Words, images and luck by Jackson Shapiera Photo captions by Hop Part One - Life is heaven [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Swiss Alps [/caption] We are at that part of the European Tour where we enter the Alps and disconnect from the real world for 2 or 3 days and skate some of the most amazing roads in the world. However before we get too far into it I'm just going to share with you what we managed to sneak, while I have some connection to the real world. Just outside of Luzern we stopped at this spot in a beautiful valley, and rode a gondola to the top of a narrow as hell, steep as shit, windy and curvy road that went through the forest and then opened up into 8 back to back hairpins followed by long drops through the town. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Epic run near Luzern[/caption] The run finishes right back to the gondola to ride back up. There's not much I can say about it right now except...RAD. It was just straight up rad. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Patrick Switzer in the gondola, can he be beaten at Padova and if he becomes World Cup Champion will his wheels mysteriously change colour to green in 2012?[/caption] Anywho, I'm off to get lost in the mountains and skate some epic shit, and sleep in the grass at the top of the hill. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] Jacko ... no caption required[/caption] Part Two - the opposite of lucky is... Well... the Van died... fuck.... We got to Susten Pass yesterday arvo, got 3 runs in then called it a day as the sun was setting and got a feed. In the morning we had the biggest fail ever... went to start the van, but it wouldnt start, and the battery light came on. Crap, we drained the battery. Next thing we thought of was to jump start the van, so we rolled it down this little pathway which was quite steep, but with no luck. So we tried again, and rolled it down further, still no luck. Got to the point where there was no road left and we had to call for help. Patrick went up to the road and tried to flag down a van as big as ours with a diesel engine to possibly give us a jump start. However it didnt take long to realise the chances of that happening are slim to none, so he went to the nearest emergency phone to call for a tow and fix. He came back and told us it would be at least half an hour, so I grabbed my board and hitched up to the top to take a run while we were waiting. By the time I got back down, the van was back up from the trail and working again, but something smelt REALLY bad. Turns out we were using the wrong key, which is why it wouldnt start. While I was out skating they eventually figured it out and got it started, but because the hill was so steep and there was no where to turn around, they had to reverse it up. With so much weight in the van, it totally killed the clutch. It was burnt and I could smell it from at least 50m away. So we got back on the road, then BAM a storm hits, no more skating... We decided to head to the next pass, but the clutch was hurting, badly. We got stuck in traffic and with a lot of stop-starting, the clutch in the van just totally died. As soon as we got past the traffic the clutch had failed and struggled to get us into gear. We altered our route and started heading to the nearest garage. As soon as we got there, and dropped gear to pull into the garage, BAM! the clutch blew... lucky for us we were all ready at the garage, as it started to piss down again. So right now the situation is we are holed up in a hotel somewhere near one of the sickest roads in Switzerland, but with no transport to get us there. Should have used the right key! The van will be fixed tomorrow afternoon and we will head on to Padova, which cuts short our tour of the Swiss Alps. At least I get to sleep in a bed tonight! cheers Jacko [Hop's notes] Epic Alp's tour stories brought to you by Orangatang Wheels and Sector 9 Downhill Division.