BD athletes Reine Barkered and Martin Webrant score epic turns in Davos, Switzerland
Black Diamond athletes Reine Barkered and Martin Webrant drove from Sweden to Davos, Switzerland in search of powder, big airs and tasty photos with photog Martin Söderqvist. They scored on all fronts and drove home happy men. Below is a report and photos from Söderqvist, as well as one from Dan Caruso, Black Diamond Europe's Ski Athlete Manager, who's home the three Swedes crashed at while living large in Davos.
Davos, the home of the yearly world economic forum, for which it is mostly known, has in recent years come up as a new act in the free skiing scene. Located in the heart of Graubünden, Switzerland, the ski area can offer skiing on 5 different mountains, not counting the two in Klosters. Nowadays cheaper hotels, targeting younger skiers without demands for high end service, have risen right next door to the old 5 star monuments.
One reason for going to Davos is that it gets snow from just about any direction. While Lenzerheide, which is located right around the corner, get’s pounded by the Föhn and west winds, resulting in unskiable conditions, Davos keeps the powder well chilled and untracked if you know where to go.
Myself, and Black Diamond athletes Reine Barkered and Martin Webrant had just arrived in town and were now heading for Jakobshorn after a 30 cm plus snowfall. The base in the Alps was still thin since it was only the start of December, but we were hoping to get a least some good turns and some photos to start off the season.
Stepping out of the cable car, on the peak of Jakobshorn, we couldn’t believe how much snow had fallen during the night. The wide upper face, that eventually spits you out onto the piste leading to the six man chair, was completely untracked. After checking the avalanche conditions and deciding it was safe, we charged down in huge turns. The 30 cm’s felt like 50, the snow was super light.
We skied that same face a couple of times, getting some nice close up shots of both Reine and Webrant before it was time to move over to the front of the peak, and the spine-like features skier’s right of the cable car. The light was now coming in from the side, creating perfect scenery for my photos. All that I needed now was for someone to ski the lines up there while I waited, ready to shoot, on the groomer below.
Martin set out for a tricky line and unfortunately hit about three rocks before launching off a descent size cliff at the bottom of his run. Reine went out further skier’s right and skied his line on the big face in Super G turns, while the upper layer sluff chased him down the slope. A good warm-up for the Freeride World Tour!
After having lunch in the sun, we decided to hike up on the ridge above the cable car and ski down on the backside to Teufi—a run that I had skied numerous times before, but always kept coming back to because of the varied terrain it offered. The snow was almost always good in the gigantic, shadowy bowl, and this time wasn’t an exception. The sun had crept low, and most of the slope was in the shade by the time we reached our intended entry point. That meant shooting photos was out of the question.
We skied the steep part, one after another, and the cold powder was fantastic. We couldn’t believe it was only the start of the season as we continued down towards the forest, and eventually the Teufi restaurant where the large beers were waiting for us at the end of the day.
— Martin Söderqvist
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was skiing, not even a…
Well, that was until a Saab with Swedish tags pulled up in front of my house. Reine Barkered and Martin Webrant, BD Global Team Skiers from Sweden, drove all the way down to Switzerland to get a taste of some pre-season pow here in Davos. They were dreamin’ of a White Christmas… and that dream sure enough came true!
By the time they emptied all the Zealots and Megawatts out of their overstuffed car, another 20cm had fallen. The Holiday spirit (and spirits) started flowing and the next week was all about faceshots and cover-shots. Martin Söderqvist, the Swedish photog shooting these boys, pulled out the fancy camera and the started shooting Reine and Martin dropping pillow-lines, getting deep and dropping cliffs. It sure is inspiring watching pros (who truly rip harder than anyone you know) making tricky, scary lines look easy!!
By the time Christmas Day rolled around; the temperatures got warm, the snow got sticky, the tourists flooded the mountains…. And the Swedes quietly packed up and headed out of town, with big smiles on their faces and killer shots for the magazines. (The photos attached are great, but they’re not the best ones, you’ll have to wait and see when Martin Söderqvist releases those next Fall.)
— Dan Caruso