Maël Ollivier, Elan's ambassador, has made it his mission this winter to reunite the team of friends that launched the Local Freedom. Maël is known for developing interesting projects that combine his passion for skiing, other sports, meeting friends and exploring his home landscape. This time he came up with the idea of exploring a completely protected area: the Mercantour National Park. The whole crew set out on a three-day tour with about 4000m D+ and more than 40km.
Born and raised in Val d'Allos in the Southern Alps of France, Maël competes on the Freeride World tour and enjoys every single day outside on the slopes.
He quit the discipline for something more fun; freestyle skiing. He knew he always enjoyed powder days and Freeride experiences, so he made a comeback to competition on the FWQ circuit. In 2020 he won the overall FWQ and qualified for the Freeride World Tour which only selects the 24 best freeskiers in the world.
His best results were in 2021 with a 2nd place at the Freeride World Tour Andorra's stop and thanks to a strong early season, he was leading the tour (yellow bib) at mid-season.
Now at the age of 27, he is happy to reach that goal and claim his place beside the best skiers in the World. He still enjoys every single day of skiing, spending most of his time at his home mountain of Val d'Allos with friends, but still travels the world in search of great skiing with friends.
It's #AlwaysGoodTimes to be on skis!
MERCANTOUR SKI RAID
From their home, La Foux d'Allos, they headed straight to Mercantour Park (Grand Cheval de Bois), where the crew spent the night in a mini-hut with nothing more than a wood-burning stove.
The longest stage with more than 15 km touring. Mael and his friends were surrounded by the highest peaks of the Southern Alps Mt Pelat, Cimet.
Time to go home. The crew headed for the heart of Mercantour Park above the famous Allos Lake. Unpredictable situations happen. One of the skiers had to abandon the project. Who was?
Directed by Maël Ollivier
Video by Solid Rusk, Julien Geay
Editing: Mael Ollivier
Photography by Eliott Nicot
Skiers: Maël Ollivier, Pascal Follen, Fred Madiou, Julien Geay and Eliott Nicot
GEAR USED BY MAËL AND CREW
The team opted for the Ripstick Tour collection, with the exception of Julien Geay, who skied on Ripstick 96. Maël and Pascal used Glen Plake's signature model - Ripstick Tour 104. As Maël said, "They are like a best friend for this kind of adventure." Eliott used a lighter model: the Ripstick Tour 94. He wanted to be able to move faster to take photos of the crew. All the skiers were also equipped with Elan skins.