January 28, 2014

Francesca Pavillard-Cain Checks in After Chamonix FWT


Our friend Francesca took an unfortunate fall in her first ever FWT at Chamonix this last weekend.  No worries, though, she’s skiing pow in Switzerland getting ready for her next competition at Fieberbrunn in Austria this coming weekend.  Check out these snippets from her blog, make sure to visit it yourself for more photos.

Words and Photos by Francesca Pavillard-Cain

Francesca with tour vets Crystal Wright and Lorraine Huber at the bib draw.

Francesca with tour vets Crystal Wright and Lorraine Huber at the bib draw.

WOW, what an experience. After years and years of competing I thought that I knew the drill. Competing on the first stop of the Freeride World Tour in Chamonix was a whole new experience. After paying my way into all of my events I finally am at the last step. It’s so exciting to have my bib with my name on it, free lift tickets, a free Go Pro to capture my run, brand new binoculars to inspect the face, free lodging at a beautiful hotel, not to mention the free massages and chiropractor.

Perhaps the best part is all the people. From competitors to workers to logistic directors to judges everyone has been so supportive. I feel so lucky to have some of the best skiers and riders around showing me the ropes. Seeing as these are my first visual inspections I have so much learn from everyone. I would love to thank Crystal Wright, Lorraine Huber, and Laura Dewey for taking the youngest skiers under their wing and showing me how it’s done!

The typical extreme Euro hike.

The typical extreme Euro hike.

The night before we competed we signed autographs and had the official bib drawing in the center of beautiful Chamonix. I slept well until about 5am when I promptly woke up completely nervous. It was the first time I got sick before a competition. We had a typical European extreme hike.

My nerves were so intense that I was almost dazed before my run. Although I fell pretty early in my run I felt good for the top section and very happy that I was able to find my way even with my inexperience of visual inspection. I also got the first time jitters out of the way and I am ready to crush it in Austria. My full run is here:

FWT14 – Francesca Pavillard-­Cain – Chamonix… by FreerideWorldTourTV

Taking in Chamonix.

Taking in Chamonix.

Unfortunately I lost a pole, which took some time for me to hike up and get, and I had to ski the rest of my run with my goggles off because they were packed with snow. Although the snow conditions were a bit tricky, wind blown, it was good snow! You can watch the highlights of the event and some brief slow-mo of my crash at 1:58 here.

Of course none of this would be possible without Western State Colorado University, Western Mountain Sports, Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation, AIARE, Haber Vision, Mountain Hardwear, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Rossignol, and

Visit Fran’s blog for more photos!

About the Author

2. Will Dujardin
Will Dujardin is our content editor at West Elk Project. He competes in big mountain competitions and coaches the Crested Butte Mountain Sports Team. Skiing is his life and he likes to mix it with other fun things like DH mountain biking and traveling.