A year goes by and time seems to have played just another trick on me. I would feel exactly the same as I did a year ago if it weren’t for all the memory footprints that life has left in my inner dialog. They give me a sense of meaning, and as I collect them I feel like I get richer for every year.
I guess meaningful things are the actions that leave marks in our souls; small bumps of mementos on our inner screen helping to guide our journey in to the hasty future.
These are my small bumps from the last year.
JP Auclair created one of the greatest viral hypes in ski history with his street segment in ‘All I Can‘. It showed that you can be 30+ and still be writing the game rules of the ski jib culture normally directed by 15 year olds.
When in September Benedikt Böhm ran up and skied down Manaslu, the world’s 8th highest mountain, in under 24 hours it was not only the first “clean” ski descent of the summit, it was also one of the most impressive achievements in the high altitude game this last year.
When my great friend Felix Hentz died in an avalanche in the early winter, that shook me in my foundations and made me rethink my whole approach to skiing and life. Freestyle skier Sara Burke’s death shook a whole ski community in the same way and Remy Lecluse’s passing in the Manaslu disaster showed a Chamonix community that wisdom and master skills can’t keep us totally safe from the whims of the mountains. Death is dark, but in its shadow, light and life shines even more.
The ski business has finally understood that lighter and more versatile (walk mode, lo tec compatible etc.) equipment is the future of skiing. In 20 years we will look back at our heavy equipment of today and ask the same questions we ask ourselves when we look at the dittos from the 80ies and 90ies – what where we thinking? This year every ski brand with self-esteem has come out with, or is working on skis, boots and bindings in this direction.
Reine Barkered and Christine Hargin secured Swedish domination in the Freeride World Tour last spring, and this summer it got announced that the confusing boxing style ski scene will now get logical when the different competitive freeride tours unite. Bobby Brown became the king of both the Euro and US X-Games, and the undisputed queen of the alpine ski world was definitely Lindsey Vonn.
Webisodes have come to become our greatest complement to the ski movie productions now days. The best ones from this last year were, in my opinion, Jordan Manley’s ‘A Skiers Journey’ and Switchback Entertainment’s ‘Salomon Freeski Tv’.
It’s getting warm – Changing game rules
The global warming’s negative effects for the ski world are obvious and tragic. But, there is always one upside of the coin: For us fortunate enough to ski at a higher elevation, the winters not only seem to come with more snow, it’s also warm enough for the snow to stick at the best slopes up high. If it’s continuing like this we will have some great powder years ahead of us.
A few open minded individuals have managed to find new lines in the very much explored Alps. The Italians such as Davide Capozzi, Luca Rolli and Francesco Civra Dano and French Julien Herry, Remy Lecluse and Vivian Bruchez among others have been thinking past old concepts and have linked snow patches together and realized first descents in skiing’s equivalent to big wave surfing – Extreme skiing.
Josh Dueck, the extraordinary sit-skier from Canada, has also broken new ground showing millions of people that “passion + perseverance = potential”. For his discoveries through skiing, including the first ever sit-ski backflip and his award winning film ‘The Freedom Chair’, he this year got nominated to the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Personally, my biggest and most intense memory from skiing this year was my turns down the Whillans Ramp on Aguja Poincenot in Argentinian Patagonia. After years of searching for a limit, I found it perfectly on the other side of the world, and that was definitely the most technical and most exposed line I have ever skied.
This is the end of a very successful first year for EpicTv. On EpicTv you not only find the latest “what’s ups” in the adventure world, you also find access to hundreds of the best film productions the ski world has to offer. Visit www.epictv.com for more info.