Road Gap noun. an opening through a mountain pass left by the passage of a snow plough, used by skiers and snowboarders in the ancient ritual of road-gap jumping. See: fakie 360, mute air, casualty department
The days are getting longer and young men’s thoughts are turning to… making giant leaps over a 10 meter high gap in the road on the mighty Galibier road pass. The Galibier links the northern and southern Alps, the Savoie and Province and is perhaps most famous for grueling battles between racers competing in the Tour de France.
Although jumping the gaps left by the ploughs clearing the winter snow’s from road passes has long been a popular pursuit of freeskiers (in the Apocalypse Snow series of films we even saw skiers jumping a railway line with a moving train) the events are largely unsanctioned and frowned upon by the authorities. The Galibier Road Gap, run for the 3rd year by Alchimy Association and the nearby ski resort of Valloire has the blessing of the highways department and local authorities – although after Customs officials who were bombarded by snowballs last year maybe do not share this enthusiasm… open top cars are also a favourite target for spectators so be warned.
Apart from the headline roadgap event there is a snowpark with a giant kicker and various rails. The event is held over the weekend of the 14th-15th of May, obviously this depends somewhat on the weather and as well as competitions and prizes, a monster beer tent there is a wild party down in Valloire on Saturday night.
Warriors of the Galibier, PisteHors.com coverage of the 2004 Galibier Road Gap