Sponsors: adidas, Billabong, YES, NOW, Airhole, Whistler Blackcomb, The Circle
Hometown: Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada
Lives: Encinitas, California/Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
The backcountry environment is a demanding and dangerous place. Learning how to handle a snowboard in this often harsh and always consequential terrain isn’t for everyone. Helen Schettini however, is totally up for the challenge. The Kamloops, British Columbia native who migrated west at age seventeen to pursue her snowboard dream has spent the last several seasons exploring and progressing in Whistler’s legendary backcountry. As one of only a small handful of female riders who undertake the sled-accessed approach to big-mountain freestyle, Helen has come a long way in a short time.
Sponsors: adidas, Lib-Tech, Von Zipper, Stance, Airhole, Mammoth Mountain, Wave Rave
Hometown: Crowley Lake, California
Eric Jackson is truly a product of his environment. Raised on the steeps of California’s Eastern Sierra range, E-Jack grew up riding the massive parks of Mammoth and exploring the surrounding backcountry as a hyperactive grom. Driven by his older brother John, Eric rode twice as hard and developed a deep bag of tricks and explosive style. In 2011, Eric joined a new crew and produced a mind-bending blower pow-filled part for People Films’ Good Look that earned him Men’s Video Part of The Year honors from TransWorld SNOWboarding as well as a coveted spot on SNOWBOARDER Magazine’s Top Ten Riders Of The Year list.
Fear surged through my veins, my muscles tense as coiled springs, ready to explode at the slightest touch, yet relaxing was vital - I desperately fought to slow my breathing and calm my mind. Tenuously clinging to the dead vertical face like one of the many small succulents which covered the wall, obscuring the holds. I was six hundred metres above the ground, with the last bolt out of sight, at least ten metres below my feet, and still unable see anything above. Scenarios flashed through my mind; we had just heard that a member of the only other party to repeat this route had broken his leg during a fall… “
Best not to think… Just concentrate and focus on the next move… You will be fine… One move at a time… Don’t think about anything else!
“Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar!” The call to prayer echoed across a craggy cirque in the Hajar Mountains. Jakob and I were in Oman to climb at a virtually unknown sport-climbing area near the small village of Hadash.
To say it was scenic here would be a grievous understatement. The purple, slate crag was exposed on a shoulder of a gigantic mountainous bowl, 1,000 metres above the plains below. Below us, dirt tracks snaked across dry riverbeds and small rocky outcrops appeared lunar and minuscule against a backdrop of 2,000-metre peaks. The call to prayer rang like a testament to the majesty of it all.
Jakob pitched off the crux of his route and swore his bad beta: “Agh, I should just do that!
b:razil 192 million inhabitants, the world’s fifth-largest country. Home of carnival, the rainforest, the Amazon, passion and emotion. An emerging economy, a land with many faces, a diverse and handsome society. Now a hotspot for the international slackline community. See g for more.
c:urriculum vitae CV or résumé. Some CVs focus on academic achievements. Some on records. Some on both.
The Grampians – a low range of gum tree covered mountains, rising out of the flat plains of Victoria, Australia, littered with outcrops of bullet hard orange sandstone.
Tudo Bem means something like “What’s up?” If you are in Brazil, then there is only one cool answer to this question: thumbs up and: “Tudo bem!” That is because tudo bem also means: “Everything is OK!” So it goes like this: Tudo bem? Tudo bem! Everything is OK, brother. Couldn't be better.
The invitation 4 January, 2010: the up-and-coming Brazilian climbing star Felipe Camargo had just sent his 3rd repeat of what was probably Brazil’s toughest boulder at that time: O dia santo (8b+) in the São Bento bouldering zone.
Two climbers from Spain, Dani Moreno and Eduard Marin Garcia, find themselves in Peru facing the most puzzling challenge of their lives on La Esfinge, or The Sphinx. And with a hilarious bet on the line, the stakes could not be any higher.
Edu Marin was sprinting up the last few metres to reach the belay when his partner, Dani Moreno, called up to him from 30 metres below. “Hey, Edu!” shouted Dani, grinning mischievously. “I have a riddle for you! If you get it, the beers are on me tonight! If you don’t, then you pay! So, what do you say?” “A riddle?” Edu shouted back, gasping for air. “You know [cough] that I love [wheeze] riddles. [Gasp] And beer!” "This is serious" said Dani. "OK, what goes on two legs in the morning, four legs at midday and no legs in the evening?
Originally, completing the Alpine Trilogy was not on her list, but now she is the first woman to have repeated all the Trilogy routes. Three routes that still count as the most difficult in the Alps. Three routes that up until 1994 only four men were able to write in their diaries.
The first ascenders are particularly impressed. "The Boulder Queen has rediscovered herself," says Beat Kammerlander. Thomas Huber agrees: "Babs is one of the greatest in the Alps.