• Ariane Maria Malfertheiner
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SALEWA alpineXtrem Team


Free Ski Mountaineering – The mountain beckons with powder

The snow has barely given the mountains a white facelift when freeride enthusiasts start making pilgrimages to their respective spots. In winter, the freeride community finds itself drawn to fresh pow, always on the search for the perfect line, from exotic powder paradises to classic Alpine ski areas to the endless expanse of North American backcountry. In inner circles, the trend has long since moved away from the use of technical aids and more and more to “human-powered alpinism.” SALEWA athletes Björn Heregger, Glen Plake, Martin McFly Winkler, Eva Walkner and Max Zipser live the Free Ski Mountaineering philosophy: You have to “earn your turns” – get up the mountain under your own power and in harmony with the alpine world. That is also reflected in their various projects and movies. The distinctive feature of this is the combination of alpine approach and skiing skills. What is unconditionally also a part of this for these peak baggers is solid preparation with attention to the characteristics and risks of the terrain. When it comes to gear, these freeride professionals don’t compromise. In close cooperation with designers and product developers at SALEWA, products -- from different layers of apparel to equipment and safety gear -- are thus created that optimally support every mission up the mountain. Of course, indispensable on any mountain outing: good friends that can be relied on.
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Path of Roses – Free Skiing in the “Flower Meadow”

High up in the Himalayas, near the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, lies a paradise for off-piste skiers. The base camp is a small village called Gulmarg. According to the locals, Gulmarg means ‘flower meadow‘. At 2,700 metres up however, there are no flowers to be seen in this high mountain valley in February. Instead, the iced peaks of the Pir Panjal offer free ski mountaineering at 4,000m above sea level. Eva Walkner, from the international SALEWA alpineXtrem team, couldn’t resist.
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Skiing for the soul

It was 10 years ago that Martin "McFly" Winkler first flew to Patagonia. The country appealed so much to his 'ski bum' side that he could not get it out of his thoughts. He was spellbound by the vast expanses of freedom. But it wasn't until autumn 2010 that he had a chance to return. This time he brought with him: one camera, two fellow team members, and three souls who wanted to experience something different to the "higher, faster, further" mantra. This is what free ski mountaineering can offer. It's off-piste skiing for the soul.

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A living legend in skiing and pioneer of free ski mountaineering, Glen Plake joined the international SALEWA alpineXtrem team a year ago. Selected retail partners will be looking forward to stocking "Glen Plake’s Choice" bang on time for the 2011/12 autumn/winter season. This comprises a jacket, pants and gloves which mountain sports specialists SALEWA have custom-designed to the requirements of the ski punk from California.

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Welcome on board: Max Zipser brings fresh talent to the international SALEWA alpineXtrem team

Freedom is a value which drives men to climb mountains. Professional mountaineers also appreciate freedom in their choice of equipment. Max Zipser is one such person. He climbs mountains to come down again on slopes of up to 55°. But unlike other members of the international SALEWA alpineXtrem team, he descends the snowy slopes on a snowboard rather than skis so he literally on board. Climb2Ski goes Climb2Ride.

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