05/03/2014 | by Bram De Cleen
Photos by Joël Tettamanti & Bertrand Trichet. Words by Sylvain Tognelli.
Had I known I would have to write this text, I certainly wouldn’t have insisted to Will Harmon on the importance of improving texts in Kingpin and in skateboard magazines in general a few weeks ago. I think professional writers should be invited on tours, as it’s the case for photographers and filmers. Now I’m here writing this text, without any notes, for the simple reason that someone has to do it.
What you need to take with you:
- Mattress / sleeping mat (as small as possible)
- Hiking gear (good shoes – warm outdoor clothes – gloves – beanie – rain jacket – sunglasses – sun cream – backpack – hat)
- Camping gear: towel – swim shorts – flashlight – knife/fork/cup – camping bottle – nature friendly shower gel…
- Skate gear and spare parts/tools (we will stay in remote areas)
- Should you need anything special, please bring it with you, as we will stay in remote places.
We will go in really nice nature places so we absolutely can’t leave any trash/rubbish around. Also, when you take a shit outside remember to hide your poo and paper under a rock…
Thanks in advance!”
The crew for the Antiz x Carhartt WIP expedition consisted of Joël Tettamanti (a fine art landscape photographer) and Bertrand Trichet taking photos, Paul Labadie filming, Joseph Biais, Gabriel Engelke, Dominik Dietrich, Hugo Liard and myself, Sylvain Tognelli doing the skating.
It smelled like an adventure as we left from Lausanne. Bertrand and Joël were making an inventory of all the gear while the others posted one last photo on Instagram or sent one last e-mail… No Wi-Fi on the mountain!
While driving through the first mountain passes I looked at the landscape and at the boards on the floor of the van. I like unusual ideas but this one could easily turn into a nightmare depending on the weather. My doubts were soon confirmed as it was already raining when we set up the tents for the first time. Joseph piped up with a soon-to-be-famous ‘’I think I’m going to leave the trip’’.
Joël and Bertrand had come a few months earlier to check the spots (and enjoy a free holidays at the same time). The photo album included about 20 highly photogenic spots, but nearly impossible to skate most of the time. Sessions were thus quite unusual since the stage directions given by the photographers were numerous: arriving on the spot, we decide who does what trick, and flashes are set up.
To skate you have to: run uphill, jump on a board which is pinned in place by a stone, do your trick, jump off the board and fall into a precipice. Then flashes are taken off, and we get to the next spot, etc.
The danger when skating in the mountains is not the same as in the city. Falling into a frozen lake, drowning in a river or simply falling off a hundred metres are ways of dying you usually don’t conceive on your skateboard, so our whole crew of scatter-brained athletes had to be particularly cautious during this trip. The challenge for the frontside wallride was to get as close to the void as possible, giving cold sweats to Bertrand and Joël. The scariest moments for me were the sessions in riverbeds next to dams. I was expecting a huge wave to come over us at any time.