The shape of the Pyrenees

Freesriding is often directly compared to powder skiing. It is about finding untouched snow, the dryest powder; speculating snow quality, amount and so forth. But for me – mostly riding in what I’ll get – I’m more interested in the terrain I ride. When the snow is soft, you can go fast and high, but when it’s hard or firm, it’s nice to ride something more exposed. That is when you can trust your edges to grip and you kindof know-what-you’re-gona-get underneath your skis.

A shorter season, unpredictable snow and the occasional heat makes the Pyrenees an unattractive spot compared to the Alps. Some of it is true. Unlike the prejudice thought there’s usually a lot of snowfall, especially on the north sides (14 m at some spots this season) but(!) it can change fast, with strong winds and variable temperature.

A couple of days ago I took part in a freeride competition in Tavascan here in the Pyrenees. My friends’ brother was organizing. The venue looked good. Not so long, but quite steep, some big no-go cliff zones and a line through a challenging looking terrace rock band that looked to suit my kind of riding. The snow was literally dust on crust with all the dust already gone, when it was my turn to ride. The previous rider before me actually fell quite badly, on the same line I was going to ski, and was flown to the hospital with the hely (puh). He’s okay now, but I thought to take it a bit easy, focus on where to make my turns and make it down safe. And when I dropped in I felt right at place, steady skiing all the way down, it felt good. Moving down through various terrain in the mountains. (With a little route finding in the middle). The conditions were quite hard, and I made first place, hahaa. Here’s the clip from the ride.

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