Here's a nifty number from French MC Hocus Pocus featuring the Procussions who have sadly now split up. They've left a pretty sweet catalogue behind them especially when collaborating with Hocus Pocus. Dig it
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Apologies for my complete inability to post anything for over a month. As I sit here now I can't really think of an excuse other than that I've been crazy busy. Days turned into weeks as I moved non-stop from shred to work to bed with the occassional piss-up along the way. Recently I noticed how long it's been as Duthie churned out the posts and so I figured I'd sort out an update. So here goes...
When I last blogged, my family were about to arrive. They duly did, and an epic 10 days was had with plenty of fine dining, rediscovering the joys of tourism and hitting the slopes almost every day. It was a nice easy week that allowed me to get back into riding since my shoulder had healed-up. My family left and it was time to get back to work and less full days of riding.
I've decided that rather than write an endless post documenting everything I've done this month it would make more sense to do a primary-school book style 'picture blog' with a super-simple accompanying storyline. Don't worry you will not be hearing anything about 'Spot', or about seeing him run either for that matter.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Since my last post...
I did some ice-fishing
It snowed (lots)
It got really hot for a week...
and just recently, when it looked like the snow was on its way out, it snowed crap loads again! I had some wicked untracked chute lines in Sunshine's Delirium Dive only a few days ago! The weather has been crappy the last couple of days but I have my sights set on the park for the next 3 weeks. Hopefully there will be plenty of sun.
Lake Louise closes this weekend and until they do they have Canada's version of the airbag set up under their XL kicker in the park. The design is even better as it is set up on the down of the landing and thus allows riders to stomp tricks like real and even ride them out if they can control the board down the slidy plastic coating. Heading there twice this week to try some new stuff so I'm super-excited about that. Here's a video of the Katal landing pad to give you an idea
I hope this post gave you a reasonable idea of what I've been up to recently. As the season winds down over the next month I'll have plenty more to show you. As riders all over the northern hemisphere pack up their boards the season at Sunshine rages on. It has really made me understand why so many people come back to this place year after year. The season is a good month longer than anywhere else and, once the snow is gone, there is plenty of kick-ass stuff to do. I may be getting closer to my 2-month riding hiatus, but I'm not dreading it at all.
I'll sign-off for now, but to keep you entertained here's a video of me making a hash of taking freestyle to the backcountry in the Lake Louise powder bowls. 3 hours of hiking in the baking heat and next to nothing to show in terms of landed tricks. It was a good test for my newly-recovered shoulder though.
Till next time Unbezzers!
Val Thorens' park is well stocked for beginners, but the red and black lines are where it really earns its reputation. Each jump is better than the last, with mellow transitions and long, steep landings. Add to that the column, hip, wallride and barrel tap features down the bottom, and a flawless rainbow and S-rails up top, and you've got all you could ever ask of a park. On only the second lap, the excitement of it all got the better of me:
From now til next season, Brides-les-Bains is the go-to town for French salad-dodgers looking to slim down with the help of the local spa pools and health workshops. Ski rental stores are now summer fashion outlets catering for the rotund, and walking around town is comparable to being on the spaceship from Wall-E. The town may have changed drastically, but it's as hospitable and friendly as it was all winter. We may have landed in Brides because it was the only place we could afford, but it turned out to be just what we wanted. We can't recommend it highly enough.
The Three Valleys as a whole is an incredible range, but there's no escaping the big let-down of the season. Sorry to go on about it, but it's a thorn in my side. It's no surprise that the Meribel park was never firing when the overwhelming majority of its seasonaires have no real interest in riding, even when presented with so much amazing terrain. Everyone's entitled to their own way of enjoying their season, and the party side of things should and will always be a part of it, but the balance isn't right in this resort.
That's all from Brides. It's been an awesome five months, with more highlights than I can list here. Thanks to all those who read Unbez over the winter. Thanks especially to Kyla, for everything. The last word must go out to the good people at Sire de Beaupre, to whom we are both eternally grateful. We'll miss you.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Cheers again to Ben and Coz for another awesome Tignes trip, this time featuring Nicol Paton. Got a good wee shred in with him before he and Ben headed off to Morzine for the Lowrider grom camp.
Back in Brides, the conditions have stayed as good as we could have hoped for. With the slopes getting quieter, and the park demolished, the Meribel season is almost over. Before it was too late, we had to tend to some unfinished business...
If you look at a 3 Valleys piste map, you'll see fifteen lifts ("beeps") marked with a special symbol. Ride all these beeps during your stay, and you get a certificate. It's a device aimed at getting holidaymakers to really appreciate the size of the place, as well as providing an incentive for complacent seasonnaires to explore. We had seen first-hand how it had inspired some to head out on a miserable afternoon, stinking hangover to boot, just to get to the far side of Les Menuires and tick another beep off the list before crawling back to bed. What intrigued Kyla and myself, though, was talk of people hitting all fifteen in a single day. Daunting but not impossible, the only way to reach the far-flung beeps would be to melt it down every run, from first lift to last. Last Saturday, the conditions were just right to have a crack at it....
8.25am: We're at the bubble in time for first uplift, but there's a problem. No-one is being let on while the lifties try and get it sorted. We don't have a lot of time to spare, so it's the last thing we need.
8.55: Finally, we get onto a bubble and make our way up the hill. Time will tell if the lost half-hour will make any difference.
The count starts
After the depths of St Martin, next stop is the hights of Val Thorens. 70 minutes and 5 lifts later, and we're at #4, the Moraine. It's another wide, even piste, ripe for holding onto your hat and pointing it. The epic conditions mean that runs like this might help us make up the lost time.
11.48: #5, Peyron. Over in the 'fouth valley' of Orelle, the Peyron is maybe the most remote of all the beeps. Having only headed over here once before, we're stoked to be back. It's a definite upside of the whole plan.
12.30: #6, Plan de l'Eau - Sure enough, we just rode down the 3 Valleys' shittest run to get to the 3 Valleys' shittest chairlift, only to do the same shitty run, but for longer. With the snow really starting to soften up, the back feet come out on the flat sections.
14.33: Finally on the Pas du Lac bubble headed to Courcheval. 9 down, 6 to go. The danger now is that in our pursuit of the more remote beeps, we might miss the lifts back over. One eye on the clock from now on.
16.43: Dent de Bourgin (#14). With seven minutes to spare, we make it to the last beep of the day. Having ticked off the Golf down in Meribel Village, it was two tense will-we-won't-we chairlifts before we reached the Dent, but we got there. By the time we reached the top the hill was all but deserted, and there was nothing for it but to take an easy cruise down the home run under the motionless lifts.
17.15: On the bubble back to Brides, exhausted and a bit bewildered. After 31 lifts and 40-odd runs, it turned out to have been decided in the first half-hour. We may have failed, but still we're confident that we'd have made it to la Tania had it not been for the delay. For us, that was a good enough reason to celebrate.
The full shebbang. Orange = our lifts, purple = our runs, red = what we missed, yellow = detour.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it was hard to get excited about the 3 valleys recently. Even with my newfound drive to make the most of the time that's left, the continuing hot spell was a problem, and from 10am onwards the whole area was a sun-baked slushfest. Not too different from what you'd expect for the time of year, and normally we'd have welcomed it without fuss. The only problem was the weeks of thaw that preceded it and left the mountain struggling to cope. Park sessions, usually the standard for this part of the season, have been few and far between; slow snow meant that the black jumps were fenced off, and even the last red hit was often off-limits due to rocks poking through the landing.
The next few days passed in a whirlwind of fresh tracks and new discoveries. Having had only a tiny taste of riding powder before the heat wave, Kyla was stoked to try some more. By the end of the first day we had claimed plenty of virgin lines, with the overnight dumps giving us the chance to do it all again the next day. And the next....
Yesterday was the best day yet, maybe even the finest of the season. Blue skies, sun, cool breeze and at least a foot of fresh, fluffy pow on-piste as well as off. It's on days like yesterday that the Three Valleys stands up to any other resort. The terrain is ridiculous in its quantity, variety and ease of access. All the steep, deep, trees, hits, drops and gullys you could ask for, and most of it right off a lift. These last few days, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.