Planning of the photoshoot began two weeks ahead of the chosen week. With it too far for weather forecasts to predict I went on a limb and a prayer and chose Tuesday (02 Feb) and Friday (05 Feb) as the fateful days. As the week approached, and El Nino battering Europe with high winds and unusually warm weather, my optimism was also taking a battering…
I had the whole day to shoot with Leon Libossart, who had against my will, skipped school, however dismayed, I was ecstatic with his enthusiasm. Like all good days we started at Happy Hours Bar where we had a coffee, immediately after heading straight for Chapelle Park, at Avoriaz Snowzone. The weather slightly overcast, but looking to clear, it looked like fate was on our side.
Following an epic rail and jumps session we headed over to Arare Park having being told that the XL jump line was now open. Blessed with a quiet park and a great set up the clouds disappeared giving us a window to get some epic shots.
Lunch was calling, so we left Arare and headed for Avoriaz centre. With the clouds coming in and feeling a little lethargic after food we hyped ourselves up and headed for the notorious Burton Stash. Christian Boyd came to join us and hunted for his own angles within the trees.
I was amazed by the stamina on Leon, as I was puffing and panting chasing him around the Stash and getting to the angles I wanted. Christian, Leon and I then headed for Chapelle Park to finish off the day where Christian put his trust in Leon and his life on the line, for the ultimate shot (below). Following this success we immediately headed straight to Happy Hours, where the day first began, swapping the coffee for beers.
The night proceeding Friday was dumping with snow in the Portes du Soleil, making us all slightly anxious that the parks would not be fully open. Fortunately, we had an inside man in the shape of Simon Maxit, part of the FH Family and a park shaper at Chatel Snowpark, who confirmed that it would be as perfect as always. We woke up Friday morning, and that’s when I knew my Karma was on point. It was a beautiful cold bluebird day. We rushed out the flat with FH Family Will Tucker and friend of the Fam Shane Scott, again heading for Happy Hours where FH Family Jerome Calvez was waiting for us. After a quick coffee and a wax job at Bluebird Ski Rental we headed to Chatel, catching some freshies on the way.
With a stoked FH crew, the day was always going to go well, with all the Fam sending it for the shots. Will Tucker was saved by a now obliterated Poc helmet, when his double ended up with face to knuckle. Undeterred, Will then dusted himself off and went straight back up the hill to land the double!
Chatel Park is easily one of my favourite parks to shoot; set amongst the trees with an amazing backdrop to the jumps. The style that was brought by Jerome, Simon and Will was sensational, making my job easy. After an intense 4 hour session we finally broke for food at 15:00 and then said our goodbyes to Simon and bombed it back to Avoriaz. Pushing our luck, we managed to make the last lift back out of Chatel into Avoriaz and headed for celebratory drinks at Happy Hours.
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