April 20th, 2013
As skiers, we have the opportunity to experience authentic cultures,
NAME: JP Auclair
D.O.B: 22/08/77 Québec City
SUMMER HOME: Québec City
WINTER HOME: Zurich, Switzerland
SPONSORS: ARMADA Skis & Outerwear, Oakley eyewear, Giro helmets, Fresh Sports, BCA, SnowparkNZ, Petzel
YEARS WITH ARMADA: Since 11.01.02
WEBSITE: www.jpauclair.com(coming soon) and www.alpineinitiatives.org
HOW ARE THINGS JP?
I’m really good, just chilling in Switzerland, working on ski graphics, trying to rejuvenate in the summer time and climbing as much as possible. I go to the bouldering gym in town and it’s a perfect few hour activity during the middle of the day. I found a partner who’s willing to climb with me and take me on bigger climbs, which is awesome. It’s pretty rare to find someone who’s willing to drag you around, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing, so it’s sweet.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CLIMB YOU’VE EVER DONE?
Just a couple weeks ago, it was by far the biggest. It was like a 14 pitch route called Rialto in the mountains close to Zurich, just north west of here. It was gnarly, definitely at my limit right now. It wasn’t necessarily a big hard climb, but where I’m at right now, it was pretty big. There was one point where my buddy looked at me and I was green. For me, I’m not very good at it. So it’s kind like if I couldn’t ski and you brought me to a slope that’s too hard for me. Also, it’s physically hard too. The climb we did took 8 hours.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU’VE DONE ALL YEAR?
That’s a pretty good question. The coolest thing I did all year was generally going out to keep learning about mountaineering and the time that I got to spend in Chamonix. When I went with Andreas Fransson for a couple weeks this winter, it was really fun too. All that stuff is the best, just learning all over again. It’s like a whole new sport that I discovered at age 35, so it’s pretty sweet.
ARE YOU GOING TO DIVE INTO THAT MORE?
I already dove. I’m deep in already. I’m in Zurich right now, trying to soak everything up, I go to the mountains any chance I get and I’m basically trying to make the best out of every opportunity. I went paragliding a couple weeks ago. It was part of my euro experience trip. It was a weeklong initiation that was insane. It was my first solo flights in my life, just hanging out in the air. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to go on a mellow take off, like a steep hill you can run down, and then you’re off. I couldn’t believe they were sending us in the air like they did, I thought they would make us have days of practice and going tandem with an instructor, but on the the second flight, they were sending us off.
HOW WAS AFRICA THIS SUMMER?
It was great. We started a new project and we’re building a cottage for visitors and tourists to go on ecotourism trips to Africa. It’s the type of trip where you go for 10 days, do a 3-day safari, then hang out 4-5 days at the orphanage so you have a bit more local culture in your experience. That’s the idea behind it at least. So we started construction when we were there. It was good to see the kids, catch up with friends, and do some manual labor.
WHEN YOU GO TO AFRICA DO YOU SEE THE SAME GROUP OF KIDS EVERY TIME?
Yeah, we’re really focused on the long term, sustainability plan and that takes forever basically. So it’s a very long process. I personally don’t do different trips other than that one, because I have built relationships with certain people and its good to keep those up. Every time I go it’s pretty sick. We stay in the same spot and we get to see the same kids every time. There were a few kids that were not at the orphanage, because a lot of them go to boarding school, so I try to visit their school to say what’s up and see how the progression has gone and see how everyone is doing.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WERE CHALLENGING COMING BACK FROM AFRICA?
The problems are so different. I think the degree of happiness and despair are the same – but what causes the joy or despair is a completely different scale. Whenever I would get back home and feel frustrated with something, I had a hard time adjusting to that. I had a hard time adjusting to the quantities in life. We set our lives up a certain way and it’s crazy when you abandon that for a period of time. It starts to feel foreign to you. But it’s good to figure out some things in your life for sure.
IF YOU HAD A 10-YEAR DREAM FOR ALPINE INITIATIVES WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A 10 year dream for A.I. would be turning it into a massive platform in the snowsports community that everybody knows about, that companies are happy to support, and turn it into the go-to place for people to be involved in the world. That would be awesome.
10 YEARS AGO, WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR LONGTIME SPONSOR AND HELP START ARMADA?
We basically had a lot of energy and a lot of ideas that we want to put into the sport at the time. In the early years, 97, 98, things were moving super fast and it was awesome. It seems like once the 1080 got launched, companies stopped putting effort into product development and we still want to go full steam ahead. We felt like we didn’t really have an outlet for our energy, ideas, and creativity at the time, so talking to the other athletes, we realized that a lot of people felt the same way. One thing lead to another, and we ended up creating Armada for all our creative energy. Every summer, I would start my summer at Poor Boyz working on my segment, then make my way down to the Armada HQ and work on marketing, product development, and any other ideas we had. It was a really fun time. I would sleep on the couch in the office, wake up when everyone else came to work, and start my day.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO YOUR STREET SKIING VIDEO?
It was crazy! I didn’t think it would receive that many views. I was glued to my computer for the first 48 hours just watching the view-count go up. I guess it’s just with time too. Maybe in 10 years, 1 million views will be completely standard. Back that 1,000 views was 1 million.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE YOUR LAST MEAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’ll have a pizza from this spot in Munich. I’m basically on the lookout for the best pizza in the world. I assume it has to be Italy, but a lot of people are claiming New York. I haven’t gone to the best spots yet, but I have a list of places to go.
• Urban segment from “All I Can” Receives 1.3 million views
• Helped edit “All I Can” with Sherpas Cinema
• Avalanche Operations Level One certification through the Canadian Avalanche • Association, Ptarmigan, BC
• 2nd Place Red Bull Line Catcher, La Plagne, France
• 1st Place People’s choice, Red Bull Cold Rush, Retallack, BC
• 2nd Place Red Bull Cold Rush, Retallack, BC
• 3rd Place Red Bull Cold Rush, Red Mt., BC
• Co-founder of Alpine Initiatives
• Best Editing and Best Film: IF3′s Newschoolers awards
• Movie of the Year: Powder Magazine Video Awards
• Best Core Film: X Dance action sports film festival
• Associate Producer, Editor and Art Director for Poorboyz productions’ Reasons
• Nominated for Best Male Performance at the Powder Magazine Video Awards
• Winner for Best P.O.V. at the Powder Magazine Video Awards
• Co-Founder of ARMADA
•Nominated for skier of the year at the ESPN Action Sports and Music Awards, Los Angeles, 2001
• Nominated for Skier of the year in at the NEA awards, Munich-Germany
• Voted best segment for video The Game
• 2nd Place, US Open, Slopestyle Vail, Colorado
• 2nd Place, Johnny Moseley Invitational, Skier-X/Big Air Combined, Breckenridge, Colorado
• Helped Salomon launch the 1080 ski
• 1st Place, King of the Hill, Half Pipe/Quarter Pipe/Skier-X Combined, Ricksgrensen
• 2nd Place, US Open, Slopestyle Vail, Colorado
• 1st Place, US Open, Big Air, Vail, Colorado
• Started to film with Poor Boyz Productions movies since 1997
‘Degenerates’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Freeriders’ – Wanner Miller
‘Sick Sense’ – Matchstick Productions
’13′ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Area 51′ – Teton Gravity Research
‘Fifty’ – Warren Miller
‘Global Storming’ – Matchstick Productions
‘The Game’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Ski Movie’ – Matchstick Productions
‘There’s Something About McConkey” – Matchstick Productions
‘Further’ – Teton Gravity Research
‘Cold Fusion: Power of Snow – Warren Miller
‘Propaganda’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Happy Dayz’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Storm’ – Warren Miller
‘Session 1242′ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘x = 10′ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘War’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Ski Porn’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Yeah Dude’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Reasons’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Everyday is a Saturday’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘Revolver’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘All I Can’ – Sherpa Productions
‘The Grand Bizarre’ – Poor Boyz Productions
‘The Ordinary Skier’ – 1242 Productions