Photo: Freeride Word Tour / T. Lloyd
Arriving in Ordino at two in the morning, we’re then up again and ready to go at seven. After some exciting ‘continental’ driving and a chilly chairlift – especially opened for us – I’m tired, dazed and thoroughly lost after eighteen hours of travel and non-sleep. Perfect then that someone has put a giant fucking clock on top of the mountain that’s rearing its head up through the pre-dawn haze in front of me. This is the start of the 2016 Freeride World Tour, taking place in Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra.
It kicks off almost immediately, Camille Armand dropping first for France pretty much as I arrive at the finish line, still trying to find my bearings. His run is smooth, controlled and features a mid-line backflip which is enough to hold him in third come the end of the comp.
I’m here with two aims: (a) cover the event and (b) shoot with Sascha Hamm, the only British snowboarder on the tour and a favourite with the other competitors for his eccentric behaviour and loose riding style. His motto: ‘Speed is my friend’. It’s more than worrying then when after Flo Orley appears at the bottom of the course, it’s not Sascha who drops next but the USA’s Colin Boyd – has the gentleman/weekend lunatic abandoned me?