the sniper spotsmtn

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alpe d'huez

with baptiste diet, clement cruciani, niels delaude

back to all life

It’s the kind of spot, where you say, once it’s shaped “no! no! that’s definitely not gonna do it…” And then one second later you just go for it.

The day before, in our last spot on the roof of this sheepfold, we saw that old wooden electric pole right outside the forest. Niels and Baptiste got instantly the idea to establish a spot over there.

The level was already high with this sheepfold spot. But, this time, it’s like you went completely crazy no?Baptiste – This spot caught our attention the day before. As soon as I saw it, I got a vision man! Imagine a dude, in the sky and in the middle of these two old electric poles. It’s like a ball being kicked between the rugby poles… I had to get that shot! But easier said than done, especially when you have to throw yourself and land some tricks in a 2 meters large space. But I knew they would not even flinch, on the contrary, they were smiling and motivated.

The next day was shaping day for the boys, Clément is already working right in the morning while the others are shoveling. He was lucky because he avoided the hard part! The snow is rather soft on this side of the mountain, which is a good thing for the shaping of this big kicker in step-down. Problem: the snow sticks a lot, impossible then to slide facing the slope. We had to harden the snow which is very rare! Finally we used the good old trick: some coarse salt to compact the impulse area. To catch up before going up, Clément bought us some snacks, because as usual, we all thought to take our skis but not some food and drinks. And with that sun, we had to stay fresh and in shape.

before your drop in, there is always a time when hesitation and adrenaline is taking the control over your body. Just don’t let it take over and go for it!

 

Clement, what did you think when you arrived on the spot?Clement – WOWWW impressive, the kick was super high and very far from the poles. And the poles were really closer to each other than expected. But I was down to serve as a crash test dummy lol.

After they arrived, the guys took a quick snack with their favorite biscuits «les animaux » Some French biscuits shaped like animals. A little bit of salt (la Baleine coarse salt, very important) in the impulse and Go for the crash-test. We cannot really see it on the shot but the landing is awful, it’s flat and they land knee high in that soupy snow. Let’s not even talk about the pine trees in the background. Baptiste gets his box. Regarding the angle, he doesn’t have any choice. He finally decides to set up his gear just below the kicker with his wide angle. There will be some butt clench because he doesn’t know where the guys will land… Meanwhile, Niels decides to place a branch of pine tree on the kicker so that Clement know where to go to be right in the middle of the two poles. And here goes the first drop in.

Baptiste gets his box. Regarding the angle, he doesn’t have any choice. He finally decides to set up his gear just below the kicker with his wide angle. There will be some butt clench because he doesn’t know where the guys will land… Meanwhile, Niels decides to place a branch of pine tree on the kicker so that Clement know where to go to be right in the middle of the two poles. And here goes the first drop in.

Tell us more about the first drop in?Clement – A good old straight air, knees in the face on the landing, almost cut my tongue out. OUCH!! FUCK. But the spot is awesome. Kudos to Niels for the branch! Baptiste, as usual lands perfectly the shot of the century on his first try. I rest a little counting if all my teeth are still there and up I go.

Baptiste –  I got lucky! Clement passed way above me. The reception is really ugly, but he’s not even bothered by that. The shot is cool though! And since I’m right in the axis, the wide angle accentuates more the height.

To finish, Niels joins Clement and they go for some runs, the pictures are nice, especially after trying to land some 180 right on the pole or some other grabs. Difficult to do better than that. A jump with rotation would be completely nuts and reckless. But then Clement comes with this stupid idea. He wants to land a backflip. No room for error, you have to target that perfectly! He goes up, yells his plan, everyone takes his marks and position, camera 4K IPHONE 12 ON ! Baptiste seeks the perfect angle while clement tightens my snapback one last time. Everything went so fast, no time to think or to let the fear got into us. After all, he loves backflips, it’s his specialty, but he’s about to pucker up.

I’m in the love with those backfilps!

 

What was your reaction when you saw Clement in the air?Baptiste – I tried to imagine this photo, but for me this was quite ballsy… and then apparently not that much ahaha. When he went up for the backflip, I was quite nervous. He took two seconds to concentrate and he went for it. At this moment, I cannot see him. Then, boom, he rockets out from the kick, perfectly in the middle. The burst is nuts! Almost everything is usable. Really pleased!

Stronger than this pole my man! We did it

Small break time, we pack up and we enjoy the place, everybody is happy! That’s a wrap and we have nice pictures in the head but mostly we are in pain. A good day….

We go back to the house, chilling, but we keep scouting for new spots on the way back. And then we see that line of pine trees with that ridge just in front. Quite easy to shape for once. Amen! And the icing on the cake, an endless slope for the landing area, not too steep. Perfect for me!

View from the top to the bottom of the valley

The drop in the valley must have been nice. What were your impressions?Clement – ahah Once we shaped the step down, I found it quite impressive and bigger than expected. When you jump, it’s like you will land at the very end of the valley, and when you take off from the edge of the kicker, you don’t really see where you are going.

Baptiste – That’s mean alright! That requires some balls, especially when you go down straight from 30 meters higher and the only thing you can see is “La Romanche” 1500 meters down below. The shot, from above in bottom view is amazing. On the other hand, I had no infos regarding the landing zone… When I went for it, I was thinking: No news = No bad news, just go for it!

cork 7 over the tree wall

No backflip on this spot this time?Clement – ahah NO WAY. The back flip didn’t even cross my mind. While I was preparing the spot, I had a vision. I saw a Switch 5 Japan. After the first try, I changed my mind for something more “chillax” that I love: Cork 7. PS: After that, I had to go to the physiotherapist for 1 week 😉

Duuuuude! You’re so high on the shot! No problem for the landing?Clement – aha you think? That was the last run, I promised to Baptiste and Niels that I would greet everyone with the biggest straight big air before leaving. So I’m not chickening out, I start 10 meters higher than before, IMPULSE and… the landing almost knocks me out but the shot is a killer as usual.

Baptiste – It came to him like that, without any warning. He told us that he wanted to sacrifice himself on the altar of the legendary straight airs to celebrate this crazy riding week that he passed with us. Ok Clem, enjoy yourself ma’ boy! So no time to think, me and Niels we run below to capture that moment which is about to be epic. I move a little to find the right place, a little bit farther this time. Right away I see that I took the best bet, I see him, flying super high in my visor. He goes so faaaarrrrr.  The worst is that he lands it perfectly!

this straight air is so massive!

With these two spots, the day was really productive for Baptiste. He was able to get at least ten good quality shots. Clement & Niels are still alive and still true to themselves, they are searching new spots for the future… These guys are unstoppable!