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march 2015 articles

tuesday 31 march

Prevail skatepark block session

james, noseslide on the moveable block, PrevailJames and Rob joined me at Prevail one evening, and they had pulled the moveable block out, so we spent an evening riding this impromptu driveway, trying to stay on the block the full distance.

James was pulling some long tailslides, and I got some frontside noseslides in, it was a long way and there were some spectacular miscalculations... ;)

It was great to see James stepping his game up though, and getting on the rail - he looked almost comfortable!

Tignes ski trip with George Moy and Jules

Took the Eurostar to Tignes with George Moy and my brother Jules for a week in Tignes Val Claret. The weather looked decided dubious, but there was a last minute 36 hour dump just before we left. Convenient. :)

With good snow for the first few days we cracked into action, trying to hit as much off-piste as we could find - the weather was cold and windy but the snow was in good condition, and we found lots of fresh lines in the Vallon de la Sachee off the back of the Aiguille Perce ("The pierced needle").

the eurostar train at ashford stagtion jules & george train selfie - the first of way too many... Obligatory photo of the Aiguille Perce, Tignes
dom & jules hiking for backcountry powder... dom, powder followcam, Tignes george would do this at random intervals for some inexplicable reason... ;)

We went across to Val d'Isere a few times, but with the exception of a couple of places the snow cover seemed less good, so we always ended up coming back to TIgnes...

The apartment was tiny, as only the French deem appropriate, and we spent our time swimming and playing cribbage - apart from George who spent an inordinate amount of time sleeping. Still - he skied hard on the slopes, so fairs fair I guess ;)

The Merles chute

Jules and I say a virgin chute under the Merles chairlift, so dropped down to it after a long traverse. It was a difficult chute rather than spectacularly long, peppered with rocks at the top - requiring a precise drop-in with an immediate sharp turn to ride it out without crashing into something sharp and hazardous.

piste selfie! Val d Isere up-and-over chairlift, Tignes dom, tripod, Tignes
george flyby jules & george lunchtime selfie checking out the chute under the Merles chairlift

With no new snowfall, the snow condition worsened, so Jules and I began to hit the park - starting in the blue parks then moving up to the main park.

Some of the days suffered from flat light so the park was out, but we got three reasonable days and managed to get some footage down...

jules, tucked air dom, mute in the blue park jules & george obligatory lift gurn

Jules freestyle skills have improved vastly now he has twintips, he can often be found switching ends and jibbing about riding piste, but he has nailed his 360's in the park which is testiment to his practise and determination.

Jules: BunJ ski bunjy backflip hero

There is an airbag at the bottom of the Carline run back into Val Claret and we spent plenty of time practising spins and backflips as a more practical alternative to the icy landings available further up the mountain...

On the last day, Jules decided to flip the new BunJ ski bunjy they had constructed at the top if the Merles chair - basically a huge launch ramp 40m up into nothingness, whereupon the participant would bunjy about a bit then get lowered to safety.

Jules dropped into the 30ft run-in, and laid down a perfect backflip out into the massive natural bowl... HUGE! Top marks to Jules for having the bottle to do it. (and it's all on film ;)

jules, 360 in the blue park, Tignes dom, airbag practise wipeout POV
BunJ jump underview jules - BunJ backflip POV out for hamburgers...

All-in-all a fantastic holiday which came to an end far too quickly - except for the Eurostar, which I can do without in future! Cheer Boys, awesome :)

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