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[Editor's note: Here on ESPN Freeskiing, we are hosting Teton Gravity Research's Almost Live series -- sneak peeks into footage taken for their fall 2011 release. Your host today, the author of the words below, is one of TGR's athletes, Todd Ligare, who recently caught up with TGR athlete Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, who appears in this edit.]
On this particular trip to France, three TGR athletes -- Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Chris Benchetler and Wiley Miller -- were competing in Red Bull Linecatcher, an invite-only contest that pits 15 skiers against each other on a big mountain venue with both manmade and natural airs. Wiley won best trick with a nose butter 7 and Sage won best natural air with a big sleepy 3 off a natural hit. The event had a seven-day weather window and thanks to cooperative weather, it was completed in the first three days. So with four extra days to hang in Vars, France, the boys got to work. According to Sage, the snow was variable but there were some pockets of good snow and they were able to find a few good jump locations. Plus, they found a perfect spot to test out Sage's new bungee. He said he got the idea to bring the bungee into the backcountry after watching Nick Martini use a bungee on an urban shoot. After seeing the bungee in action, Sage knew it would have some good backcountry applications.