It’s impossible to talk about freeriding without mentioning Jeremy Jones. A titan of the snow covered wilderness, Jones has carved a deep name for himself in the backcountry lexicon. Back before freeriding was even cool, Jones would live out of his truck in order to score first descents and bluebird powder days while the rest of the snowboard world was fixated on jibbing rails down street stair sets and chunky park kickers. Anyone that has seen his series of films including Higher, Further and Deeper will know just how committed this guy actually is.
This guy has brought the might of freestyle skiing to the big mountain arena. In fact no other skier has been so renowned for making such hefty drops in the backcountry, most notably back-flipping off 80ft cliffs. With a roster of competition and readers poll awards firmly under his belt from the early 2000s, Seth is still slaying the powder every which way.
Ever since he put down his part in Standard Films’ TB5 movie in 1995, Johan has remained one of the most stylish freeriders snowboarding has ever seen. At a time when snowboarding was still in its relative infancy, the possibilities of snowboarding were still very much being explored. Olofsson charged through the backcountry dropping cliffs, putting in some of the most cruisey, powder turns yet still brought it back to tweak some grabs in the pipe.
This hardened Olympian was instrumental in how big mountain skiing is approached today. On the US Ski Team since the age of 16, Nobis eventually moved away from the groomed runs and racing for much more wild terrain. His pursuits into deep Alaska and Greenland saw him push the boundaries for what was possible, taking on some of the steepest terrain ever attempted. A frequent face on early Teton Gravity Research production, Nobis is a name that’s synonymous with big mountain skiing to this very day.
Jealouse is arguably the most prolific female snowboarder of all time. At a period when snowboarding was dominated by men, Victoria went toe-to-toe and then some, whether in the backcountry, or nailing boardercross. From her Burton pro models, to the iconic Feelgood line, Jealouse is a name that’s embedded in snowboarding history.
We caught up with Derek Chandler of Marmalade Ski School, one of our official FLOA partners to talk about the diversity of the 3 Valleys and escaping the confines of normal skiing…
The allure of the backcountry promises open terrain without the crowds, but if it’s your first time off-piste, make sure you bear these key tips in mind…