Project: Alpine Vale was a code name used by Jonny Eden and I (Andrew Costain) for a project that took us out of our home town of Christchurch, New Zealand and into the rugged mountain range of Craigieburn. The goals were simple, get out of the city, scope some new spots, build some epic features and shred bikes.
It all started at the end of 2017 when we headed out to a known snowboard spot that we had built some jumps a few years back. They were run down and very dated with there flat takeoffs. We wanted to get more air! So we took them from the old school into the new.
Taller, Steeper, More Hectic!
Over the years of building features, Jonny and I have always found we work well together and think alike, so it makes for fun times, dope music, especially during the build and test phase.
The project came along nicely as we built a big hip with a few other features and we were starting to get amped! But the combination of wet winter weather and Jonny going to Canada meant we had to put the project on hold and we had to wait till next summer.
Fortunately, the winter flew as you'd expect with Jonny riding world-class trails in Whistler and I kept myself busy filming drift cars and other projects. However, as fast as winter went by, the moment Jonny returned, we were straight back up into the alpine to re-evaluate the situation on the hip and see how a winter of neglect had treated the spot.
Luckily winter wasn't too harsh, and we were back in action within half a day of digging. It was time to have a test the jumps we had built. After testing was all done and we were beginning to feel super pumped on what we had made, we knew it was time to get a few of the boys involved for a film session, and to document the progress for a future magazine article.
Not many of the lads seemed too keen on the size of the jumps, but one dude we can always count on to step up to the plate is Christchurch local and Blaze Tech team member Billy Meaclem.
With Billy and Jonny steeping up to be the feature riders in this project I knew we were in good hands and the feature was going to be something special.
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Some words from Simon Makker ( Photographer )
When I first heard the Blazetech crew was working on resurrecting an old jump in the Canterbury high country I was instantly intrigued. The spot has some neat history and to see what Andrew and Jonny built was pretty impressive. Not only did they bring the old jump into the new-school, they added another right-hand hip on the other side of the gully to complement it perfectly.
Watching Jonny and Billy get wild on the big step-down booster was pretty spectacular. Jonny’s got a reputation for going bigger and higher than anyone, while Billy just oozes style and talent. The two days I spent out there shooting were really memorable and I was stoked with the final results that’ll appear in a magazine article very soon. Stay tuned...
Photos By Simon Makker and Nick Davies
Video By Andrew Costain - Blaze Tech Media
Huge Thanks to everyone involved in this Project. Jonny Eden, Billy Meaclem, Simon Makker, Nick Davies, Sarah Walter and Jack Mcdougall, Team BlazeTech and all the homies that help us create things in New Zealand