We last left off Orageâ€™s Jumpopotamus after the international crew of riders had finished up with their first attempts at mastering the 100ft step down on the Vorab Glacier in Laax, Switzerland. We headed down the mountain â€“ some of us downloading while others took the adventurous route all the way down to the village.
That evening Orage took the riders and some other lucky hangers-on (myself included) out for a dinner in nearby Flims. Upon arrival we were escorted down four stories into some crazy sub basement. My initial thoughts were that the owners took a look at our rag-tag group and decided to segregate us from the rest of their patrons. In fact the opposite was true, we were getting the VIP treatment. We were taken to the wine cellar where we gathered around a candle lit table where we indulged in copious amounts of champagne and break-sticks too, which are highly underrated in my opinion. Just as things were starting to get out of hand with members of the team trying to smoke said break-sticks, we were ushered upstairs for dinner.
And what a dinner it was. Orageâ€™s Rod Blackhurst decimated the salad bar like no other and everyone left stomachs full and spirits high. I myself had the swordfish which was excellent. After our meal everyone headed back to the Riders Palace to end off the night and get ready for our last ski day.The Riders Palace, complete with mood lighting. Nothing like coming home to this after a hard day of skiing. Easily the largest sequence I've ever seen.
I played it a little smarter the next morning and caught some extra shut-eye because I knew even with good weather it would take a few hours for the snow to get soft enough up at the jump. Arriving at the jump just before noon, the athletes were warming up and getting ready for their last chance at fame on the custom built jump.
The session started out mellow enough but after a short while it was clear that some athletes were on personal missions. The cool thing about the format of bringing everyone together was that it didnâ€™t just turn into a cab 10 contest like most of the organized comps/events this season. We had the guys throwing big spins but there was also a strong contingent of slow, lofty airs that really stole the show. We had some 180s and at least one zero-spin which was the highlight of my day.
JF Houle continued to shine as probably the most comfortable all around rider of the event as he threw down bigger and bigger switch spins on his way to his cab 10. Luke Van Valin and Craig Coker styled it out with big, slow spins and some creative grabs.
The international set really threw down too. And while Iâ€™m not a fan of the huge spins, there were those that went for big switch 12s and, to my surprise even a switch 14 was attempted. All I can say about that is that at least we werenâ€™t on a 40ft table.The pampered treatment, complete with a BBQ. Van Valin with reppin' the maroon. A big critical 3. Super solid cab 7 mute.
As with the previous day, after about 2 hours of solid sessioning the winds and clouds rolled in and we called it a day. Yet again a sick gathering of pros from all around Europe and North America and no injuries to speak of. You just canâ€™t ask for anything more than that. So thatâ€™s it, Orageâ€™s first ever Jumpopotamus is done. We had a killer time and canâ€™t wait for next year.
Luke Van Valin Background
Craig Coker Background
JF Houle Background
Big Critical Background
Cab 7 Sequence Background