2015 Season Highlight
The highlights of last season were a fantastic trip to the Caucasus mountains in Georgia, a pretty adventurous trip exploring Iran, and all time conditions descending the East couloir of the Col Superieure of the Tour Noir on Mont Blanc. Also the realization of a long time dream, a descent of the massive East face of Weisshorn (4507 m ) in Switzerland (1100 meters of vertical drop line at 50°).
Favorite Jones Boards
I ride the Flagship for daily free riding. It works well on all types of terrain and snow. When I think I’ll find variable or hard snow on steep lines I ride the Carbon flagship and solution. Bottomeless powder days in the woods I ride the Hovercraft.
Why do you snowboard?
It's my way to express myself, it makes me feel alive. Riding revitalizes my mind and my body and balances my energies. When I snowboard I don't think. My mind gets quiet and another part of me that I recognize as my deep essence takes control; it's a door to another dimension. When I snowboard I experience life from another point of view, perfectly in the moment and completely absorbed by the element I am moving through. It's a form of meditation. My mind, my body and the mountain become one. It's a super feeling!
What's one lesson or reminder you learned in the backcountry recently?
To always stay focused and read the signs the moutain is telling you. In recent years the weather has been changing fast and we are experimenting a new combination of factors that create new snow conditions that we haven't seen in places we have been many times before. Be humble and do not take anything for granted. You must respect nature.
What's your dream line look like?
My dream line would be in perfect compact powder. The line would start with a few tight turns on a steep spine with the slough falling on both sides. Then three massive accelerating turns on an exposed snowfield, before a mandatory drop through a rock band in the middle of the line. After the drop, a few more big turns, then into a narrow couloir that opens up into a wide apron. I like exposed lines where no mistakes are possible; I like the total mind concentration of making turns in the only place possible.
What is one lesson every beginner splitboarder should know?
Splitboarding unlocks a lot of freedom. It is a door into another world, a beautiful world that hides different type of dangers such as crevasses, rockfall and avalanches. Try to learn as much as you can about the terrain you will be touring in, be humble and respect the mountains.
How do you stay calm + confident when riding exposed lines?
The secret to staying calm in sketchy situations is to keep breathing. Steady breathing increases the quantity of oxygen in the blood which allows high levels of concentration and reactivity. I also focus on every turn when I know that no mistakes are possible. In the Alps we are used to riding exposed lines and we learn how to “read” the snow to minimize the risk.