Winter arrived, at last. Mountains dress in white, prominences get rounded and my head starts to draw lines I haven’t been able to shred yet. A spot that just a couple of days ago seemed inaccessible, now has a snowed trail leading to it. Time to reset, refresh with the new conditions and get out there.
Lately I’ve been seeing heaps of shots and videos of splitboarders around the world. Some have left the city to search their home spot in the mountains, to be able to go splitboarding every day; others pile in a caravan to embark on a trip in search of the perfect valley.
Distances get shorter every day, driving us away from big resorts, yearning for peace.
A huge dump welcomes us in a small Eastern French Pyrenees ski area on what seems like a down day. The initial plan -to do some shots for the magazine- is no longer a priority; that new layer of snow is a gift we can’t reject; we exchange complicit looks and smiles while we set to shred some lines through a black pinetree forest.
As people start to come in the ski area, our options to keep feeling free multiply, and we ride away out of bounds on an epic run into a pristine and solitary valley.
We set our splitboards and start skinning. Loaded trees let the snow fall upon us as we skin under them; we cross a creek that will disappear under the snow in a matter of hours, and while we progress in silence, a herd of deer blesses us with one of those moments that make one feel well alive.