It was a long but fun trip over to Europe covered by Planes, trains, more trains, and even more trains, than an automobile ride before reaching Val D’Isere France for the Frostgun Invitational. 

Planes 

Planes 

Trains

Trains

Gare De Lyon Train Station in Paris

Gare De Lyon Train Station in Paris

Back to more trains

Back to more trains

After finally getting settled in with some buddies, we decided to go out and check the local scene. We finally got to bed a couple hours later, and after sleeping a few hours, morning greeted us much too quickly.  Following a very delicious breakfast, and some tourist activities, it was time to head out to practice. Unfortunately for us it was a bit on the windy side so we weren’t able to hit the big air jump, but instead we hit up the rail section.

Jesper mid backflip onto the rail

Jesper mid backflip onto the rail

After one of the craziness rail sessions I’ve ever witnessed, we headed to a quick riders meeting and back to our hotel for a quick nap. When I awoke it was time for the rail jam to begin, and what a fun session it was. Glad I was able to participate in it, and even was able to learn a brand new trick during the jam. In the end Felix Ulstad went home with the win for the evening. 

So amazing how big all the mountains are here

So amazing how big all the mountains are here

The next day we were happily greeted by some much needed sunshine and fresh snow. Following a quick breakfast, Jesper Tjader and I went to take some laps around the mountain. 

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Upon reaching the top of the mountain and seeing just how big and open everything was really changed my perspective of how we think mountains are “big” in the US. The Alps really are beautiful and jaw-dropping.

Jesper Tjader enjoying the vast mountains of Val D'Isere 

Jesper Tjader enjoying the vast mountains of Val D'Isere 

Backflips are the best!!

Backflips are the best!!

After getting a couple of fun laps in, it was time for us to head over to practice on the jump. This jump is by far the biggest jump I’ve ever hit, with the distance being around 100ft, and us going around 110-120 feet to the sweet spot.

Scraping my skis. Photo by Jesper Tjader

Scraping my skis. Photo by Jesper Tjader

We got to session the jump and get used to it for a couple of hours before taking a break to get ready for qualifiers later that night. Thankfully I was in the first heat, and had an awesome time throwing a couple tricks. I was in the top 6 to move onto the next round, until the last jump and ended up getting bumped back to 9th for my heat. Still had a blast though and happy I got the opportunity to finally do a big air competition.  The rest of the night was spent watching heat 2 go. Everything was going smooth until half way through and almost the entire field lost a lot of speed from all the extra falling snow. Still was awesome to see buddies throw down regardless.

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The last day I decided to take the day off to rest, and that night we watched the Finals. Easily one of the most impressive big air contests I’ve watched. Everyone slayed so hard, and I was happy to see Noah Morrison stomp his Triple Cork 1620. A lot of progression that night with Vincent Gagnier doing the craziest rotations, Jeremy Pancras landing a new dub bio rotation, and Jesper Tjader just going crazy and taking home the win.

Hanging out at the bottom of the jump | Photo by: Stefan Wessel 

Hanging out at the bottom of the jump | Photo by: Stefan Wessel 

The celebration that night was one to remember, along with some dancing and good times to go along with it. So happy I was able to be out here in France to compete and hang out with so many awesome people. Now heading over to Vars for the first slopestyle contest I’m doing out here. Till the next time.

-Noah

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