or check out the Just Passing Thru website at:http://www.justpassingthru.tv