After a pretty epic first day of shooting in the pipe, the weather was threatening to take a turn for the worse for the rest of the week. Our intentions were to hit the park on day two for some jumps and rails but given the forecast the call was made to head up to the glacier and hit up the custom built 100ft step down.
Even from the t-bar we could tell this feature was a monster. A massive take-off and a deck that just kept going kept most of the athletes quiet while they surveyed the steep but short landing. Not to say the jump wasn't well built, but with something this big there was little room for error. After standing around for an hour or so waiting for the winds to die down we called it a day and headed to the park for some rail shooting in the clouds.
The park setup in Laax is all about quick laps and good flow. The mini rail park had it's own t-bar that allowed for some fun skiing and lots of variety. A few mini-shoots went down on some of the rails and guys like Craig Coker, Chris Turpin, and JF Houle seemed like they were having a blast playing on the features.Coker on the roller box. Spins on, spins off, switch ups, whatever. This flat-down got owned. JF Houle playing on the box with the spring conditions quite apparent.
Day Three started out much like day two. We headed up the glacier to the jump and waited for the sun to emerge and soften things up. Luckily that's exactly what happened. But the winds were still a bit of a concern for most riders. Speed checks were done but it was getting to the point where I didn't think anyone was going to step it up. Then one of the riders from the German crew blew past everyone and went so big that I thought he had died. Seriously, this was a lot of air. No worries though, after everyone sprinted to the landing to see the damage we were relieved to find that he had landed 3/4s of the way down the landing and skied away.
Slowly but surely all the riders got into the groove and started throwing down. JF Houle came out with a first hit 360, Luke Van Valin threw some epic corked spins with true nose action, and Coker managed to air out some big 5s and 7s despite having to start from about 20 feet higher than anyone else because of his lack of weight.Berman posing while taking a picture. This guy's got the talent. Here it is, the big-ass stepdown. JF Houle with a cork 7. I told you this jump was huge. Luke Van Valin... I wanted to make a 'tipping' joke but they were all too lame. It's a long way down from there.
Everyone including Symms got some solid jumps in and when the clouds rolled in during mid-afternoon, everyone was content to call it a day. Another evening in the Riders Palace and a sick team dinner in nearby Flims. But we'll have more on that later. Stay tuned for part three, we had a sick weather day on the jump and everyone just killed it.
JF Houle's Cork 7 Background