I had decided to give this one more day—after all, I wanted to get at least one saleable photo out of the deal. The first plan of attack was to hit the People ledge—a down flat that was in Mack Dawg’s movie last year. The good news about this spot was it had already been hit, so no digging was required, but the bad news is that one of the crews that had hit it was the Runway Crew. Although it seems like that would negate its value for a men’s snowboard video, the guys assured me they’d do “way better tricks” on it.
Since Mike was hurt, he didn’t even put on his snowboard gear. Looked like I was going to have to make due with Kalle and Josh… The worst part about being a photographer on a film trip is you can’t really set anything up. The filmers take precedence, and you’re mostly just there to capture what went on. This is fine when you have motivated and talented riders who make snowboarding look good, but it’s a little more difficult when no one is making any effort. Luckily, the session lasted several hours, so I had plenty of chances to try out different angles, and at least this ledge had interesting scenery around it.
I could bore you with the names of both tricks that went down, but I don’t really remember. Towards the end of the session, Nova decided he would ride after all, but by that point I was cold and over it. I did take one photo of him from the van that’s actually one of my favorites from the spot.
One of the things we’d scoped out the previous day was a wall ride that was definitely doable—in fact, I’m pretty sure JP Walker hit it in some video. The best part, though, was that it would require very little building and would look really rad in photos. Of course, after an hour of debating it, they decided not to bother doing the wall ride. Instead, the idea was to build a kicker on the top of the parking garage next to it and do airs onto the giant snowbank below. Of course, since our van probably wouldn’t even fit into the parking garage, Josh planned on recruiting Max to drive tow-ins with his car. Poor Max was pretty much our bitch the entire trip, given we were a bunch of Americans in a French-speaking country, so thanks, Max—and sorry for running up your phone bill!
As with pretty much everything on this trip, the build-out was the biggest part of the process. This time though, instead of removing snow, the guys were trucking it in. Of course they picked the one surface in the entire city of Québec that had been scraped clean, so it took a few hours to build a kicker. I knew that they probably weren’t going to end up hitting it that day, and I had figured out where and how to rent a car to get home. I just needed to get to the airport.
I asked Josh what the chances were that they’d actually hit the gap today. He started giving me some long, drawn-out answer, but I stopped him and said, “If you might not hit it, I’m getting out of here.” He said, “We’re going to hit it. Stay.” I guess it was a lost cause anyway, because no one was going to give me a ride to the airport. I sat miserably in the van, which was nearly out of gas, so we weren’t allowed to keep it running to stay warm. For awhile one of the Justins joined me, and asked why I was leaving. I explained I wasn’t really getting anything, and I just wanted to go home. Then he asked me how I wanted to cover my part of the van. I laughed, perhaps for the first time on the trip, and told him he should probably talk to Josh about that one.
A few hours later, everyone climbed into the car. Even though I didn’t need to, I asked, “So, are you guys going to hit it?” Josh replied, “No way—the light sucks, and we’re all way too tired, anyway.” Fine. “Can you take me to the airport, then?”
Even after I’d put up with all their shit, paid for hotel rooms I wasn’t even using, and got the dudes a girl’s number at the sushi place, I was not going to catch a break. “Yeah, yeah,” Josh said. “Max is just going to show us one more spot.”
Now, I am actually glad we took this last little detour. The stop was The Citadel, a crazy old building with the only original city walls in North America still intact. Ten feet of snow that had drifted up, and made for insane urban snowboard possibilities; there was even a potential road gap. Of course, the guys were just there to check out a rail. (The same rail, mind you, that the Runway Crew had shot on the day before.) I know, because I saw the photos. I’m sure they were going to do “better tricks,” but if I had any doubts about leaving, this took care of them.
Back in the van, I’d finally lost it. I just started chanting “airport” under my breath. After ignoring and or insulting me for most of the trip, the guys finally decided it was a good time to start joking around. “Oh, I think we’re gonna go back to the hotel and take showers first, haha.” I bit my tongue—the airport was only twenty minutes away.
As we pulled out, they asked where I needed to go. I had no idea, so I had them drop me as close to the entrance as possible. I got out of the van and gathered my stuff. The filmers and Nova exchanged the requisite niceties. Good to meet you, see you around, etc. Not one “Thank you” for me, though. But, I guess, what could I expect?
It turned out I’d been dropped at the wrong terminal. I dragged my gear through even more snow, and finally found the rental cars. Thank god they still had one! $97 a day, but whatever! It took a little while to get it ready for me, and I sat in the airport eating gravy fries. When they finally called me over to tell me my car was ready, I jammed my stuff in and sped off. As it turned out, the windshield washer fluid didn’t work, and I had no idea where I was going. After a scenic tour (that I couldn’t see) through upstate New York, I finally made it to the Burlington airport, where my dad picked me up. I recapped the trip, and he simply said, “I would have left them when they didn’t pick you up from the airport.”
TOTAL COST OF ITEMS OTHER THAN FOOD ON A TRIP “EVERYTHING WAS PAID FOR:” $337.92