Freeride is a great way to experience strong emotions and feel the rush of adrenaline in the blood, where almost no human has gone before.
A little more time will pass and the first snow of this year will fall. And the noise of crowded ski resorts, numerous ski lifts, thousands of novice skiers getting under their feet, artificial and uninteresting tracks and other attributes of the winter season have long become boring … And if you feel that this is said about you, then perhaps it’s time to get acquainted with freeride.
Freeride is skiing on an unprepared slope, without tracks and lifts, far from any civilization. The choice of snowboarding or skiing is already trifles and completely unimportant detail in freeride! Although freeride began to become popular with the advent of snowboarding, as a more innovative direction, unlike classic alpine skiing. It was the snowboarders who had little adrenaline from riding on standard tracks, and they went to conquer the mountains, to find new, unexplored slopes. This is how freeride appeared — off-piste skiing.
Freeride as the meaning of life
Any definition, any attempt to describe or talk about freeride will remain just a pathetic attempt. After all, freeride is not just snowboarding or skiing, not just a competition, it is a feeling of freedom within oneself, it is practically a philosophy and a way of life. The eternal desire for the mountains, the desire to first open and conquer the peak, get to the goal, and then go down with the breeze. And go down, choosing the most difficult route and always at top speed! Get the maximum of emotions from awareness of the danger and risk of this undertaking.
Freeride is, first of all, a very special attitude to the details of equipment, to the choice of mountain and slope for descent, to the surrounding nature, avalanches and weather. You begin to feel the mountains, their fluffy snow covering them, any change in the weather and thousands of other little things that are invisible to the untrained eye, but so important for success in freeride. And preparation for the ascent is a whole procedure, undoubtedly important and serious. Setting up, thinking about the climbing option and choosing the route for the descent, carefully checking the backpack and avalanche sensors … Freeride is also a constantly assembled backpack, an eternal thirst for adventure and discovery, the constant development of new routes. This is something that defies comprehension and description, but for some lucky ones, this is a lifetime!
All that is called freeride can be divided into several types.
The most popular type of freeride. Such a compromise between civilization, comfort and the desire to get some adrenaline and cool the hot blood. You are taken to the mountain by a lift, and then you go down an unprepared slope, which is still not far from the base and rescuers. Lightweight freeride came into existence when winter resort owners saw the rapidly growing popularity of snowboarding and freeriding in particular. On the maps of many of these resorts, places for freeride enthusiasts are also indicated next to the standard tracks.
But this is what is called freeride as a philosophy of life. First, you, with a full backpack on your shoulders, with equipment and a team of the same crazy friends in a good way, climb the mountain for several hours, and maybe even days. Conquer the top! And then, after a short rest at high speed, you go down the slope. You descend, avoiding trees and gorges, through soft fluffy, untouched snow, wary of hidden gorges and treacherous hills, only slightly covered by snow. This is what freeriding is. Moreover, its most common type. In many schools, after the initial basic snowboarding training, an experienced instructor simply gathers a group and takes them on a hike. This allows beginners to feel the whole atmosphere, all the magnetism and the deep meaning of this lifestyle, allows you to truly fall in love with freeride.
Probably, in many videos or films you have seen how a helicopter hovers a few meters above the top of a mountain or just above a snow-covered area and throws skiers or snowboarders for descent. Pleasure is expensive, so the average Ukrainian freerider is unlikely to try it. In addition, in many places on our planet, heli-skiing is prohibited.
In addition to all this, there is also snowcat skiing, when you are thrown to the top of the mountain with the help of a snowcat. Snowcat is a special machine for the preparation of ski slopes, but with a passenger cabin. Then everything is very traditional — fresh snow, wind in the face and freeride. Another type of freeride is snowmotoboarding. In this case, the snowboarder rides like a wakeboard or water ski, but instead of a boat — a motorcycle or a snowmobile, and instead of water — snow.
Freeride has captivated millions of people around the world! Its advantages are obvious, but for a safe freeride you need to have at least basic rescue skills, be a bit of a climber and rock climber. After all, mountains are unpredictable, nature is changeable, avalanches and thousands of other dangers have not been canceled. Therefore, freeride is a team hobby, it is here that real friends are tested and acquired, and tests take place in the most extreme conditions.
Author: Vladimir Selivanov
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