When senselessness becomes art – Nicolas Falquet

The best ‘freeski’ shot using GoPro – (Versión en castellano a continuación de la anglosajona).

Believers in deities claim that the “ways of the Lord are inscrutable”; but it seems that the deeds of some of their “children” do not always end up behind them. In the search for the best ‘ski lines’ ever achieved, so far we have not found anything that exceeds the next happening. For a time it was naively labeled as being made from the top… -or one of the highest ridges- …of the ‘Cervino’ (Matterhorn) by a group of Facebook users; specifically so it was refered in the account ‘I love Switzerland‘; a fact that is far from being true, as we will conclude next; although the really important thing besides the line in itself, is the unbeatable adaptation of the GoPro camera located just over a meter away from the skier’s helmet. Such details make this video becomes an event to go down in history.

Despite how was stated in the headlines of some specialized media, in its day it was never clear to us that this downhill took place from the very top of the ‘Matterhorn’; not even in any of the nooks, needles or corridors of its slopes or edges; we know the area enough to be able to assure that the aspect of the environement appreciated in the filming did not fit the characteristics of that inaccessible vertex; an ungraspable needle even to be trodden on foot; in spite of everything, it was irrefutable to conclude that we were facing one of the most dangerous, difficult, spectacular and at the same time beautiful feats ever achieved by an elite athlete in the history of extreme sports. And, by the way, we recommend not to miss the comments of the users at the foot of this document, in YouTube.

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A video imported from ‘GoPro World‘ YouTube channel

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La mejor captura de línea de freeski mediante GoPro

Los creyentes en deidades alegan que los “caminos del señor son inescrutables”; pero parece ser que las hazañas de algunos de sus “hijos” no siempre acaban a la zaga de aquéllos. En la búsqueda de las mejores ‘líneas de esquí’ jamás logradas, hasta el momento no hemos encontrado nada que supere al siguiente trazado. Durante un tiempo fue ingenuamente tildado por un grupo de usuarios de Facebook como realizado desde la cima… -o una de las crestas más altas- …del ‘Cervino’ (‘Matterhorn‘); en concreto, así se clamaba desde la cuenta I love Switzerland‘; un hecho que dista mucho de ser verídico tal y como concluiremos seguidamente; aunque lo verdaderamente relevante … -además de la trazada en sí- …es la inmejorable adecuación de la cámara GoPro ubicada a algo más de un metro de distancia del casco del esquiador; tales detalles hacen de esta toma un evento para pasar a la historia.

A pesar de lo indicado en los titulares de algunos medios especializados, en su día jamás nos quedó claro que este recorrido se efectuara desde la cima misma del ‘Matterhorn’; ni siquiera en cualquiera de los recovecos, agujas o corredores de sus vertientes o aristas; conocemos la zona lo suficiente como para poder asegurar que el aspecto del área que se apreciaba en la filmación no reunía las características propias de aquel vértice inaccesible; una aguja intratable incluso para ser hollada a pie; pese a todo resultaba irrefutable concluir que estábamos ante una de las gestas más peligrosas, difíciles, espectaculares y a la vez hermosas jamás logradas por un atleta de élite en la historia de los deportes extremos. Y por cierto, recomendamos no se pierdan los comentarios de los usuarios a pie del documento anterior, en YouTube.

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Nicolas Falquet on his mood

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The making of… – (Versión en castellano a continuación).

In order to get out of doubts definitely, in the next video imported from the ‘MAMMUT‘ YouTube channel it is explicitly referred that the impressive filming was recorded near the place where Falquet lives; a little swiss village at Valais called Les Marécottes. In fact, that’s also indicated in his Instagram account.

In the same document Falquet tells us the secret of the singular anchoring procedure of his camera; an artifact designed to capture the totality of the movements of his body in the evolutions made along the descents by the mountain. Not only that, he also explains the curious device designed to capture the face while skiing; a system that he had the opportunity to test during the filming of his ski sequences in Japan.

In addition to this, the mystery of obtaining planes in circular paths around the skier is also revealed to us; an issue that certainly had even more intrigued to many professionals or amateur cameramen of ski and snow sequences. In this way Falquet is one of the few that gives us the opportunity to show the closest approach of the skier while he makes one of those incredible backflips (backward somersaults).

Definitely, it was a certainly risky descent though beautiful at the same time; however it wasn’t done in the Matterhorn but on one of the crags of the massif of Le Luisin (2786 meters); a peak located in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland; very near the town where Falquet lives. Thus, it might be assumed that he knew the topography like the palm of his own hand; a fact that, by the way, does not detract from his merit.

It was nominated as ‘GoPro line of the 2016 winter’; thus, as it was told in this article of 7sky.life web magazine:

“…maybe the steepest and crazyest line ever filmed with a Gopro. A line which has been visionned more than 15 million times. This is rad!”

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Very interesting ‘making of’ video imported from ‘MAMMUT‘ YouTube channel

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[ Publicado el 22 feb. 2017 – Nico Falquet is known for exceptional ski film projects. In our second episode of ‘How Do You’ he reveals his secret techniques of filming himself while skiing to create the best and most impressive shots. Two years ago, Nico Falquet filmed a classic line above his hometown Les Marécottes in the Swiss Alps, which went viral and also was traded as a descent of the Matterhorn. Even though it was not, we agree that this viewpoint is worth another look. Nico mounted the camera in a way that he could show us how sketchy and steep the face was. ]

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El ‘cómo se hizo’

Para salir definitivamente de dudas al respecto, en el vídeo anterior importado del canal YouTube ‘MAMMUT se refiere explícitamente que aquella impresionante toma fue capturada cerca del lugar donde vive Falquet; una pequeña villa suiza del Valais llamada Les Marécottes. De hecho, así venía referido inicialmente en su cuenta de Instagram.

En el mismo documento Falquet nos comenta el secreto del singular procedimiento de anclaje de su cámara; un ingenio ideado para captar la totalidad de los movimientos de su cuerpo en las evoluciones efectuadas a lo largo de los descensos por la montaña. No solo ello, igualmente nos explica el curioso dispositivo ideado para obtener capturas del rostro mientras se esquía; un sistema que tuvo ocasión de probar durante el rodaje de sus secuencias de esquí en Japón.

Además de ello, también allí se nos revela el misterio de la obtención de planos en trayecto circular alrededor del esquiador; un asunto que tenía ciertamente aún más intrigados a más de un profesional o aficionado a la grabación de secuencias de esquí y de nieve. De este modo Falquet es de los pocos que nos brinda la posibilidad de mostrarnos el más cercano punto de enfoque del acróbata mientras efectúa uno de esos increíbles backflips (saltos mortales hacia atrás).

En definitiva, la línea trazada en Les Marécottes conformó un descenso absolutamente arriesgado a la vez de bellísimo, aunque en realidad fue registrado en uno de los riscos del macizo de Le Luisin, de 2786 metros, ubicado en el cantón suizo de Valais; muy próximo a las inmediaciones del pueblo donde residen los Falquet. Esto hace presuponer que se tendría que conocer el terreno casi como la palma de su mano, lo cual, dicho sea de paso, no le resta ningún mérito.

Su trayecto fue nominado ‘GoPro line’ del invierno 2015′; por lo tanto, como se aduce en un artículo dedicado al respecto en la web 7sky.life:

“… tal vez la línea más empinada y loca filmada con un GoPro. Una trazada que ha sido visionada más de 15 millones de veces. ¡Genial!”

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Nicolas Falquet, before descending Le Luisin (2780 m.) at Valais, Switzerland

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Summit and corridor at Le Luisin (2786 m.). Valais, Switzerland.

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Nicolas Falquet – Interviews

Before I pay for a helicopter, I would rather spend my money on a few more film roles!’ – (Nicolas Falquet). – Interview at eoft.eu

[ Nicolas & Loris Falquet (“Huck & Chuck“) have been shooting skiing films for ten years. Their last work “Nomads“ first appeared on the internet and has now made the jump to the big screen by being shown at the E.O.F.T. We have talked to Nicolas about the movie.

Q – You have already been doing skiing films for quite a while. What has changed in the scene over all these years?

A – Even though the skis themselves look very different nowadays, the sport itself hasn’t changed that much. Guys are still doing the same jumps – maybe with a new twist here and there. The actual revolution happened on the internet. It allows you to just look at everyone and everything. This has had a bad impact on the quality of the movies. It is hard to tell whether they have been done well and professionally. But the sponsors are happy with it. It has become more difficult to finance a really good and professional project. We still shoot with 16-mm films. Of course you can also do good, funny and crazy things with small budgets, but generally, the result is total crap.

Q – In one scene, you blow up an avalanche with a hand grenade. Do you always bring hand grenades with you when you go on ski tours?

A – Of course the hand grenade thing was all fake. We were just looking for a crazy and fun scene for a movie and we had just shot a scene with a helicopter that had dropped bombs over a skiing area. Then we suddenly thought of the hand grenade and we just edited the explosion of a real bomb to go together with us throwing the plastic grenade. I didn’t find the timing to be quite perfect but most people didn’t notice it! They thought I bought the grenade on eBay. As if you could just buy such a thing and throw it around. That was the moment when I realized how much power you have spreading something over the internet or TV. Everything people see there, they consider to be real.

Q – What do you think about Heliskiing?

A – During the whole production phase, we only used a helicopter once. The rest of the time, we always walked up all the mountains. This is very convenient in the Alps since everything is so close together and the climbs are quite easy. Of course, you gotta be careful when it’s really steep. But people have been going on ski tours more and more. Besides that- let’s be honest – heliskiing is extremely expensive. And before I pay for a helicopter, I rather spend my money on a few more film roles!

Q – Who did you work with?

A – It was the same people again that we had already worked with 13 years ago. Guido Perrini and Miriam Hadik, who is actually a photographer and who started filming a few years ago. Loris and I were also shooting a lot of it on our own. The budget for the project was very small and it was a real challenge to keep up our level of quality. ]

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“Fifteen years ago, I decided to film my sport and be as original as possible!” – Interview at Mammut – 23-5-2017

[ Q – What got you into freeriding?

A – First of all, I’ve been skiing for 30 years and I like that. The second aspect is that I’m able to combine two of my favorite activities in one incredible job!

Q – What are your dreams and goals?

A – I would like to share my experience with the younger generation. Our sport is more and more popular. This is all about fun and inspiration and I’ll continue to put wood on this fire till I have energy for that. …/… ]

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Nicolas and Loris Falquet (aka Huck and Chuck) promoting the Woodspirit skis brand

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Erroneous headlines about his viral video of the false “descent of the Matterhorn”

[ Video of pro skier jumping off the edge of Matterhorn will make your palms sweaty – from timeout.com

Watch the amazing footage of professional skier Nicolas Falquet navigating along a cliff edge and skiing down the Matterhorn – By Vin Shahrestani Posted: Friday March 11 2016

…/… Harrowing footage shot by professional skier Nicolas Falquet shows him precariously navigating along the Matterhorn’s high altitude cliff edge in order to find a spot to ski down from. …/… (etc. etc. …). ]

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More fake headlines – (Titulares falsos)

Alltop (posted by Kate Rinsema)

Gfycat (posted by Richard Rabbat)

I love Switzerland Facebook (still with no corrections in their entries)

Teton Gravity Research (even this prestigious extreme sports films company still has the wrong headline in its web site, which is really dissapointing).

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Real headlines – (Titulares correctos)

Un skieur sur le Cervin ? La vidéo qui fait le buzz est trompeuse  – Le Nouvelliste (Suisse – Valais – Martigny – Canton – Chablais)

  Coraggio o incoscienza? Lo sci estremo del freerider svizzero –  Corriere TV (Italy)

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Nicolas-Falquet-1

Nicolas Falquet

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Nomads #3 – Extreme skiing in Les Marécottes – Esquiadores extremos en Les Marécottes.

Para finalizar este post debemos incluir esta gran secuencia del film ‘Nomads’ grabada por Nicolas y Loris Falquet en Les Marécottes; un rodaje en el que colabora con ellos el también gran especialista suizo en esquí extremo, Jeremie Heitz; el video está importado de la cuenta de Loris en YouTube, ‘Loris Falquet‘.

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Conclusiones

Hacía tiempo que decidimos enfocarnos en la redacción de un artículo a la medida de este personaje singular y denodado y ya estábamos tardando. Tal y como reza a pie del vídeo de su ‘making of’ Nico Falquet ha venido siendo ampliamente conocido en el ámbito del esquí extremo profesional y en el del freeride por sus espectaculares producciones de filmes de esquí. En dicha entrevista es donde tuvo el detalle de revelarnos sus técnicas personales para grabarse a sí mismo mientras esquía a fin de lograr las tomas más impactantes.

Fue en marzo de 2015 cuando las puso en práctica en aquel risco del pico Le Luisin, en su villa natal de Les Marécottes, en los Alpes suizos, resultando que aquel experimento se hizo viral en la red, aun cuando erróneamente se le ubicó en el Matterhorn; un asunto que merecería un análisis aparte acerca de cómo funcionan algunas redes sociales alimentadas por voceras inexpertos; lo sobresaliente de esta  historia… -además de haber logrado salir elegantemente ileso del aquel trance- …es que mediante semejante procedimiento se consiguió el registro del evento desde un enfoque de cámara inédito hasta la fecha, por cuanto a la vez de que nos mostraba su evolución por aquella pared quedaba en explícita evidencia la verticalidad e inclinación de ésta.

A nuestro juicio, además de enfocarse en el diseño de esquís íntegramente construidos con madera debería patentar y ulteriormente comercializar también dicho artilugio-soporte. Brindamos por ello.

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Nicolas-Falquet-Wood-skis-spot-2

Nicolas Falquet – Woodspirit skis publicity

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Referenced links

Nico Falquet Instagram

lineofthewinter.com

 theinertia.com

eoft.eu

timeout.com

Mammut blog

Woodspirit skis

7sky.life

Nicolas and Loris Falquet on Vimeo

Red Bull interviews to Falquet brothers

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