Skiing fans have no doubt already seen the latest video from freestyle and freeride skiing champion, Candide Thovex. His previous video, “One of those days”, ended with him jumping on skis over a police car, then releasing his bindings and running while the police chase him. It was difficult to imagine him topping those scenes, yet his latest video, “One of those days 2”, does just that.
Candide is back on his favourite La Clusaz peak of La Balme, this time jumping over slalom racers and security staff, and launching off all sorts of unexpected things. He grew up in La Clusaz, so he knows this area well.
The lack of snow in some scenes indicates that this was filmed at the end of the 2014 ski season, when the lifts had already closed to the public. Those of us who live in La Clusaz can spot most of the places featured in the video. For anyone who is visiting La Clusaz and wants to see some of the spots Candide uses, here’s the low-down
0:09 – The chalet is somewhere in Les Confins, overlooking La Balme, where the video was filmed. La Balme is beyond that first long ridge. This is not the chalet Candide lives in.
0:27 – The action starts in the Torchere valley, near the top of the red piste, Botion.
0:46 – There aren’t normally any ski races in this area. If you look for this spot, you won’t see any of those flags!
1:17 – Candide is on the steep part at the top of Blanchot (although it looks flat), at the top of the Col de Balme. Past visitors will know this as the funnel at the top that produces large moguls within hours.
1:19 – The two jumps in a row are above the Crintiaux piste – one of Candide’s favourite places to start his descent in La Balme. He continues down between the two pistes for some time.
1:32 – 1:35 – Big Bertha, the giant jump where Candide broke his back, is a very small lump with a small piece of rock poking out.
2:20 – He enters the Californie valley. The following sequence of crazy tree/cliff jumps and lines are all in this valley.
3:08 – He exits the forest and jumps around the top of the L’Etrivaz drag lift.
3:12 – He’s further up the valley again. This time, he’s on the first big corner of the Balme blue piste. After he jumps the barrier, the landing is much, much steeper than it looks, and quite narrow too. This brings him back into the Californie Valley.
3:32 – He’s higher up again. This time, he arrives at the entrance of the Col de Balme chairlift.
3:35 – He’s even higher again! He’s back up at the top of the Torchere area, near the red piste, Botion.
3:45 – He enters the very steep black run, Vraille in the Torchere valley, which is too steep to groom.
3:53 – He skis into a cave in the Torchere valley. The cave is on the left of the valley, looking down.
4:00 – The cave exit scene is a valley over, back in the Combe de Balme. It’s at the top of the Californie valley, on the right, looking down. Although both caves exist, they are not connected and it’s not possible to ski through.
4:14 – Candide prepares to jump off the arrival area of the Bergerie chairlift. The tall cliff-like rock behind the chairlift is the rock he once climbed in ski boots and skied down. Although there was more snow on it when he did this, it’s never very snowy due to its steepness.
4:26 – He’s off-piste between the Jument 2000 draglift and the Aguille chairlift, a few valleys over. He grass skis with the Aguille chairlift nearby.
4:38 – He’s back in the La Balme area, this time around the back of the La Balme bubble departure station.
4:43 – He jumps onto the balcony of the restaurant “La Trace” (part of the same building as the bubble departure station), and into a crowd of people.
4:47 – He lands by the entrance of the Fernuy bubble departure station, then jumps its fence.
4:49 – He twists around and lands inside the stationary Fernuy bubble, facing out, while the doors close on him. This is by far the best way to jump the queue!
Candide is easy to spot in La Balme and he skis there regularly. Watching him bounce around in real life is as thrilling as watching this video. He never fails to impress, although the mountain staff might be less impressed by anyone trying to copy his moves!