by Izzy Lynch
From honouring one of Mica’s 10 year returning guests to having three female snowboarding stars take over the lodge for four days, the month of March has been a busy one at Mica Heliskiing!
March 6th – 10th 2015 marked the second trip of the season for professional snowboarders Marie-France Roy and Leanne Pelosi. The first took place in January, when they hit up some of our favourite pillow zones like Pillow Talk and Hanging Garden to get shots for Full Moon, a film project that is set to release in Fall 2016.
After spending five days filming in Mica’s terrain, the girls had captivated the other guests at the lodge with their infectious energy and excitement about visiting one of their dream destinations.
[Marie-France in Pillow Talk while filming for Full Moon Film in January. Photo: Robin O'Neill]
"We had seen so many breathtaking pictures of that place over the years, and Leanne always had Mica as a dream destination. Once we arrived, it was even better than we had imagined! It went so much further beyond our expectations. We have been manifesting other opportunities to get back!" said Marie-France Roy shortly after their January shoot.
Low and behold, two months later a friend they had made while filming at Mica called them up and offered a few last minute spots that had come available on a tour he had booked in March.
“This is a dream” said Leanne as they girls returned to the lodge with another one of their best friends and fellow riders Annie Boulanger.
The March trip delivered with great stability and fresh snow. Dressed to the nines in retro outfits, the ladies inspired the guest audience by shredding each run with amazing style. (And slashing as many skiers as they could along the way)
[Leanne getting her daily slash. Photo: Kent Vertrees]
To find out more about their project and what they thought of the Mica experience, I caught up with Marie and Leanne. Riding high after the great success of her recent film The Little Things and a number of accolades in the snowsports industry including three Transworld Snow awards; Women's Video Part Of The Year, Women's Rider Of The Year and the Climate Activist Award Presented By Protect Our Winters, Marie could not be more excited to be living her dream as a professional snowboarder and filming with some of her closest friends. This is the third film Leanne has produced and she is ecstatic to be joining creative forces with such talented crew of riders. "This is a passion project, and I hope we nail it."
What inspired the Full Moon film?
Leanne: I've always wanted to get a dream team together. The stars aligned this year and it's time to showcase a story that hopefully can inspire the next generation to get outside. It just seemed like all the women who are a part of this film wanted to do it, so here we are with an insane lineup of riders. We had a meeting at the beginning of the season and came up with the name "Full Moon" because we were joking that this type of crew would only ever get together on a full moon!
I'm hoping to connect the past present and future of women's snowboarding. We are focusing on a very specific crew of talented riders in the backcountry, and hopefully though this we can inspire more girls to join us out there!
Who is involved with it and what can we expect to see?
MFR: You can expect a lot of rad footage from our heroes like Tara Dakides, Barrett Christy, Victoria Jealouse, Natasza Zurek... along with some present riding from Leanne, myself, Robin Van Gyn, Annie Boulanger, Helen Schettini, Jamie Anderson and more.
Leanne: We can expect to see more of a crew dynamic/ documentary approach. There won't be specific rider segments, we really just want to showcase what snowboarding is... it's not about one person. Our crew is riding together throughout the next two seasons and there definitely an amazing camaraderie that we have. There s a general theme that will encompass the film and I hope it inspired others to get outside to do what they love.
What do you gain from riding with other women?
MFR: I enjoy riding with these girls because we are at a point where we know each other really well now and know how to push each other while having the best time ever as friends. It's amazing.
Leanne: My motivation comes from within, whether I'm riding with women or men, it doesn't matter. However, when I see women pushing their boundaries I am extremely inspired.
What is your riding style?
MFR: I like to bring freestyle into a freeride environment.
Leanne: I like to snowboard on things that are in it's natural state. My favourite type of riding is seeing creative features in the backcountry and then figuring out how to ride it. I prefer not to ever build cheese wedges!
How did your riding style suit the terrain at Mica?
MFR: Mica has the best terrain I have ever seen in my whole life! Especially if you love pillows or simply amazing tree riding. It's mind blowing what this place has to offer, not to mention the beautiful lodge and gourmet cuisine. It would take years to actually ride all the amazing terrain!
Leanne: I love the pillows there. They're world class and I've been eyeing some footage over the last few years and have dreamt about one day going there. Now that I've had a taste of what Mica offers, I have to find a way to go back every year forever!
Did Mica live up to your expectations?
Leanne: The pillows were beyond amazing, not only the terrain but the insane brand new lodge exceeded any expectations. The lodge staff was also extremely down to earth and really really fun. It’s all about the little things, and one of the coolest things about Mica was that they had world’s biggest tickle trunk. We made use of that quite a few days :)
[Marie-France and Leanne after a successful shoot in January. Photo: Robin O'Neill]
[Leanne milking the March pow. Photo: Kent Vertrees]
Keep your eyes peeled for these women as they manifest their dreams and take the snowboarding world by storm with @fullmoonfilm.