Urban mission in Eastern Europe
Earlier this winter, four skiers -- Tim McChesney, Etienne Mrel, Tom Granier, and Daniel Hanka -- adventured in a rental van on a street skiing trip from Prague, Czech Republic, through Warsaw, Poland, and Krakow, Poland. Here, Mrel films McChesney gapping the second down part to flat of a quad kink handrail on the outskirts of a park in Warsaw.
Pulling double duty, Mrel, 25, both skis and films for Faction Skis. When he's not living and skiing in Grenoble, France, his work this season brought him to Jackson Hole, Breckenridge and Warsaw, where he's pictured here 270ing this down flat down rail.
McChesney, 25, films annually with both Level 1 Productions and 4bi9 Media and is one skier to keep your eye on this fall. Here he 270s this double kink in Krakow. During the session, Poles of all ages stopped to watch, snap photos or say hello. One man complained of snow on the stairs, but appreciated McChesney's show nonetheless.
The weather in Eastern Europe turned warm, melting snow into sticky rails. Mrel, never one to quit and always the hustler, hopped in his car, later returning with wax to slicken up this rail with McChesney.
This rail is the first street feature Daniel Hanka ever attempted. He hails from a 1,000-person village in the Czech Republic. Hanka, 23, spends his time in the snow park at Destne in the Eagle Mountains, honing his rails skills and pushing the Czech freeskiing scene.
"What does a fish say when it runs into a wall?" asks Hanka walking up steps after a failed attempt to land his trick. He waits a moment. Hanka sighs, stares at the rail, smiles and answers his own question. "Dam."
What does a journalist do on a street skiing trip? Shovel stairs, yank back a bungy or run the winch. Here, writer Mike Rogge readies to operate a kick-start, throttle-driven winch for McChesney as the sun sets in a Warsaw housing project.
Going For Krakow
Street skiing is a team sport with every member pitching in to help another. After shoveling and pulling back bungies for McChesney and Mrel, Hanka and Granier get their turn on this 78-foot down flat round rail in Krakow, Poland.
Tom Granier, 19, slides the 78-foot-long rail during the last moments of daylight. Unlike in North America, Eastern European law enforcement was much more relaxed. Before this feature, a couple of police officers stood across the street for two hours watching the crew go to work on this Polish park.
Street skiing crews operate on strange hours. The crew consisted of four skiers, one cinematographer and one photographer. With a group that size, hostels are the easiest and most affordable places to stay. Here, they kick back in the Newspaper Room at the Oki Doki Hostel in Warsaw, Poland, which had travelers from places like France, Mexico, Scotland and a lively bartender who, when asked multiple times where he came from, answered with only, "My mother."