We recently put the word out that you could earn yourself a $50 ioVoucher by simply sharing your outdoor adventure with us, which led Frederik van den Berg – an adventure photographer from Zurich, Switzerland who spends his spare time exploring the nearby Klosters Mountain Range, to reach out and share his recent snowboarding adventure, which didn’t exactly go to plan. If you’d like to share your awesome adventure story and earn a $50 ioVoucher, click here for more info. And if you’d just like to hear more about Frederik’s adventure, then read on!
Written by Frederik van den Berg – Adventure Photographer.
I spend as much time as I can in the Swiss Alps, which are just around the corner from Zürich. Sometimes I venture out on my own with my camera. Other times I’ll go with my friends, but they don’t usually like stopping for photos. A few weeks ago I got my friends Georg and Amanda to make a few stops, and we got a few shots.
The plans for the weekend were all jumbled up on Friday afternoon. A cancelled date, a borrowed car, a quick shop and a few phone calls later Amanda (the Swede) and I (the Dutch) were driving up to Klosters to meet David (the Australian). Georg (the Austrian) had just returned from a week of riding with his family, but nothing ever stops Georg from getting in another day on the mountain.
There were two snowstorms foretasted for the weekend, which is a bit like Christmas followed by a rerun.
It had snowed all of Saturday and throughout the night, so when we awoke on Sunday the world around us was covered by half a meter of snow. We had already decided to spend the day in the trees, as that was the best powder with the best chance of visibility. We did two runs in epicly deep pow before things took a turn for the worse.
We chose an earlier drop-in point which led us to what we thought was going to be a ton of untouched powder. But as I slowly went across the top of the line, a massive slab shifted from under my feet. The entire face had just slipped down into a couloir, and we realized we’d have to go through it if we wanted to go on. We thought it would be a matter of channeling through for 50 or 100 meters to get to the next opening. But that next opening never came.
Georg took the lead and urged us to get out of the canyon as quickly as possible, since we were in a bit of a pickle with regards to avalanche trajectories. We were riding over a river going through a deep canyon, and the prospects of riding out were getting worse. Eventually we were stopped at a cliff where another group was trying to find a way out. They climbed up the left wall of the couloir. We went on another few meters to find an even bigger cliff, and climbed up the right wall. When we reached the top of the ridge, we realized that the next couloir led right back to the first one. So we traversed and climbed over another ridge, and another.
As we maneuvered through these sketchy little areas, we kept our sketchy thoughts to ourselves, kept calm, and discussed all of our options on how to best get out of there. It was two hours of heavy heartbeats and sweaty palms, but in the end the sun came out and we made it back to the slope.
Even when you’re wrapped up in snug Merino Wool and have avi beacons and safety gear, the feeling of being in the hands of nature without an escape is rather unsettling…
I was a bit preoccupied with survival while we were in the canyon, thus the photos I took are from before and after this little foray into ‘sketchtown’. Shredding powder still puts a smile on our face, even if we have to fight for it!Visit Frederik’s website and Instagram to keep up to date with his upcoming adventures.