2 months of freeriding in the Alps

Over 1 ½ ago a had this horrifying ski accident when the Wild Face in the Pitztal was kicking my ass. I broke 2 vertebras and had to spend 1 ½ months in rehab to get myself back on track. Finally last winter season I got on my skis again and started an unforgettable road trip through the Alps chasing for powder…

Doubts?

“Will you ever do freeriding again Mario?”

That was a question I got from friends, therapists, fellow travellers, new companions on the road. For me there was no doubt that I will hit slopes again. Directly after my accident sitting there in the snow I didn’t have any feeling in both of my legs for some minutes. Will I be paralysed?? In this moment I didn’t know and was only scared. Sitting there in the mountains with three friends waiting and hoping…
The accident showed me how fast life can change from one moment to another and how dangerous the sport is I am practising. But on the another hand skiing, mountains are my passion. I love to be out there finding new tracks, exploring resorts and enjoying this feeling of freedom and peace.

“I cannot give something up that I love” I responded.

The trip

Thats why about one year later I was back on my skis and shredding around the Alps.

1st Stage Davos – Livingo Combo

6th of Feb I hopped on the train in St.Marghreten and headed to Davos. Staying the first 2 nights doing couchsurfing for the weekend the rider crew arrived and we had 2 awesome powder days in Davos including crazy Apreski sessions :).
As forecast was predicting freshies for Livigno Markus and I extended our trip and headed to Italy. Livigno is a hidden gem for riders. A lot of freeride areal easily accessible by the lifts, no crowds and cheap. The super yummy Italian Pizza is only 5€. Due to its remoteness in earlier days the whole place is tax-free. So you can bring your girlfriend as well, there are very good shopping opportunities ;).

2nd Stage Italy

On the second leg I recruited Stefan as my driver ;). As last winter was a so called South winter with a lot of snow in the southern alpes we decided to explore some new terrain in Italy. Starting the tour again in Livigno the second stop was Passo Tonale. Not really charming but 30cm of freshies for the day after our arrival. Unfortunately on our first descent we took the wrong way and instead of enjoying the powder we were walking out of the valley for approx 3 hours till we made it back to the lifts. Shit happens…Last stop was the Ski Dolomit area. Biggest ski area in the Alps. Ridicoulsy amount of lifts you never can ski within one week. Who needs that??? Anyhow nature is beautiful there with the famous Sellastock, Langkofel or Marmolata…When Max, Christoph and Markus came with the bus winter camping was on again :).

3rd stage On my own

My back was hurting after the first month. So I took a little break. Then fully recovered I decided to do the last stage on my own. I hired a car and drove south again – direction Verbier. Not sure at the beginning if I would enjoy the trip as much as with the mates it was a great experience. No discussions on where to go, you can go completely in your own rhythm, and you meet a lot of fellow riders along the way. Be it the jointsmoking swissfrench guy in Les Marecottes, the sympathic swiss guy at Lauchernalp, an Italian German rider crew in Alagna or again friends at the Arlberg.

Culture

Beside all the riding, prosciutto crudo, good conversations, beers I experienced a strong mountain culture. Being a city guy living 4 years in Zurich this discovery and the encounters were awesome. For example in the Wallis I ended up spending one night in Oberems. A small village with about 50 inhabtitants. They were so shocked or excited, I don’t now, to see a Peruvian German in their village that they spontaneously invited me to celebrate Carnival with them.
The Southern Monterosa area is served from three different valleys. I was in Alagna a very traditional village which kept its charm from the past. Founded by the Vals in the 14th century they still speak a strange language they call Valserdeutsch. People walk around in their traditional working clothes and one can find old houses with its classic stone bottoms and wooden walls and roofs. The big hotels and developed touristic infrastructure are not existing yet. And when you have luck like me you bump into a local rider crew. They can show you the best powder runs and also proving that although small you can party in Alagna.

Have you all an awesome winter 2014/15.

Enjoy and be happy
Mario
Switzerland, Zurich

My favourite rider songs.

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