Winter 13/14

Lost Village- Salomon Freeski TV

This trip to France last year with Salomon Freeski TV was a real treat. We spent 10 days living in a chalet in the mountains above Val d'Pres, near Briancon. Emile Roman, the owner rebuilt the chalet himself with wood from the surrounding forest. Th chalet has been in his family since the 1700's. The chalet is off the grid with no phone or internet and powered by solar. With some incredible terrain for ski touring right out the door and no resorts, it is a unique location. 

The story centred around Emile and a local group of conservationists inspired by Emilie Carles, who have fought to keep the valley free of a highway and tunnel into Italy, along with the development that would have come with it. That Roman and his wife Annick allowed us to stay in their chalet was extremely generous of them as it is not usually open to anyone who isn't family. 

I was joined by Bjarne Salen, Scott Markewitz, Mark Abma, Leo Ahrens, Tony Lamiche and Timothee Theaux. It was a great trip where we all got to enjoy some time off the grid ourselves.

Look out for some editorial from the trip written my myself and accompanied by Scott Markewitz's photos.

Iceland- Salomon Freeski TV

In March, 2014, I had the chance to return to Iceland for my third trip. I was a filmer on a Salomon Freeski TV shoot joined by Jeff Thomas, Mattias Fredricksson, Leslie Anthony, Mark Abma, Chris Rubens and the late Andreas Fransson. It was great to go back to a place that I find truly magical. The Icelandic reverence for the mystic is fascinating and connects them to their landscape and heritage. 

We spend our time skiing with Jokull Bergman at his families heliski operation based in the farm house he grew up in near Dalvik on the Troll Penninsula. It was not a trip with an abundance of skiing due to one of the most intense and exhilarating storms any of us has sat through. The wind blew for 3 days straight at close to and over 100km/hr, burying roads, blowing a shipping container into a house in town and making the 30m journey from the barn to the dinning room an expedition. To read a great account penned by Les Anthony, read his Mountain Life Annual blog here. But in the moments between the elements flexing their muscles, we skied some unique mountains, even down to the dark North Atlantic Ocean, and this is one of the most aesthetically unique episodes I have shot. I hope you feel the same.

We finished the trip with a few days in Reykjavik--one of my favourite cities--sightseeing and partying for Jeff's birthday. If you ever have a chance to spend some time there, do it. Make it a trip, or extend a layover en route to somewhere else. Vibrant, friendly, chic and brimming with arts and culture, you won't be disappointed.

Huge thank you to Jokull and his Arctic Heliskiing crew for their warm hospitality, incredible food and access to some stunning mountains.

P.S. The voice over in this piece was read by Ollafur Dari. For those that have seen "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" Olafur is the drunken helicopter pilot. I love that he was excited to read for us.