SOME QUESTIONS FOR ENZO AND BENOÎT
1. WHAT WAS THE GOAL OF THIS PROJECT FOR YOU? WHAT MESSAGE DID YOU WANT TO GET ACROSS?
The goal of the project was just to snowboard in the mountains outside of competitions.
Except that the only time of year I could try to make myself available is April. And in April there's not snow everywhere. I had to either
go up in altitude or in latitude. My knowledge of the high mountains is also way too limited to go on a trip alone. So I chose to go up in latitude. That's how I came across this place in Norway. Cycling and trains were the obvious options. Flying and hiring a car were out of the question.
Next, my ambition with this film was to prove to myself and to others that we can travel and live our dreams without destroying our ecosystem, , that we can live our dreams while remaining reasonable. I am deeply dismayed that eco-responsible behaviours are often equated with oppression (reducing our scope of action), and are motivated by fear and guilt. "You can't do this or that because it's destroying x, y and z..." Whereas I think (and I'm not alone) that the best way to get people to change their behaviour is to excite them, not make them afraid, because fear paralyses us whereas excitement motivates us. And there are plenty of arguments for getting people excited about changing their behaviour.
The goal of the film can be summed up like this: I wanted to show people that the environmental crisis we're in isn't synonymous with oppression but is an opportunity. An opportunity to ask ourselves certain questions, to change our values, change our dreams, change our habits, to discover and rediscover things we've forgotten about, or things we've never even dreamed of.
2. BENOÎT, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO WITH ENZO?
Because he asked me to, haha! Enzo and I have known each other forever. We grew up in the same valley, we were at school together (a couple of years apart) and we learned to snowboard at the same time. There was no reason for me to turn down this adventure!
3. WHY MAKE THINGS SO HARD FOR YOURSELVES? CYCLING OR SNOWBOARDING OR KAYAKING WEREN'T ENOUGH? HAHA
As I said, these were not obstacles but opportunities, only with the price of having to carry the kayak and the bike board!
Cycling and bivouacking were essential for me, because they allow me to feel close to the places I travel through and to have a lower impact (not only carbon but also noise). It's amazing to cross the countryside, discreetly and silently. It allows you to discover places as they really are.
Then I thought about taking a kayak, because this place in Norway is super famous for kayaking. When I heard that Decathlon could
potentially help us with this trip, I looked to see if they had a light and easy to carry kayak .... And bingo!
So we added kayaks to make the most of the Fjords.
And I wanted to snowboard... So everything put together, we end up with our final project :p.
4. WHICH MOMENT MADE THE BIGGEST IMPRESSION ON YOU?
Too hard to say... Because what's amazing about this kind of adventure, especially because of the fact that you're travelling by bike, is that sometimes the
simplest things, or things that might seem insignificant, turn into magical moments.
For example, the outside bends on a fjord: You can't see anything but the fjord, and you suddenly see the view once you're through
the bend. Each time, I had butterflies in my stomach before seeing a new view.
The night on the island, and the day when the weather was great (and there was only one) will of course always be magical moments!
The moments when we were setting up the camp also left a lasting impression on me, because they were moments when we were setting up our little
cocoon and were totally in tune with each other, every move was automatic and we knew what the other was doing too, it was our little daily routine.
5. WHICH PLACE LEFT THE BIGGEST IMPRESSION ON YOU?
The sunset over Nordkjosbotn!
I probably had one of the best days of my life that day, and it's because of moments like that I wanted to do this trip! The whole world made sense!
We spent the day of April 19th snowboarding from 8am to almost 11pm, and the craziest thing is that we didn't meet a single person! We were alone in the world, as if the mountain was ours alone! We made decisions on the fly depending on what we felt like, we took the time to enjoy the moment without thinking about what we were going to do later! And around 6 or 6:30pm Enzo said "what if we head over to the mountain opposite to watch the sunset? " it seemed crazy given how far it was, but time moves differently here! We climbed the mountain and the lighting was just crazy! The sun went down, the sky turned pink and we were totally alone again, it was brilliant! Then we rode down the hill, all pristine, in not so great spring snow, but it was the best ride of my life! We had it all: an incredible view, a good friend, snowboards on our feet, I didn't need anything else!
Even today when I watch the film on the big screen I get goosebumps!
6. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
We had lots of challenges, but when we left, we knew that we'd run into plenty, so when one came up we reacted quickly. None of our problems snowballed. Basically all the issues that come up were under control, so we didn't really have many big problems.
The only thing was when I got ill and hurt my head because I fell. Even though it was something that I knew could happen, it wasn't easy. Especially because I had a really bad headache for several days, my nose was bleeding twice a day: each time I got in or out of my sleeping bag. I think it was because of the quick change in temperature... And being in the sleeping bag was one of the rare moments of comfort, so it was kind of ruined by my nosebleeds…
7. DID YOU CALCULATE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF YOUR TRIP?
To respect the Paris agreements (less than 1.5°C warming) we need to emit a maximum of 2 tons of CO2 per person per year. We used 13% of this quota on transport in one month. We didn't calculate the supplies or our food purchases because it's too complicated. But we ate vegetarian
food, and the equipment we used like the bikes were sent back to Decathlon to be used on other adventures.
So this trip is sustainable with eco-friendly intentions! It's a small victory.
8. HOW MANY HOURS DID YOU SPEND ON THE TRAIN?
I didn't count the hours, I counted the days. It took us 3 days to get there and 3 to get back. Really the adventure had begun before we even put a foot on Norwegian soil!
9. HAS THIS TRIP CHANGED ANYTHING IN THE WAY YOU TRAVEL?
I think it has! Whether you like it or not, and despite the lack of comfort, it's a totally different way to travel where you travel slower and appreciate the scenery differently!
You earn every kilometre and every view, and that turns them into rewards. It's a lot more satisfying to travel like that!
It opens your eyes and puts everyday life into perspective. You see how lucky you are to be comfortable every day, whether that means a hot shower or a roof over your head when you sleep.