Switzerland

Heli-skiing Steep Faces in St Moritz

Heli-skiing Steep Faces in St Moritz

Mattias Haunholder, Switzerland.

Mattias Haunholder throwing down some big turns near St. Moritz in Switzerland.

Last weekend was spent down in St Moritz skiing around Corvatsch and heli-skiing on the border with Italy.  The mountains down this way are beautiful soaring peaks with long steep faces.  I was graciously invited to go on the trip in order to shoot with big mountain skiers Martin “McFly” Winkler and Matthias Haunholder.  Martin and Matthias certainly stepped up and put in some great lines. The snow stuck beautifully to the faces allowing them to ski some steep lines.

Posted by Richard in Skiing, Sport, What's going on, 0 comments
Nick Hayter, Skier

Nick Hayter, Skier

British born Nick Hayter is an all-rounder on skis. He is unafraid to step up to the steep technical lines and big drops but it is his smooth fluid style that sets him apart from his British peers.

Nick Hayter St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria.

Nick Hayter coming off the top, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria.

Date of Birth:
05 / 07 / 79

Nationality:
British

Home Mountain:
St. Anton Am Arlberg

Sponsors:
Scott, Sweet Protection

Favourite skis:
The Scott Stunt

Nick Hayter, Stuben am Arlberg, Austria

Nick Hayter entering the steep terrain off the back of Stuben.

How did you get involved in skiing?
I started skiing when I was 2 on family holidays to Switzerland. I didn’t have much say in it but have loved it ever since. I am very happy my parents got me into skiing though I am not sure that they are so happy about it anymore.

Inspirations:
Anyone who skis better than me or those who have been successful and made this lifestyle work for them

Plans for the future:
In the future I want to be able to ski more technically difficult terrain, stay safe, have fun and enter more competitions

Nick Hayter, St Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Nick Hayter launches off the backside of Rendl near St. Anton A.A.

Motivation:
I’m not sure what motivates me really. I guess I just love being up early and getting to ski all day with my friends. Always seems like the right thing to be doing.

Favourite spot:
A secret spot in the Arlberg, Austria.

Nick Hayter, St. Christoph Am Arlberg, Austria

Nick Hayter, St. Christoh Am Arlberg, Austria

Favourite country:
Switzerland is my favourite country because it’s where I have my earliest ski memories

Best moment:
It would have to be the days that you are not so sure about. Like the days when you think it has only snowed a little bit and you end up finding a proper little powder stash.

Nick Hayter leaping in Bachsiete in St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austri

Nick Hayter, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Worst moment:
Avalanches or injures. Both make me ask questions about the sport

Click for photographic gallery of Nick Hayter

 
Posted by Richard in Skiing, Sport
Sam O’Keeffe, Skier

Sam O’Keeffe, Skier

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe playing in the trees.

British skier Sam O’Keeffe has called the Austrian ski resort of St. Anton his home for the last few years. He keeps his knowledge of the best local spots close and not without reason.

Date of Birth:
18/5/80

Nationality:
Born in Switzerland but British by nationality

Home Mountain:
St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sponsors:
Icelantic Skis, Black Flys, Pull-In Underwear,
Penguin Outerwear

Sam O'Keeffe - Skier

Sam O’Keeffe – Skier

Favourite set of skis:
Don’t know yet, just got my new Shaman’s and Nomad’s from Icelantic and they look wicked, now I just need some snow to fall and I’ll let you know which one’s are my favourite.

Favourite ski spot:
There are so many around here in the Arlberg, a lot are known by everyone, but there are still some “fairly” secret spots and they are going to stay “fairly” secret, so if I answered this question honestly then I wouldn’t have my favourite spot anymore….so I would have to say the baby slopes in at the bottom of St.Anton, yup definitely.

Sam O'Keeffe Sonnenkopf, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe puts in some clean turns at Sonnenkopf, Austria

How did you get involved in skiing:
Probably like most people who love this sport, you were forced into it when your parents wanted to go skiing but didn’t want you to come along, so they whack a helmet on your head, dress you in a comical ski bib, strap two wooden planks on your feet, wave goodbye to you as your dragged into ski school kicking and screaming shouting “I don’t want to do this” and “I hate you”, then as soon as you start sliding on the strange white stuff, you’re hooked and you know that’s all you want to do for the rest of your life. Not bad forward thinking for a 2yr old!
P.S. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe deep in the St. Anton Powder, Austria

Plans for the future:
Last year I took part in my first bit of competitive skiing and qualified 18th out of 60 odd riders at the Fieberbrunn Spyder Big Mountain competition and loved every minute of it and was really looking forward to the actual competition only to have it cancelled due to bad weather. The disappointment didn’t end there, two other competitions I wanted to compete in succumbed to a similar fate.
So this year I really want to do well in competitions as long as the snow Gods will let us compete, a definite goal is to get into the top 5 in the British Freeride Competition…..well actually I want to win it, but I would be happy to get on the podium. Also some friends have just bought a HD camera and want to make a short film this season, knowing these jokers I really can’t wait to see what the end result will be. Also year I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to go on my first team rider trip to Bulgaria, kind of things you dream about in your young skibum days, plus Bulgaria has been on my ski destination hit list for a long time, so I’m just really hoping I can make it.

Favourite Country:
Right now it’s Austria. I’ve been living here for a few years now and I love being in the mountains, there’s just so much to do. But there are a lot of other countries out there and I haven’t been to them all yet so maybe I’ll find a new one this year!

Sam O'Keeffe, St. Anton Am Arlberg, Austria

Sam O’Keeffe deep in the St. Anton Powder, Austria

Best Moment:
My Buddy and I did the front face of Schindler all the way to the Zammermoos chair 4 times last year with powder over our waists and each time we came round for another lap we just couldn’t believe that no one else was skiing it, it was an epic day that I’ll never forget…..Fair enough no one was there because it was a complete whiteout, but who needs good vis when you have sooo much snow and rocks to guide the way. Cheers Lloydo!

Worst Moment:
Fracturing my neck doing the guinea pig jump off a backcountry kicker in Zurs. Took awhile to get the confidence back after that one.

Click here for Sam O’Keeffe photo gallery

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Posted by Richard in Portraits, Skiing, Sport