Posted by Josh on April 20th, 2012
My time in Europe gave me a much-needed reprieve from my normal winter routine.
The purpose of the trip was to unite the Mountain Collective Team at Salomon’s headquarters in France to share ideas and look at how we can continue developing both the sport of skiing and the equipment we use.
It’s the first trip I’ve ever made to participate in product research and development for a company, and hopefully, it won’t be the last.
We spent the first two days at Salomon’s office in Annecy learning about what works well and what needs improving. We spent the remainder of the week in La Clusaz testing next season’s new products. I was amazed at how much goes into the development of products. It was awesome to see how everything works together so a rider can achieve optimal performance.
A personal highlight was having the chance to ski and hang out with so many riders I’ve admired my entire career and share ideas on how to challenge the mountains and equipment I ride on. New dreams surfaced for me. I’m stoked!
The wealth of knowledge I was exposed to, and Salomon’s willingness to customize equipment has really inspired me. It makes me want to play and explore the mountains even more!
After a tip-top week, including the odd wine and cheese and après-ski, I flew to Montreal for the Canadian Alpine Championships. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. The warm weather forced the organizers to cancel the event due to lack of snow. I took advantage of the break to explore the city for a few days before heading home.
Upon my return, I was treated to a few memorable events. Silver Star, in partnership with Oakley and the Camp of Champions in Whistler, B.C, set up a massive air bag so the local kids could get their freak-on in a safe way. Check out this short video.
Straight off the mountain, I made my way into town to be part of the Rick Hansen Relay. It was a great honour to support this event. I’m able to live the life that I do thanks to Rick and his work. He’s been fighting to create a world without barriers for the past 25 years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Rick.
This week, I had a chance to hang out at a local elementary school. When I have some time off, one of the things I enjoy most is meeting with kids, telling them my story and learning about theirs. I hope I got them stoked up on life and living their dreams. In return, they rewarded me with many great questions and observations that have helped me reflect on my own journey.
For more pics and in-depth stories about my adventures, ‘”like” my Facebook page. I’ll share more soon. In the meantime, thanks for reading and please keep coming back!