The winter of 2014/15 had freeride fans on the rack for quite a while there – but after a quick pep talk to the weather gods they put in some elbow grease and, ultimately, provided enough snow for 2015 allowing for tons of powder runs. Consequently, a band of snowboarders explored the resort’s freeride routes and drew some perfectly shaped lines into the Tyrolean powder. Filmer and photographers were on site to capture the rider’s sprays and drops on photos and film for the good of all freeride fans. Talking to one of the protagonists, Peter Walchhofer told us his recipe for freeride happiness. Let’s get cooking!
On snowy winter days, snowboarders love to spend their time in their outdoor living room: the backcountry. After a proper dump, most of the lot will get up and get ready in the early morning hours, itching to finally strap their boards to their feet, and head up on the mountain in the first gondola. As is customary throughout the scene, the best Tyrolean powder spots will only be disclosed on the quiet. However, there is one spot that is neither secret nor reserved for pros only: Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis – the three-village Alpine community ranks among the world’s top skiing destinations and has created ways for its guests to enjoy fresh powder safely, freely and legally, on the specially marked freeride routes.
The two snowboarders Peter Walchhofer and Marc Grossgasteiger brought their best powder boards with them to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis. In this interview, Peter Walchhofer tells us about his impressions from the shooting and reveals his personal happiness recipes:
You were part of the freeride shooting in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis on the 6th and 7th of March. How did you like those two days?
Peter: Well, the weather was wonderful and the snow conditions just perfect:, the snow was totally fluffy and loose, which allowed us to do some really phat sprays. Since it was my first time in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, I’ve got to say it’s an awesome resort! It’s huge but still very well structured. You can overlook the entire resort from the lift and also track down your next powder line.
What constitutes freeriding for you? Which ingredients does your personal recipe for freeride happiness contain?
Peter: It’s just an amazing feeling to stand at the top of a good route and then dive into the powder. If the weather conditions are as perfect as they were on our two shooting days, then you got yourself a great time. For me personally, a perfect powder run must have a few cliffs and sprays – just like we had during the shooting, but I don’t want to give away everything now.
There are more and more freeride camps and guided freeride tours in many ski resorts. In what way has freeriding developed over the last years?
Peter: I think that the many freeride videos have done a great deal to introduce freeriding to a wider audience. This is a good thing in general but you also need to inform the people about the risks involved. Riding the backcountry without safety equipment is negligent. That’s why the freeride routes in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis always offer the possibility to check your avalanche transceiver at the info points. Additionally, the routes are safer than open terrain because they are more frequented, which presses the snow down. This, in turn, creates a more stable snow layer.
The short edit of your shooting days has just been released. The full clip will be out this fall. Can you tell us which highlights we are in for later this year?
Peter: Without giving too much away, I'd say that you can look forward to a lot of action on the snow and in the sun!