Some like it hot, Some like it cold”…….sounds like the name of an adult film right! Get your mind out of the gutter people. Cineflex Production Company teamed up with Helipro co. to send Canadian free rider Claudia Avon to Sochi, Russia to help film “Some like it cold” this March. Given the amazing opportunity, Claudia jumped on board and had a few hiccups along the way but there was nothing she couldn’t handle.
Claudia had to make three glorious connecting flights to get from Vancouver, B.C. to Sochi, Russia. Through snow storms, trying to sleep in a busy airport, missing flights due to the huge language barrier, she finally made it.
As the stunt women Claudia had to wear the same gear as the main actress Lyanka Griu from Russia. The bright pink outfit was a bit tight fighting for Claudia but it will provide pure entertainment when her friends seeing her wearing gear she would typically never rock.
Maxim Balakouski played the stuntman for leading male actor in the movie. He’s Russian snowboarder that has travelled the world and is also the owner of Helipro Co.
On the first day of filming, the snow conditions looked unstable. However, Maxim dropped first, followed by Claudia. The guide mentioned to the conditions to film crew but they wanted the shot, so the production went on. While Claudia’s intuition told her not to drop but they were signaling her to go right after Maxim …..so she did. Coming down the mountain she became more and more concerned. Claudia still halfway feels the snow sluff under her board and started to realize that the snow is pushing her. She tries hard to ride it out and within seconds can’t see…..she realizes then she’s caught in an avalanche. The snow keeps taking her but she fights to keep herself on top and is fighting to not be taken under. It got to the point where she had to pull the ABS bag and start floating on the snow. When she makes it to the bottom seconds later she sits in silence
realizing she’s safe, but in complete shock.
Later she sat down with the crew and explained how dangerous that was and how she just risked her life. The guide said the snow wasn’t stable and the riders felt the same way, the movie crew were very apologetic and they became more considerate of Claudia, Maxim and the guides input.
Let this be a lesson to any rider professional or any enthusiast for that matter, don’t let anyone push you around when you don’t feel safe listen to your instincts because it will save your life.
On the very last day their flights were delayed and because they still hadn’t gotten any good shots for the film, this worked to the productions benefit. As Claudia and Maxim arrived at the heli pad, the pressure was on…..last chance to get the shots, there was a chance the snow wouldn’t be right. Cloudy with a mix of sun but it wasn’t clear enough to fly with the helicopter; the riders waited more than seven hours.
Finally they start to wrap up and Claudia, Maxim and the guide climb into the helicopter not really understanding what was happening but they did have a feeling that they were going to test the snow. They arrived at the top of the ridge where the lines were going to be filmed and it was a mellow line. All three of them were safely dropped off, but then Claudia sees the snow cookies and natural slides that were already triggered and instantly feels sick in her stomach. There was a natural slide already present. They try to test snow pack first. Next thing she realizes is Maxim has already dropped and he’s calling her name to drop, she hesitates for like 5 seconds but goes for it. She did hesitate but realized that she can’t let the fear of the other day hold her back. This time she did get the ok from the guide that the snow was stable, that made her decision to drop easier, this time she felt a lot safer.
The snow was stable, heavy though. They ended up getting the shots they wanted. It was a very intense trip for Claudia but when they did get the shots they all felt proud and accomplished. It was an experience she will never forget. From the experience in unknown mountain territory to the Russian culture…..she has no regrets on this fantastic opportunity. The trip was a success!