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Powder snow skiing is not fun. It’s life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality. Dolores LaChapelle Soon as I got out of jail, I went skiing, Soon as I got out of broken legs, I went skiing. That’s where I had to go to make it all right again. The rest of the world is total chaos. Glen Plake

First edition: December 2013 Copyright © 2013 VERSANTE SUD S.r.l. Via Longhi, 10 20137 Milano ph. +39 02 7490163 All rights reserved Cover: Xavier de Le Rue, Valdez, Alaska (ph. Tero Repo) Back: Anne-Flore Marxer (self-shot), Crans Momtana (Switzerland) Print: Monotopia Cremonese Contacts: Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank all those who were interviewed and for making themselves available to talk to us. A special thanks also to those who catered for our hunger and thirst and those who did us the honour of skiing with us.Thanks to the photographers for their attention and professionalism. Thanks to Leo and Tiziana at The North Face, to Sylvain, Gianmarco and Alfonso at Smith Optics, to Betty and Thomas of Red Bull Italia, to Monica at Dalbello, to Schinka and Andrea of Volkl, to Daniel of Swatch, to Jörgen of Amundsen and Chris of Norrona. Thank you Carlo and Matteo Guardini, Francesco Bertolini, Erica Martling, Valentina Trentini and Emanuele Gex. A final thank you to our girlfriends Stefania and Giadina who gave us their support and understanding during our various creative crises as writers. Photographers: Tero Repo, Luca De Antoni, Mark Shapiro, Damiano Levati, Alo Belluscio, Fizza, Christian Pondella, Martino Colonna, Giuseppe Ghedina, Kristoffer Erickson. Cedric Bernardini, Erlend Haugen, Mathieu Crepel, Chris Holter, Sverre Hjornevik, Jonas Bendiksen, Vegard Breie, Nicolò Miana, Kage Photo, Fujio, Yoshiro Higai. Translation (except for interviews: Ane Enderud, Karina Hollekim, Chris Davenport): Alexandra Ercolani



Martino Colonna Francesco Perini

FREERIDERS 18 close encounters with the world’s top riders




Bruno Compagnet Emilio Previtali Ane Enderud Glen Plake Markus Eder Paolo Tassi Giulia Monego

Xavier de Le Rue


Anne Flore Marxer


34 52 66 80 94 106 120 134

Chris Davenport Stefano de Benedetti John Falkiner Karina Hollekim Luca Pandolfi Marco Galliano Stian Hagen

158 170 184 196 210 224 238

Tone Valeruz

Taro Tamai


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You are one with your skis and nature. This is something that develops not only the body but the soul as well, and it has a deeper meaning for a people than most of us perceive. Fridtjof Nansen

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The best snowboarder in the world, fullstop. Bursting with energy from every pore his t-shirt looks as if it is about to explode just like the incredible Hulk’s when he turns into the green monster. Xavier has tackled three different disciplines and always excelling. He is a real fighter and he started excelling in the combat rollerball style of Boardercross. Boardercross where the most determined boarder wins instead of the most technical one. He then moved onto freeriding where he dominated the scene undisputedly for many years. Then he turned his hand to filming, reaching excellent results with his group in the series Timeline. No doubt his superhero physique has helped him but he has also put in a lot of training and dedication. Very few riders train as hard as Xavier. His staff (Tero Repo for photograpy and Guido Perrini for videos) allow him to take unique photos and film which together with competitions put him a step ahead of the others. What personally amazes me is how he manages in a short time to go from an expedition in Antarctica to qualifying for the next Olympic Games in boardercross, to the world tour freeride comps. Xavier is without a doubt a superhero.

Xavier de Le Rue Freeriders


Freeriders 19 (ph. Tero Repo)

You grew up in the Pyrenees in a large family, even your brothers are sporty. In what way have the people surrounding you and the mountains influenced your life, not only competitively speaking? Yes, I was born in a village in the Pyrenees with five brothers and sisters, who all have a passion for sports, even if my parents are not at all sporty.

for a few months and then come back I realise that everything is more backward compared to the other places I usually hang out; as if we’ve moved back ten years. I don’t see this lack of modernisation and people’s simplicity here as being negative, in fact I think that this is what makes me happy when I come back home. The people are always down to earth and genuine,

Maybe they would have liked to be, but looking after so many children left them no free time. We grew up in a ski resort, making it normal for us to get into snow and sport. The difference between the Pyrenees and other mountain areas in Europe is that life there is simple, in a positive way. When I’ve been away

and nowadays this is not very common. I started my activities on the snow with a group of friends. Amazing guys who influenced my life subsequently. We were young and carefree and it was normal for us to throw ourselves into this new sport using a board which was still in its early days. We were even lucky enough to have



someone special teaching us. He was our coach, the person who established our snowboard club. Even if he was a coach, he was crazily passionate about snow, a great person who knew how to enjoy himself. Our training was special: we weren’t stuck doing gates on groomed slopes, but we would slide around the mountain doing flips, bumps and powder. We would learn to make curved turns through bumps and not on groomed slopes. We loved it. My old coach taught me true values and helped me understand what the most important things in life are. These are the things that still to this day are the essence of what I do, both as a snowboarder and as a man. The atmosphere was very different in the Pyrenees compared to the rest of the snowboard scene, not only because we lived in a remote area, far from everyone, but also due to its terrain and the type of snow. The terrain in fact is varied and special and can also be difficult. The snow instead is amazingly beautiful and often icy and hard. The best conditions for learning. In life it is good to grow up in an area where things aren’t easy. It is good to earn things. I am convinced that the harder it is to reach a result a lot more joy is gained when you finally achieve it. You learn a lot by facing up to difficulties which help you improve by trying to solve them, even when you think you will never make it. You have to stick in there and in that moment you improve. If everything is too easy, you will never be able to progress and when you find yourself in difficult conditions you just don’t know how to deal with them. If you want to reach the top and push your limits forward it is essential how you start. This is why I think the Pyrenees have had a very important effect on forming me and my success as an athlete.

g Xavier in the Canadian woods (ph. Tero Repo) f In deep powder in his back garden, Verbier (ph. Tero Repo) Freeriders 21

Did you start straight away on a snowboard or like many others did you start skiing first? Like many others I skied competitively till I was 13 and then I moved on to snowboarding for good. Why? Because skiing was very strict, both in the training and how to experience the mountains. While snowboarding was creative, it helped me to discover and live life in a completely different way, free. Instead of learning like skiers, by using technique, we learned through having fun. A very different approach which has led me throughout my life and even now is the basis of my way of thinking and of how I act. The first thing is to enjoy yourself; and if you enjoy yourself everything is a lot easier and comes as a consequence. What was your style in those days? Freestyle, groomed slopes or freeride? We all started with hard boots in the Pyrenees and then when soft came into the picture we all got into freestyle. But what we enjoyed the most was powder and jumping in powder. What else did you do apart from snowboarding? I did a bit of everything, from skating to surfing, like all kids at that age, even if snowboarding was what kept me busy the most. I started rock climbing later on, around 18 years old, climbing was not looked on favourably by my family, as one of my cousins, who was a strong climber, had died in Chamonix on the Dru. Who were your idols in those days? Some are the same I still have today, even if I have

personally met them now and they have become my friends. At the beginning Terje Haakonsen was my idol, then I beat him at Mount Baker in banked slalom in my first international comp and straight after that we went off skiing for a week in powder. He’s awesome. Later on my heroes became Jeremy Jones and Johan Oloffson who were more talented in bigmountain freeride and steep descents. Tell us about this comp in which you beat Terje, Mount Baker’s Legendary Banked Slalom in Washington State in 2002. Why do you think this competition is so famous and what did the win mean to you? It is so famous because it is snowboarding’s oldest event. It’s an odd competition, a kind of natural boardercross slope. All of the world’s top riders have been there and still go there to this day. Above all it’s a great event, but even if there are well known names and it is so famous, the atmosphere is really chilled. It isn’t an exasperated competition and above all there is often Mount Baker’s fluffy powder, one of the planet’s snowiest places. It’s a bit like a return to the origins of when this sport began, without excessive marketing and with the right spirit. This type of competition does not exist anywhere else therefore there is no need for specific training. For me it was the start of everything because at that time I was young and unknown. To beat a legend like Terje Haakonsen brought me great joy and allowed my career to take off. I have

f In

the deep French caves for a special speleosnowboarding descent (ph. Tero Repo) g Along the spines and seracs of Haines, Alaska (ph. Tero Repo)

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Femininity and positive energy “I am provocative and passionate, I am a radical snowboarder, I smile and I bite. The more I fall, the more I get up and try again. Life is short and precious, you need to savour every moment”. These are Anne-Flore’s own words to describe herself in the best possible way. AFM is probably the most complete and radical snowboarder who has ever existed. A rider who is capable of everything, to win every kind of event and to ride down the most difficult lines. But once you get to know her, the thing that strikes you  most is her amazing clarity and frankness exactly like her lines in powder. She has managed to make her way in the industry without any compromise and she has imposed her own personality and style. If you’re ever lucky enough to be at a party with her be ready to be captivated by her energy and her charm. AFM: splendid, fascinating, punk!

Anne-Flore Marxer Freeriders


Freeriders 35 (Arch. Swatch)

You are the most famous athlete in Switzerland after Roger Federer. Why is he number one and not you? You make me smile! That’s not really how things are: the ranking was made on the base of the athlete’s popularity on internet. And Roger is number one 1000 times more than any other Swiss athlete! He is a fantastic athlete and obviously deserves this enormous popularity.

trying to do the thing I love the most, and do it the best I can. Being famous is not important.

How does it feel to be famous thanks to snowboarding? Did you think you would make it even if you’re not a skier? I don’t feel famous at all! And to tell you the truth I don’t really care if I am. If I had wanted to be famous I would have posed naked every second day of the week! Or something weird. I’m only

when I was a young girl and I decided that were was no way that I would do what my cousins and other kids around me were doing. And therefore, to be a rebel and different from everyone I chose snowboarding. It was my way of rejecting the backward mentality of the people surrounding me. Instead of being on the pistes with a



Why did you leave skiing for snowboarding? Everyone in my family skied and competed therefore it was not surprising that I was good at sliding down mountains on my skis. But somehow I’ve always refused to compete, even when I was a kid. My rebel spirit came out in all its power

Swiss national suit on I went freeriding with my brother. We used pistes only to pick up speed to jump and do tricks with my friends in the resort we lived in. It was what I loved doing and what my friends loved doing. And that is why I chose snowboarding. When I was growing up snowboarding was the only thing that made me really feel alive. Travelling, partying, sliding fast, living each moment which was part of the snowboarding community. All this is what I needed to feel free and happy as a person! Throughout that period I wasn’t very happy at school. I was quite a good student but I didn’t enjoy myself and all I did when I was at school was think of the weekends and when I could go riding: while my friends were busying partying in the city, I saved every penny to buy my skipass. I would hitch hike to reach the areas where there were snowboard comps. I would sleep wherever I could find a free sofa in someone’s house, I would even sleep in bathtubs. All I wanted to do was be in the mountains and follow my passion, in some way, on Monday mornings though, no matter what, I would get to school just as the bell rang. I’m a wild girl, and having fun also came from trying to push my limits in snowboarding but also in how I travelled and meeting as many people as possible. Even now it is still like this, it is my lifestyle and it makes me feel alive! What was it like sliding on snow when you were a kid? My mum put skis on me when I was only one years old; she told me that I loved it so much that I would cry every time they would try and take my skis off! The parents of my friends still today tell me how impressed they were with my skiing


Anne-Flore wall riding on the Fionnay dam, Switzerland (archive Swatch) g In short sleeves on the mountains of Arlberg, Austria (archive Swatch)

Uomini&Neve Freeriders Freeriders3737

and how fast I skied. I think I still enjoy the same things I did at the time. So for a family like yours skiing was fundamental. What impact did it have on your life? It defintiely had an impact. As I mentioned my father was an athlete and he was one of the first to ski a lot off-piste; he is fearless. I think that this has contributed a lot to the path I’ve taken. He would always take me and my brother to do what no other parent would have ever done: skiing in deep and steep snow. He taught me lot and I carry this thing inside me from then. The problem though was that he was really fearless; his courage sometimes was close to madness; and this sometimes made him exaggerate with what he would make us do. If my brother and I would get scared because things seemed too dangerous, he wouldn’t let us turn back. He would start shouting and he would scare me so much that in the end I would just jump off anything or ski down anything which was well beyond my ability, just because what terrorized me more was him and his terrible shouting. This unfortunately happened in many things, not only in skiing. It happened in water skiing but also in any kind of thing in our every day life and I don’t think this is the right thing to do for a parent. In the end my memories of skiing with my family unfortunately are not filled with joy and in the end I don’t really get along with my Dad much. But I also think of what that situation has left me, I don’t ever feel I have the possibility of being scared or of turning back, in anything I do in life, instead I end up doing the opposite. I always push myself to jump higher, ride steeper lines, and ride faster! This is a pity because it menas that for a long time I’ve never been able to enjoy a simple Freeriders


h Anne-Flore riding in deep powder in the Swiss Alps (ph. Vanessa Andrieux) f Anne-Flore flying over the avalanche barriers of Anzere, Switzerland (archive Swatch) Freeriders 39

Haines, Alaska The line that has given me the most satisfaction was the one I did filming for Standard Film in Haines, Alaska. I had already been to Alaska, but it was the first time I went to film for one of the largest international production companies, and it was natural for me to feel the pressure. That morning I was in the group with Mathieu Crepel and Xavier de Le Rue. They had already surfed some lines but the snow was not good and the morale was low. During the afternoon we had planned to ride quite a steep line but in the same area there was another group that wanted to film the same lines: the bad mood was tangible, but I wasn’t in a bad mood, in fact I felt it was going to be a good day for me, I was motivated and confident. The other group was made up of Yes Snowboards, they were no beginners, but in the end they decided not to shoot because the descent was too steep and they noticed the snow conditions, not to mention the crevasse to jump over three quarters down the line. Having given up the line I was so happy to have a chance, and that’s what happened. The best line I have ever surfed. Every now and then the best things in life come from situations which don’t seem to go as they should. You must always follow your heart, always!

Anne-Flore’s line

How to get there To get to the area in which we filmed, you fly to the States and then with a national flight you reach Juneau in Alaska and then with a small plane you reach Haines which is 110 km away. Best period The best period is from end of March to the beginning of May. Usually in April it is possible to find the best snow and weather conditions. You cannot expect to go to Alaska for a week and to ski there seven days. It is possible to find windows of bad weather where the helicopter doesn’t fly for ten days. Patience is your best companion when travelling to Alaska. Helicopter Operators There are a number of companies who offer packages in hours, both by helicopter and by plane, as well as offering other services


Anne-Flore riding the steep spines covered in powder, Haines, Alaska (ph. di Mathieu Crepel)


The wild nature of Haines, Alaska (ph. di Mathieu Crepel)

such as snow cats and skidoos. In this case Anne-Flore and Standard film used Saeba Heli ( which can offer guides and lodges as well. Anne-Flore Marxer born in Preverenges (Switzerland) on 24th of January 1984 2012 Several video parts in Standard Films snowboard movies. First European woman invited by the most prestigious snowboard movie producers. 2011 Freeride World Tour Champion 1st Xtreme of Verbier 1st Freeride World Tour Chamonix 2nd Freeride World Tour Hochfuegen 3rd Freeride World Tour Nendaz

2010 First as appearance for Ride O’meter on snowboard magazines in Europe (both for men and women) 2nd King of the Hill, Valdez Alaska 3rd Noboarding World championship Awarded as the French Rider of the Year. 2009 Best international Rider of the Year Award (both men and women) at Mondial du Snowboard 2008 Voted as the second most influential rider of all times for Slack Magazine 2007 Rookie of the Year award for Transworld Snowboarding

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The Director In Italy Emilio is known as the Director. Editor of the first and best Freeride magazine ever published in Italy. The man who with his writing and his behaviour has legitimised the off piste movement, making it pass, in the collective image, from a niche sport of aspiring suicides to a movement of people who very often know what they are doing. Not only for the media, because if a lot of people now know it is best to ski off piste with an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel, it is also thanks to Emilio and his editorials. In a few words he has created a culture, and only a great writer and communicator like Emilio could succeed in such a difficult undertaking. In the end, without taking anything away from his great exploits at altitude and expeditions, for me Emilio is above all a great writer and communicator. One of those writers who with a few lines grabs your attention right to the end of the story. Maybe it is a simple story, but it stays inside you and makes you think. The tales of his travels have made me dream and encouraged me to repeat them.

To be a freerider in a country like Italy which is obsessed with racing, Emilio has used another quality, stubbornness. He knows how to train hard and reach the maximum result from everything. Emilio is one of the most stubborn and determined people I know. It is not a coincidence that he has finished the Iron Man 27 times!

Emilio Previtali Freeriders


Freeriders 67 (ph. Damiano Levati )

Tell us about your childhood and your relationship with sport and mountains when you were a kid? How did your passion start? The house where I grew up as a kid was in the centre of Bergamo. From the street where I lived all you had to do was turn onto a side road and five hundred metres ahead were the first uphill sections and then the mountains. It was normal to imagine that those hills infront of my house were there for a reason, to play or to climb on. Canto Alto was the mountain closest to home, the mountain that dominates – you might say – the city of Bergamo; with my father I must have gone up there hundreds of times in summer, winter, spring and autumn. It was my training ground, my playground, my garden. My dad loved the idea of setting off from home on foot, during every season, taking me up to the mountains. I understand that if I had grown up in Courmayeur, Cortina or Canazei just to cite a few examples, this interview would sound better, I might even have had a nice photograph of me standing by my dad’s side in front of our beautiful mountain house, one of those photos you see on Powder or the Ski Journal. Instead, no, I was born in Bergamo and I grew up in a council house. I should have nurtured an interest in football or played snooker at the Bar Pino, like almost all my friends and contemporaries who lived on that street. Instead something else emerged. And for this reason, for the passion I have for mountains, I have also to thank my parents. You always try to excel in everything you do. Were you like this as a kid? At secondary school Simone Moro was my class mate, whom I think is the most competitive person I’ve ever met. Then at high school we lost sight of each other for a year and then met up again and did a number of things together including rock climbing every afternoon for ten Freeriders


years, in those days there were no indoor gyms. Even his Dad loved the mountains just like mine. We became sporting partners because when we both first met we hadn’t had contact with anybody else apart from our parents. We each represented the person we had to respectively beat and overtake, as well as being climbing partners every week. Competition was inevitable, from climbing to cycling, from girlfriends to a set of pull ups. It was natural to give your best, always, a school for life. Then all of a sudden ISEF (Institute of Sport and Physical Education) came along and with it a specific training method, my development was natural, in everythingI tried to do. There were very few people in those days who trained with any criteria for climbing, ski mountaineering or snowboarding and for me to improve and see where I could get to was a challenge, an exercise, a reason to study. Personally I’ve always been attracted to the idea of learning something new, always, pushing my limits to see what point I could reach. To learn something, deep down, trying to do it to the best of my ability, it is the purest form of exploration that I can imagine. It isn’t true though that I want to excel in everything I do. I try to reach my limit. You love sport all round. Would you be able to spend a week without doing anything? Sport has always been part of my life, of my day, of my job. I went to ISEF because I wanted to make sports part of my life, and in the least favourable hypothesis become a PE teacher. Even when I had jobs I didn’t enjoy and that had nothing to do with sport, such as aerial rope work or being a workman loading and unloading goods, I’ve always interpreted work as a pause between one training session and another. Taken like that, as a recovery period from one session and another, work becomes easier to bear. For certain periods of time, I’ve had to bust my ass

for certain periods, putting sport and movement in second place, but even at those times I always stuck in there. Training is the thing I love doing the most. You even took part in the Camel Trophy! What was that like? I took part in four or five selections that winter,

I won them, and so I went. I took part as a participant in 1991 in Tanzania – Burundi, and then for the next five or six years Camel Trophy became my job, I dealt with selections, prescouting, tracing the itineraries and driving the support vehicles. Four months of work a year and eight months of skiing, snowboarding and sports climbing wherever I wanted. The tobacco companies paid well at that time, better than schools, that’s why I abandoned the idea of becoming a physical education teacher. I tried

and things went well. When I tackled the first pre-selection I owned a Citroen 2cv and the only 4 wheeled drive vehicle I had ever driven in my life was a tractor at the Agrarian Technical Institute; I just scraped a pass. I then got back home and said “Ok, I want to go, I have to learn” and from then on I started training specifically, with nothing else in mind: I was going to take

h Emilio drags his pulka on his traverse of the Svalbard islands (ph. Damiano Levati) f Emilio free heel skiing in the woods of Niseko, Japan (ph. Alo Belluscio)

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part in the Camel Trophy. I learned to drive off road with a borrowed car, training methodically even there. At the end of the selections I think that what had impressed the examiners the most was the determination with which I had prepared myself, my development, the improvement. The first time they had given me a Land Rover Discovery I didn’t even know how to go into gear using differential gears, while by the end of the training I would do things with the car that even I didn’t know how I managed to do them. I just pretended that they came naturally to me. As a youngster you were a promising climber: what do you enjoy about sports climbing? Have you ever been attracted to long alpine routes or did you prefer the pure difficulty of sports routes? Sports climbing was the first thing I dedicated myself to completely in my life, sports wise. I don’t know what you mean by a promising climber, in that at the beginning of the 90’s I on sighted 7c’s and tried to climb Jedi with style which was an 8b+ route at Cornalba, in those days not many had that level in Italy. I’ve always been interested in style above all, the harmony in movement. The move. Then the only other thing I did compared to many friends who continue sports climbing for ever, was that I started doing other things at the same level and therefore my progression in terms of sports climbing and grades was obviously interrupted, since the intensity was no longer the same as before. I haven’t climbed many routes of pure climbing in the mountains, I enjoyed alpine routes more, mixed ice, or link ups, the “complicated climbs” where climbing technique was a prerequisite and not an end in itself. In those days I wasn’t attracted to climbing a route in the Dolomites, for example, I couldn’t see the sense in it, because I thought that if I could on sight a 7c at the crag it was not interesting Freeriders


climbing routes of VI grade on rock which wasn’t nice and with dodgy pegs. I preferred rather to go for a run near my house, or go cycling. It was probably a bit strange, probably a distorted vision of alpinism, but I thought it seemed more interesting to use my climbing technique to go climb classic ice routes on Mont Blanc to then snowboard down. I didn’t enjoy easy climbing on rock, I wasn’t interested. What an idiot I was, eh? You are now passionate about competing in triathlons. Do you think finishing an Ironman is only a question of training, physical talent or is it mental? Finishing an Ironman more or less is like finishing a Marathon. The real difference is the speed, the intensity at which you compete. If you go slow, it’s easy. To compete almost at 90% of your potential – is a wonderful challenge – it takes years of effort

and dedication and not everyone is successful. You need to know how to bear pain, suffer during competition, hang in there. You need to know how to manage yourself and feed yourself well, your mind on its own is not enough, you need to train a lot and well. Throughout an Ironman you need to keep a lot of factors under control, if you want to explore your limits. To finish an Ironman, for the satisfaction of finishing it, going slow, and looking around, you don’t need a lot, just a bit

of will and perserverance in training. To do it at your limit is very difficult, something which you need to dedicate yourself to exclusively. I usually do one a year now, no more. I’ve done 27 I think throughout my life. If I was born again I think I would like to be a professional triathlete and give it my all, my max. I would like that. Even if you are a freerider you like competing: do you do it to compete against yourself or because you like competing with others or excelling in what you do? Honestly, apart from triathlons, I don’t really like competing, on the contrary. I don’t like the feeling you get on the start line, the emotional tension which comes from standing on the start line with others. At the same time it is something I don’t frown upon and with which I confront myself every now and then, I toe the line, competition is something I respect and like since it forces you to give 110% in that given moment, in that given place, when everyone is watching. Competitiveness is healthy, an excellent stimulus, the best way to progress and to learn, in terms of sports. What I can’t stand is that hidden competition, that subtle and ridiculous competition that exists among climbers or alpinists and freestylers and freeriders who give more importance to the number of photos they publish in magazines than to what they can actually do, numbers or rankings in hand, that is the type of competition I hate. It makes me sick. Last year I took part in the telemark Classic comp, everyone says that it is useless competing on telemark skis, instead I liked it, it’s great, the Classic competition is a fantastic mix of technical, organic, tactic abilities. Look who was there too, Paolino Tassi competing in the Italian championship. I think he is one of the legends of Italian telemark skiing and of living the mountains, he is animated by enthusiasm

g Emilio free heel skiing in New Zealand’s powder (ph. Damiano Levati) f Emilio with his father Ernesto (archive Previtali) Freeriders 71

FREERIDERS Close encounters with the world's top riders  

18 interviews with skiers and snowboarders, both present and past, who have left their indelible mark on the world of freeriding and powder.

FREERIDERS Close encounters with the world's top riders  

18 interviews with skiers and snowboarders, both present and past, who have left their indelible mark on the world of freeriding and powder.